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Enterprise Database Administration & Deployment Track

The following sessions were chosen by community vote to be presented at PASS SQLRally Orlando. Click on the links to view specific abstracts or scroll down to see them all:

Selected Sessions

Title: Fundamentals of SQL Server Internals
Speaker: Jeremiah Peschka
Category: Administration
Level: 200
Abstract: Want to know what makes SQL Server tick? Ever wonder what SQL Server is doing when you run a query? Ever wonder which parts of SQL Server are responsible for specific functionality? Want to know what a HOBT is? I can’t promise answers to every question, but I can set you on the path to knowledge about the inner workings of SQL Server.
Session Goals
  • Identify the layers of SQL Server
  • Learn what happens when a query is submitted and executed
  • Understand how the layers of SQL Server interact
Speaker Bio: Jeremiah Peschka is an Emerging Technology Expert with Quest Software. Jeremiah works with different software to identify new techniques and trends in the world of data storage. Over the course of his career, Jeremiah has worked as a system administrator, developer, and DBA. When he is not volunteering with the development community, Jeremiah blogs about data storage, relational databases, and software development at http://facility9.com. He can also be reached on Twitter via @peschkaj

Title: Orders of magnitude: Scale-Out your SQL Server Data
Speaker: Mark Broadbent
Category: HA/DR
Level: 300
Abstract: Your company is about to embark on a major overhaul of your current IT infrastructure and applications and want you to start thinking about their Data Tier. Your remit is that "this is a one off investment and an opportunity for change" and due to the speed of growth of your organization, you should plan for capacity and scalability requirements to accommodate for long term growth and expansion. It is now your job to start investigating possible ways to achieve and implement this goal In this presentation I will discuss many different methods and techniques to enable server and enterprise based scaling of your data covering diverse subjects including (but not limited to) database schemas, indexing, horizontal partitioning and what I believe is SQL Server's best kept secret!
Session Goals
  • To demonstrate the numerous scale-out techniques possible using SQL Server 2008
  • To discuss situations where scale-out is suitable and unsuitable.
  • To reveal various scale-out strategies that are not commonly known and to demonstrate that SQL Server 2008 is no longer a single server based product but is truly an Enterprise level database server.
Speaker Bio: Mark Broadbent is SQL Server specialist and has been using SQL Server since 1997 starting from SQL 6.5 and every release since in numerous highly available configurations. He has worked with many other Microsoft products and likes to dabble with other platforms and environments. Mark currently holds Microsoft professional accreditations MCSE+i, MCAD.NET, MCDBA, MCITP Database Administration for SQL 2005 and SQL 2008 and MCITP in Database Development for SQL 2008.  

Title: DBA Disaster Recovery Techniques To Keep Handy
Speaker: Edwin Sarmiento
Category: HA/DR
Level: 400
Abstract: Nothing is more frightening to a DBA as getting that wake-up phone call that the system is down, especially when it's a mission critical one. This session will focus on being prepared for and dealing with a recovery situation for a SQL Server 2005/2008 database, an instance or an entire server. Topics covered will be backup schemes, partial backups and piecemeal restores, and page-level recovery
Session Goals
  • Understand how disaster recovery strategies should meet the recovery point objective/recovery time objective
  • Be familiar with different recovery strategies based on the selected backup strategies
  • Understand the need for testing disaster recovery strategies on a regular basis
Speaker Bio: Edwin Sarmiento works as a SQL Server DBA for The Pythian Group in Ottawa, ON in Canada. Prior to joining Pythian, he was a senior systems engineer/DBA for Fujitsu Asia Pte Ltd in Singapore and is responsible for maintaining 200+ servers and databases for a global client in 10 countries. He is very passionate about technology but has interests in music, professional and organizational development, leadership and management matters when not working with databases. He lives up to his primary mission statement: "To help people grow and develop their full potential as God has planned for them" He wants the whole world to know that Filipinos are world-class citizens and bring Jesus Christ to the world.

