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Enterprise Database Administration & Deployment Track

The following sessions were chosen to be presented at PASS SQLRally Nordic 2011. Click on the links to view specific abstracts or scroll down to see them all:



Selected Sessions


Title: RoboDBA
Speaker: André Kamman

How do you manage a large environment? I was a DBA for more than 400 instances.

I was a DBA for more than 400 instances.

• Did I do all that by myself?
• Was the whole environment standardised ?
• Did nothing ever go wrong?
• Did I look through all the error logs on a daily basis by hand? 

Of course the answer to all these questions is a big fat NO. I'll explain how managing a large environment like this works, and I'll do it in such a way that even if you have 5 instances, this should still be useful. Expect 50% processes and war stories and 50% scripts and demos (lots of PowerShell of course, but not everything).











Title: Using Correlated Tracing to Diagnose Query Level Performance
Speaker: Jerome Halmans

Diagnosing production issues affecting Microsoft SQL Server can be difficult and time consuming. Determining whether the problem lies in the client or the server adds even more difficulty.  With SQL Server code name “Denali”, diagnostic capabilities have been enhanced with Extended Events and integration with Data Access Trace. These enhancements provide the capability to trace requests from clients to the lowest levels of SQL Server, find resource contention and determine what is really slowing down your queries. 
This talk will focus on using the diagnostic capabilities of Extended Events, which provides visibility into the internal operations of SQL Server and how these capabilities can be combined with client traces to pinpoint the source of production issues.








Title: Making the GUI work for you
Speaker: Tibor Karaszi
Abstract: Many of us have a love-hate relationship with the GUI, SQL Server Management Studio primarily. After teaching SQL Server for two decades, I see people struggle with the GUI, but at the same time are dependent on it. The purpose of this presentation is to describe how you have a conflict-free relationship with the GUI, forgive and work around its weaknesses and take advantage of its strengths.







Title: Make my day, Distributed Replay
Speaker: Raoul Illyés & Erling Skaale
Abstract: Stress testing a system from a DBA´s perspective has almost been impossible using the old replay functionality that came with the profiler since it was limited to only be able to replay workload from a single host. In Denali, Distributed Replay is a new multi-threaded replay utility that removes this limit by allowing you to spread the workload of the replay utilizing multiple servers. In this session you see first-hand how the whole distributed replay process works, how to do pre-upgrade stress testing and finally produce some understandable results.







Title: The Grade of Steel
Speaker: Thomas Kejser
Abstract: Having conqueried the bulk API and hit 16M rows/sec, we turn our eyes to other workloads to see just how hard we can push SQL Server before it breaks. In this session, I will take simple SQL statements, the stuff you write every day, and bump up the scale until things start breaking. I will attempt to answer questions like - How fast can you read rows from SQL? - How many INSERT statements can you run per sec - Is UPDATE really so bad? - How does index build scale? - And how fast can you build a Denali column store? - Just how many IOPS can you squeeze out of a modern machine running Windows? (Give those SAN guys something to think about) - Just how fast can you table scan from disk? (and how do you test it?)








Title: How to establish a Service Level Agreement (SLA)
Speaker: Thomas Grohser
Abstract: 100% availability, high performance, zero data loss, ... Every manager wants that from us DBA's and of course on an almost zero budget. Learn how to define a real SLA, get a grip on what's possible and what is impossible to do and guarantee in a SLA. A Realistic SLA will protect you and your company from unpleasant surprises. See how including non SQL Server topics in the SLA will help you to negotiate more realistic terms.







Title: Database hidden disasters and planning against them
Speaker: Feodor Georgiev
Abstract: There are many techniques which deal with a disaster that has already happened, but how much better would it be to avoid disasters altogether? In my opinion, proactive disaster prevention is a back-breaking yet rewarding process. While understanding your databases and knowing what to expect 3-5 years down the road may seem like a low priority and taggering effort, the concepts and techniques presented in this session aim at making it easier and more accessible to both seasoned DBAs and a broad range of IT professionals. By the end of this session the audience, regardless of its expertise, will have grasped the concepts of proactive disaster prevention concerning databases.









Title: Knowing the Internals, Who Needs SQL Server Anyway?
Speaker: Mark S.Rasmussen
Abstract: You're stuck on a remote island with just a laptop and your main database .MDF file. The boss calls and asks you to retrieve some data, but alas, you forgot to install SQL Server on your laptop. Luckily you have a HEX editor by your side! In this level 500 deep dive session we will go into the intimate details of the MDF file format. Think using DBCC Page is pushing it? Think again! As a learning experiment, I've created an opensource parser for MDF files, called OrcaMDF. Using the OrcaMDF parser I'll go through the primary storage mechanisms, how to parse page headers, boot pages, internal system tables, data & index records, b-tree structures as well as the supporting IAM, GAM, SGAM & PFS pages. Has your database suffered an unrecoverable disk corruption? This session might just be your way out! Using a corrupt & unattachable MDF file, I'll demo how to recover as much data as possible. This session is not for the faint of heart, there will be bytes!










Title:  Learn about the Database Consolidation Appliance
Speaker: D. Britton Johnston & Mark Mortimore
Abstract: In this session you will learn the key features of the Database Consolidation appliance, the new software, hardware integration, performance, HA as well as the deep engineering work needed to tune and enhance database specific management virtualization capabilities. This appliance is an ideal solution to consolidate hundreds or thousands of database instances, that offers also the benefits of a private cloud infrastructure like resource pooling, self-service provisioning, elasticity and control.







Title: ColumnStore Index in action
Speaker: Silvano Coriani
Abstract: How much faster queries can run using a ColumnStore index? How do these indexes make queries run so fast? These are common questions that customers and partners are asking since this new technology emerged in the first Denali CTPs. In this session we'll talk about how the technology works and what kind of queries will benefit from this new index type, trying to understand why batch mode processing have to do with that and which best practices are emerging from early customer experiences on real world data.

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Welcome to PASS SQLRally Nordic 2011!

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