Sept. 15, 2014 – Go inside PASS Summit 2014's full-day pre-conference sessions in this Q&A series with our presenters. In this interview, Adam Machanic takes us inside his pre-con, Better Performance Through Parallelism.
Q: If your pre-con had a theme song, what would it be and why?
"The Power" by Snap! This pre-con teaches people to take control of performance for large queries and to use techniques that put them in the driver's seat. The query optimizer does not – and cannot – make the right choice every time. If you want ultimate performance, you must take matters into your own hands.
Q: What excites you most about SQL Server’s parallel processing?
It's a feature set that is at once both very mature and very much in a growth phase. Parallelism works well, but it doesn't always kick in when it should or work in an optimal fashion. And not many people know how to get it to play nice. As a developer, having a deep understanding of parallelism gives you a huge edge over the competition.
Q: What's the most surprising statement attendees might hear you say during the pre-con?
Columnstore, despite what you may have heard, is not the answer to most of your tough performance challenges. (Even though it might help, sometimes.)
Q: What’s the biggest myth around parallelism and query optimization that you’d like to debunk?
Many people are still confused about what, exactly, this CXPACKET thing *really* means, and what to do about it. At the end of this seminar you will be able to describe CXPACKET very accurately and you will understand its exact implications.
Q: What still trips you up in mastering SQL Server’s parallelism settings?
Sometimes mixed workload scenarios present some interesting challenges. For some of the settings, there is only a single instance-wide configuration knob. That can be tough. But as with everything, there are options.
Q: If attendees could start putting into practice just one thing after this pre-con, what would you want that to be?
Some of my prior seminar attendees have written to tell me that my Parallel APPLY query patten has yielded performance gains of 10 times or greater. It often takes only a few minutes to bolt it on to an existing query, and properly applied, it does truly amazing things. This is why I teach the seminar; I want people to go back to the office and fix their tough performance issues so that they can spend their time building cool new apps instead of messing with the database all day.
Check out our other Q&As with PASS Summit 2014 pre-con speakers.