Title: Fragmentation and Performance Issues
Speaker: Bryan Oliver
Category: Indexing & Partitioning
Level: 100
Abstract: Three types of fragmentation often affect the Performance of SQL Server and although as DBAs we often understand them little is often done about two of them. Non Clustered Index fragmentation is the one fragmentation that is often monitored and fixed by DBAs, so what of the other two. The first and often most seen is file fragmentation. The impact this has on queries can be significant. I will discuss ways to monitor this fragmentation, what often causes this fragmentation and how to resolve this type of fragmentation once it has reached a critical level. The second type of fragmentation is extent. I will discuss ways to optimize the design of the database to reduce extent fragmentation, ways to monitor the level of fragmentation and final how to resolve extent fragmentation in tables.
Session Goals
  • To make people aware of the effects fragmentation can have upon performance.
  • To enable people to monitor fragmentation
  • To reduce the incidence of fragmentation by improving the layout and planning of a production database.
Speaker Bio: Bryan Oliver has over 20 years of industry experience, 11 of which were spent working primarily with SQL Server. Bryan is a SQL Server Expert focusing on performance tuning, back and restore best practices and general SQL Server issues. Bryan’s position allows him to work with some of the largest and most recognizable SQL database environments in the world. He is also a valued speaker at conferences such as SQL PASS Europe and SQL Server Summit. Born and raised in Australia, Bryan graduated from RMIT University in Melbourne and was an early adopter of SQL Server. Previously Bryan was a Vice President of R&D at Quest Software (so it says on his L1 Visa Application). He worked with a number of solutions, including LiteSpeed for SQL Server. Prior to joining Quest, Bryan was the vice president of research and development for Imceda Software.

Title: Big and Tall: When to Partition
Speaker: Kendra Little
Category: Indexing & Partitioning
Level: 200
Abstract: Does SQL Server's table partitioning feature offer performance improvements, manageability benefits, or both? Table partitioning is a significant investment: it's important to understand benefits and impacts of the feature to evaluate where it will be useful. This session will cover basic concepts of table partitioning. We'll discuss where the feature should be applied and required changes to schema. Special considerations for management of partitioned tables will be discussed, as well as required changes to application queries. Enhancements in SQL 2008 and later versions will be included.
Session Goals
  • Cover basic concepts of partitioning.
  • Discuss implications to schema for partitioning, focus on key and index choices.
  • Discuss query choices and changes when using partitioning.
Speaker Bio: Kendra Little has spent ten years nerding out on SQL Server. She likes performance tuning, automating processes, building SQL Reports, and (secretly) writing documentation. Kendra has a Masters in Philosophy and a salt shaker full of certifications, but all the best stuff she's learned lately has come from her smarty-pants colleagues and the SQL Server community. Read her blog at http://littlekendra.com.

Title: SQL Server Troubleshooting via DMVs
Speaker: Steve Schneider
Category: Monitoring/Auditing
Level: 200
Abstract: I will present the custom stored procedure I use first whenever an event happens on my 2005 servers. This presents a condensed view the server as drawn through DMVs. I will describe and drill through a SQL Server Troubleshooting Framework down to the DMV level, briefly scoping the tools available at the various levels of trouble detection. At the DMV level, we will focus on specific examples, discussing the selection of DMV-oriented queries and interpret the output in the context of real-life examples. There are four examples which i will walk thru and give the audience the chance to use what I have taught to solve the performance issue. Then, I will discuss the interpretation of the output and the underlying code that extracts that information.
Session Goals
  • Learn the value of DMVs to see into SQL.
  • Perceive the hierarchy of a troubleshooting technique.
  • Keep the audience interest via real-life example problems.
Speaker Bio: Steve Schneider has been a DBA for the city of Jacksonville for 5 years. He has been doing SQL work way longer than that. He is a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer and a Microsoft Certified Database Administrator. He has recently been focusing on performance tuning and security.

