During October 15th-18th, the US PASS Summit 2013 will be held in Charlotte, NC at the Charlotte Convention Center.  The Microsoft CSS team has a long history with PASS.  We have been speaking and working at PASS since 2003.  This year we will have the added advantage of being on our home turf with one of our main CSS sites being in Charlotte.  This means you will see a lot more folks from our CSS group helping at the Clinic.  Here is a look at what we will be doing this year.

 

Pre-Conference Seminar – AlwaysOn

Curt Mathews and Shon Hauck will be leading a session about AlwaysOn.  These are our experts for AlwaysOn within the Support group.  No one knows this topic better!  With over 31 years of experience between them, they bring a wealth of knowledge to this session.

They will walk you through a lot of aspects of AlwaysOn, but more importantly how you can monitor and gain insights to resolve issues you may encounter.  From Clustering to SQL Engine, these two will be able to answer your questions.  You will also get to see some of the common issues we are seeing on the Support side and what techniques we used to approach & resolve them.

 

Main Conference Talks

(DBA-500-HD) Inside SQL Server 2012 Memory: The Sequel – Bob Ward

Wednesday, October 16th – 1:30pm-4:15pm – Ballroom B

This is a half day session in which Bob will revisit the SQL Memory topic that he presented in 2008 and will go deep into the architecture, implementation, and “how it works” of SQL Server 2012 database engine memory management.  This will have plenty of demo’s and a lot of insights into SQL Server Memory.  This is a must see for the bitheads out there, or those of you that like your brain to hurt!

(Chalk Talk) SharePoint and Power Pivot and Power View, Oh My – Chuck Heinzelman, Kay Unkroth, Riccardo Muti and Adam Saxton

Wednesday, October 16th – 1:00pm-1:30pm – Microsoft Expo Booth

This is an informal setting.  Don’t expect a full presentation.  But, this is your chance to ask extra questions on a topic with Microsoft’s Engineers and Program Managers.  This will be more of a white board-style discussion with people who are building and supporting the features that you are using!

(BIA-304-M) Death by a Thousand Cuts: A Look at Power View Performance – Adam Saxton

Friday, October 18th – 10:15am-11:30am – Ballroom B

This will recap learnings that I gained from a customer case that I worked earlier this year.  When we did supportability reviews for Power View before it was initially released, I dubbed Power View Performance as the nightmare scenario.  The reason is because of all of the different technologies involved.  From SharePoint to Reporting Services, from Excel Services to Analysis Services, from the Browser to Silverlight, and throw in SQL Server and the Operating System for good measure. 

(DBA-406-M) SQL Server Transaction Log Internals – Tim Chapman & Denzil Ribeiro

Friday, October 18th – 1:00pm-2:15pm – 203 A

Tim and Denzil will take a hard look at the SQL Transaction Log and the roles it plays.  This will span logging, recovery and look at the checkpoint process and write-ahead logging.  If you are interesting in learning more about the SQL Transaction Log, this is going to be a session for you!

(CLD-307-M) SQL Server Performance and Monitoring in Windows Azure at Scale – Daniel Sol

Friday, October 18th – 1:00pm-2:15pm – 217 A

Daniel is coming from across the pond to talk about lessons learned from one of our largest Windows Azure SQL Database deployments.  This will look at performance tuning and what you can do Windows Azure SQL Database to help get the level of performance that you are looking for, along with what to monitor to stay on top of your deployment.

 

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This is one of the highlights for the SQL PASS Conference.  Last year, we had the heaviest use of the SQL Clinic that we have every seen!  Imagine a room where, on one side, you have the Azure CAT team to ask “design” or “advisory” type questions to.  And, on the other side of the room, you have the SQL Support team that you can ask about an error you are getting, or how to fix something.  That is the SQL Server Clinic!  As mentioned above, with Charlotte having one of our Support sites, we will have a large contingent of our support personal on hand to help you out. 

This year we will be in room 219AB! We will also be using a new tool to try and accommodate everyone that needs assistance.  It will be a queue system similar to what I’ve seen in the AT&T stores.  You will be able to see where you are in the queue on the TV’s.  Hopefully this will help us to better assist you, as well as to track what type of things we are seeing in the Clinic.

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We will have a full contingent of members of the Azure CAT team.  This will be matched by the CSS Conference Speakers as well as Support Engineers and Premier Field Engineers from across the globe!  This is the ultimate unique opportunity to interact with the CSS and Azure CAT teams like no other.  We cannot guarantee this is like “getting a free case” from CSS, but we can help point you in the right direction.  The questions we get in the Clinic range from “how does this work” to “I have a crash, can you look at it?”.  In some situations in the past, we have been able to use our laptops, or the customer’s, and either demonstrate how to solve the problem, or actually fix it on the spot.  They don’t all work out that way, but it is probably fair to say that when you walk out of the room, you will have left with more than when you walked in the door.  Even if that just means you wanted to come in to meet a new face or network with some of the people from Microsoft that put out customer fires or test the limits of SQL Server.

The clinic hours this year are:

  • Wed 10/16, 9:45AM-6PM (Clinic Happy Hour from 4-6pm)
  • Thur 10/17, 9:45AM-6PM
  • Fri 10/18, 8AM-2PM

Be sure to stop by the Clinic at least once during the conference!  We want to hear from you and your experience with SQL Server, even if you don’t have a question.  We will be available to talk about any topic related to SQL Server, or to strike up a conversation about your favorite sports teams (although the Texas Rangers and Cowboys may be sore topics this year).

We hope to see you there!