I thought I would share with you some information about what presentations are being given by the Microsoft PSS SQL team next week at PASS:
Pre-Conference Seminar: The PSS Boot Camp
We did something last year in Texas and this past February in Barcelona called the PSS Boot Camp. I think Ken Henderson takes the credit for that name. This year we are expanding the Boot Camp to 2 days. Each day of the Boot Camp can be taken separately. Don't be afraid of the name. I don't think Bart Duncan or Keith Elmore will be barking out orders at the door or making any one do push-ups for asking a question. The intention is that we provide a full day's worth of practical information you can use. Generally the topics cover something to do with troubleshooting.
We have divided each day into separate subjects
Day 1 - Performance (Monday November 13th)
Everyone always wants to talk about performance so we know we will have an attentive audience. The day will be broken into 3 different talks by 3 different engineers.
Keith Elmore will be demonstrating an exciting new set of reports to be shipped around the time frame of SQL Server 2005 SP2 called the Performance Dashboard. Keith is one of the top engineers we have in PSS for SQL Engine Performance. I think attendees will enjoy seeing a fresh perspective on how to attack SQL Engine performance problems from this talk.
Bart Duncan will be following this up with a deeper dive into performance focusing on Query Performance. Keith is hoping to show you how to find a query or set of queries to focus on while Bart will follow-up with techniques once you have found that problem query. If you need to increase your knowledge about how to look at SHOWPLAN or understand why a particular query may not be using an optimal query plan, then come ready to take some notes.
The last talk of the day is on Replication Performance. The number one type of call into PSS for Replication is performance. So we are bringing in our expert to talk about it. Dan Shaver spends his sleepless nights thinking about Replication performance so we have asked him to share his knowledge during this session. Replication can be a complex system to understand but Dan provides a logical process to narrow down performance problems with its various components both for transaction and merge replication.
Day 2 - Storage Engine (Tuesday November 14th)
This day is also broken into 3 talks by 3 engineers who focus on the storage engine.
First, I'm going to provide a talk on BACKUP/RESTORE. Many of my previous PASS talks have covered how to recover data assuming you cannot use a backup. In the interest of promoting better use of BACKUP/RESTORE, I decided to devote a talk to the subject. This talk isn't so much about troubleshooting, although I will cover that. It is more an inside look at how BACKUP/RESTORE works. My hope is that attendees will understand better how to deploy backup/restore strategies by increasing knowledge about how it works.
Second, Suresh Kandoth will be discussing the internals of SQL Server Engine I/O. The Engine uses pretty sophisticated techniques to optimize I/O and Suresh will provide an under the covers looks on how it works. He will also be discussing important I/O auditing features like page checksum and some changes coming for SQL Server 2005 SP2. Understanding more about SQL Server optimizes I/O can help you when managing the hardware resources of your environment.
The last session of the day is on database mirroring. Mike Zawadzki has spent more time than anyone in PSS working with the SQL development team on database mirroring so we are bringing him into this session to share his experiences on an important part of the High Availability story for SQL Server.
Main Session Talks
This year PSS is presenting 4 talks during the main session schedule for PASS. We are pretty loaded up for the first day with 3 talks and 1 talk on Thursday.
Wednesday November 15th
DBA-310M: Interviewing SQLOS Developers About NUMA Design Considerations - 9:45am
Robert Dorr will be hosting a special session with the developers who built the SQL OS system for SQL Server 2005. In a unique interview format, Bob will be discussing the internals of how SQL Server 2005 takes advantage of NUMA architectures. Slava Oks, Sameer Tejani, and Santeri Voutilainen from the SQL Development team will be there for this interactive session
DBA-311M: SQL Server Plan Reuse and the Proc Cache - 1:30pm
Have you ever wondered why SQL Server may not be caching your queries or how the internals of the procedure cache work within the engine? Bart Duncan will be presenting a session that can help you optimize the execution of your application by understanding how to get better plan reuse.
DBA-400S: SQL Server 2005 Advanced Recovery - 4:30pm
I decided this year to go after a very deep discussion. In past PASS conferences, I have presented a talk called Practical SQL Server. It was pretty high level but I thought had many practical ideas on "things you can use". This time I still believe the presentation will cover "things you can use" but probably not things you use on a everyday basis. I'm going to discuss and show you techniques that PSS uses behind the scenes when you contact us on advanced types of cases. The talk makes assumptions about fundamental knowledge of the storage engine so be prepared for some fairly advanced discussions.
There can be no question that BI technologies are now becoming a very important part of the SQL Server product. So important that we are devoting a special session to talk about troubleshooting problems with one of the key BI products, Analysis Services. Cindy Gross will be discussing troubleshooting techniques used by PSS for connectivity and performance problems. If you want to stay ahead of managing your Analysis Services environment, come to this session so you can oearn how to solve your own problems.
My next post will be about our other invovlement (and perhaps most important) at PASS, the PSS Service Center. We have done this every year since 2003 and this year we have more troubleshooting labs than ever before. If you want to work with PSS 1:1 to see how we troubleshoot problems, you will not want to miss a visit to our Service Center.