Title: Evaluate your Daily Checklist Against 100+ instances of SQL Server while you get a cup of coffee
Speaker: John Sterrett
Category: PBM
Level: 100
Abstract: You will walk away from this session with an understanding of how to use the Policy Based Management and Central Management Server to complete a daily checklist against your whole SQL Server farm. We will cover the basics to evaluate, monitor and apply best practice policies, which are included out of the box with SQL Server 2008. We will also make custom policies to cover additional best practices to evaluate daily checklist items. Finally, we will combine Policy-Based Management and Central Management Server with the Enterprise Policy Management Framework on codeplex to automate the monitoring process and create manager friendly reports to monitor your checklist items against the whole SQL Server farm.
Session Goals
  • You will be able to install, configure and run scripts against the Central Management Server
  • You will be able to use Central Management Server and/or Policy-Based Management to complete a daily checklist
  • You will be able to evaluate and build custom policies.
Speaker Bio: John Sterrett is a database administrator at Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe, an international law-firm, and is responsible for over 100 instances of SQL Server. John has been active within the SQL Server community, including hosting the first SQL Saturday in West Virginia. John also presented a lightning talk and chalk-talk at the SQL Server 2010 Member Summit, presented sessions at three SQL Saturday’s, and presented to the Pittsburgh SQL Server User Group. John is a syndicated blogger at SQLServerPedia and contributes tips at MSSQLTIPS. You can find his blog at www.johnsterrett.com

Title: Troubleshooting Performance Problems by Reading the Waits
Speaker: Eddie Wuerch
Category: Performance
Level: 100
Abstract: Start with a simple proposition: a process is either working or waiting. You can tune the working part, but are you seeing the whole picture? There are many different resources on which your process could be waiting – a lock, memory, disk, CPU, and much more. When a process must wait, SQL Server will log it. There are hundreds of different wait types, and they are a gold mine of data for finding and solving performance problems – and proving the changes worked. After attending this session, you will be able to gather wait stats and use them to zero in on performance issues affecting your databases. Session includes all scripts to get started, plus an overview of the most common wait types and ways to resolve the problems they indicate. Stop guessing, start knowing!
Session Goals
  • Describe what a 'Wait State' is, and what SQL Server tracks regarding them
  • Query, track, record, and analyze Wait Stats in SQL Server (scripts included in session download)
  • Use Wait Stats to identify and eliminate performance problems, and verify the fixes worked
Speaker Bio: Eddie Wuerch is a DBA, developer, and trainer specializing in SQL Server for over ten of the twenty years he has spent in IT. Eddie is currently the Principal Database Architect and DBA team lead at a leading SaaS company located in Indianapolis, Indiana.  Eddie and his team manage the many multi-terabyte 24x7 SQL Server database clusters that form the foundation of the application.  In addition to holding MCITP certifications in SQL Server 2005 and 2008 development and administration, Eddie is also Microsoft Certified Trainer, bringing his VLDB experience to developers and DBAs, delivering courses in SQL Server high availability, development, administration, optimization, and Reporting Services.

Title: Windows PowerShell Best Practices for SQL DBAs
Speaker: Ed Wilson
Category: PowerShell
Level: 100
Abstract: Windows PowerShell Best Practices for SQL DBAs Learn Windows PowerShell best practices as they apply to each stage of the script development lifecycle. See the differences between working interactively from the Windows PowerShell prompt, writing an inline script, adding basic function, advanced functions and finally the implementation of Windows PowerShell Modules. What is a local best practice for Windows PowerShell development is not the same as a global best practice, and this talk covers those differences.
Session Goals
  • Demonstrate ease of Windows PowerShell use
  • Illustrate that Windows PowerShell does not require script development
  • Illustrate how to transform Windows PowerShell commands into reusable modules by following the "script progression."
Speaker Bio: Ed Wilson is the Microsoft Scripting Guy and a well-known scripting expert. He writes the daily Hey Scripting Guy! blog. He has also spoken at TechEd and at the Microsoft internal TechReady conferences. He is a Microsoft-certified trainer who has delivered a popular Windows PowerShell workshop to Microsoft Premier Customers worldwide. He has written 9 books including 6 on Windows scripting that were published by Microsoft Press. He has also contributed to nearly a dozen other books. His Windows PowerShell 2.0 Best Practices book for Microsoft Press was recently published. Ed holds more than 20 industry certifications, including Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) and Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). Prior to coming to work for Microsoft, he was a senior consultant for a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner where he specialized in Active Directory design and Exchange implementation. In his spare time, he enjoys woodworking, underwater photography, and scuba diving.

Title: The Enterprise SQL DBA
Speaker: Scott Shaw
Category: Responsibilities
Level: 100
Abstract: Ever wondered what it takes as a DBA to successfully navigate the political and technical world of a large database environment? What do you do your first day on the job with more than 300 SQL servers and thousands of databases to manage? This sessions tries to answer these questions and shows how to manage very large database environments (+200 SQL Servers). We'll discuss management shortcuts, maintaining complex environments, and tightening security. We'll also discuss personal development and challenges like handling customers and vendors, project management, standardization, and job advancement. Who knows, you may even find out whether or not becoming a DBA in a large corporation is a career path you want to choose.
Session Goals
  • Help beginning DBAs understand the pros and cons of working in large corporate IT environments.
  • Gather ideas and best practices from other DBAs who already work in large environments.
  • Have fun and learn from each other.
Speaker Bio: After getting a Masters in Literature and realizing that there wasn't much use for more English professors, I self-studied and entered the IT field. I've recently went back to school and received a Masters of Science in Management Information Systems. I hope I can say I'm done with school for a long time. Nothing learned in school can compare with the support and learning gained from the SQL community! I have more than 7 years SQL experience and more than 10 years IT experience. Currently I am team lead for a great group of professional SQL DBAs who work hard to keep the hospitals running and the patients safe.

Title: Data Encryption and Key Management in SQL
Speaker: Said Salomon
Category: Security
Level: 200
Abstract: Overview of data encryptions and key management that is built into SQL 2005 and later. Topics that will be cover include: transparent column data encryption techniques, Transparent Data Encryption (TDE) new in 2008, use of keys (symmetrical and asymmetrical), what is a database master key, use of certificates in combination with key management, how to backup and safeguard keys.
Session Goals
  • Over view of encryption keys in SQL 2005, 2008
  • Understanding of the key management system in SQL 2005, 2008
  • Underline good practices in using encryption keys in SQL 2005, 2008
Speaker Bio: Said Salomon has over 25 year experience as an IT Professional. He has a vast array of abilities in the field in the areas of Network, Desktop Support, DBA, Staff Project Management, Application Software Development, Business Analysis and Quality Assurance. Said carries Microsoft certifications as a MCTS, MCPS, and MCNPS, and multiple certifications from the Insurance Institute of America. Current Said is a DBA at Unitrin Direct Insurance. Secretary of Philadelphia SQL Server User Group (PSSUG). I am also the SQL Track lead for the Philly Dot Net Code Camps.

Title: Page And Row Compression: How, When, and Why
Speaker: Bradley Ball
Category: Storage
Level: 300
Abstract: Page and Row Compression are powerful new tools. Vardecimal shipped with SQL 2005 SP2, Page & Row with SQL 2008 RTM, and Page & Row with Unicode Compression with SQL 2008 R2. Get an overview into how each version of compression works internally. Learn how your Allocation Units will determine if your data is a candidate for compression. Understand how your tables Update and Scan patterns affect the compression types you should consider. And what you should you take into consideration for additional overhead.
Session Goals
  • Explain what Row, Page Dictionary, and Column Prefix Compression are.
  • Learn how your Allocation Units and Update and Scan pattern’s affect the compression types you should consider
  • Discuss what additional overhead should be allowed for, when considering compression
Speaker Bio: Bradley Ball is a MCITP SQL 2005 & MCTS 2008 Database Administrator with over 10 years of IT experience. Bradley spent 8 years working as a Defense contractor for clients such as the U.S. Army and The Executive Office Of the President of the United States. He is currently a Sr. SQL Database Administrator for Publix Supermarkets. Bradley can be found blogging on http://sqlballs.blogspot.com .

Title: Understanding Storage Systems and SQL Server
Speaker: Wesley Brown
Category: Storage
Level: 100
Abstract: The most important part of your SQL Server is also the slowest, Storage. This talk will take you through the fundamentals of your server's Disk I/O System. From how hard drives work, through RAID configurations, and how to configure the file system. This session should give you a solid foundation over storage systems and help you understand why they are slow and how to overcome some of their limitations.
Session Goals
  • Understand the physical characteristics of IO hardware.
  • Understand the fundamentals of RAID.
  • Understand how to configure the file system.
Speaker Bio: Wes Brown is a PASS chapter leader and loves to teach others about SQL Server. He writes for SQL Server Central and maintains his technical blog at http://www.sqlserverio.com. Wes is Currently serving as Chief Database Architect for eScan Data Systems. Previous experiences include Product Manager for SQL Litespeed by Quest software and consultant to fortune 500 companies. He specializes in high availability, disaster recovery and very large database performance tuning.

Title: Deadlocking for Mere Mortals
Speaker: Jonathan Kehayias
Category: Summit Spotlight
Level: 200
Abstract: While troubleshooting deadlocking in SQL Server has gotten easier in SQL Server 2005 and 2008, it continues to be a constant source of questions in the forums online. This session will look at the most common deadlocks asked about on the forums, and how to troubleshoot them using the various methods available to DBA’s in SQL Server 2005 and 2008; including Trace Flags, SQL Trace, Event Notifications, and Extended Events.
Session Goals
  • Understand why deadlocks occur in SQL Server
  • Understand how to capture deadlock graphs in various SQL Server versions.
  • Understand how to read the deadlock graph to determine the specific cause and how to mitigate against the deadlock.
Speaker Bio: Jonathan Kehayias is a MCITP Database Administrator and Developer, who got started in SQL Server in 2004 as a database developer and report writer in the natural gas industry. After spending two and a half years working in TSQL, in late 2006, he transitioned to the role of SQL Database Administrator. His primary passion is performance tuning, where he frequently rewrites queries for better performance and performs in depth analysis of index implementation and usage. Jonathan blogs regularly on SQLBlog, and was a coauthor of Professional SQL Server 2008 Internals and Troubleshooting.

Title: The Dirty Dozen: PowerShell Scripts for the Busy DBA
Speaker: Aaron Nelson
Category: Summit Spotlight
Level: 300
Abstract: For DBAs PowerShell provides a simple but powerful way to automate everyday tasks. This session walks you through a dozen scripts to simplify and easily automate time-consuming and tedious elements of your day to day job. This isn’t stuff you’ll use SOMEDAY, these are scripts you can use when you get home tonight. Harness the power of PowerShell to easily find Servers short on space, Script out tables and constraints across all of your databases at once. Backup databases and restore them to a different environment. These tricks and many others will allow PowerShell to simplify your job like no other tool.
Session Goals
  • Simplify Administration
Speaker Bio: Aaron Nelson ( blog | twitter ) is a Senior SQL Server Architect with over 10 years of experience in Architecture, Business Intelligence, Development, and Performance Tuning of SQL Server. He has experience managing enterprise wide data needs in both transactional and data warehouse environments. Aaron holds certifications for MCITP: Business Intelligence Developer, Database Administrator, Database Developer; as well as MCTS: Windows Server Virtualization, Configuration (meaning Hyper-V). Aaron helps run the AppDev and PowerShell Virtual Chapters of PASS, and volunteers for the local PASS Chapter AtlantaMDF. He also co-runs the Atlanta PowerShell User Group, and helps organize SQL Saturday events in Atlanta.


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