Aug 202014
 

VMWorld-blogCan you believe that this year’s VMworld conference is just around the corner? It’s next week – August 24 – 28 – at the Moscone Center in San Francisco!

If you have never been to VMworld before, it’s an amazing event. VMware has a great guide for first-timers on their site for you to reference so you can get the most out of the conference. The schedule is intense and participating in the sessions and surrounding events will really help you immerse yourself in the VMware ecosystem and community.

The full content catalog is live here. Below are some of the sessions that I think you should check out if you are interested in or work with the convergence of databases and virtualization technologies.

BCO1296 – A Blueprint for Disaster Recovery of Business Critical Applications (SAP, Oracle, SQL & Exchange)

VAPP2979 – Advanced SQL Server on vSphere Techniques and Best Practices

STO3008-SPO – Decoupled Storage: Practical Examples of Leveraging Server Flash in a Virtualized Datacenter

BCO3028-SPO – Designing Virtual Environments for Efficient Recovery and DR

INF1420 – Extreme Performance Series: Understanding Virtualized Memory Management Performance

INF1469 – Extreme Performance Series: Monster VM Performance

INF2427 – DRS : Advanced Concepts, Best Practices and Future Directions

VAPP2305 – Extreme Performance Series – Understanding Applications that Require Extra TLC for Better Performance on vSphere – Deep Dive

INF1972 – Managing Database Size Growth for vCenter Server

VAPP2389 – Use Storage Virtualization to Protect Business Critical Functionality with vSphere and Oracle Extended Distance Clusters

I’ll be floating about the conference all over the place, and feel free to contact me if you want to meet up! No matter what, not only enjoy the conference but enjoy the festivities around it tooI hope to see you there!

Aug 132014
 

vbrownbag

Next Wednesday, August 20th, at 7:30pm Central I will be presenting a webinar for the Professional VMware #vBrownBag entitled “SQL Server Virtualization for VM Admins“. The #vBrownBag webinar series covers a number of VMware-related topics, and I am very pleased to be able to present my session to the group.

This webinar goes into great detail on how virtualization professionals can stop fearing the resource consuming SQL Server platform and virtualize them as painlessly as possible. Performance data collection, host validation, proper VM design, and SQL Server configuration best practices, tips, and tricks are to be presented. Best yet, a solid approach on how to discuss virtualization with your DBAs will be presented, so that you can talk with your DBAs and get them excited about virtualizing their mission-critical database systems!

To register for this free webinar, simply click here. I look forward to seeing you on this webinar!

Aug 072014
 

SQL Server CentralI’m proud to announce that yesterday the first installment of my new Stairway series at SQL Server Central has been released – Stairway to SQL Server VirtualizationVirtualization is becoming more and more common, and without an understanding how virtualization works, the DBA will have blind spots when attempting to resolving performance issues, such as reduce resource contention, or improve the backup and restore operations, and so on.

The first Level in this series answers the questions surrounding just what is virtualization, and how does it relate to SQL Server DBAs. The differences that it makes in terms of day-to-day operations, high availability, agility, and standardization are all discussed.

I hope you enjoy reading this article, and stay tuned for more Levels coming soon!

Jul 242014
 

Today I presented a fun session for the SQL PASS Performance Virtual Chapter’sSummer Performance Palooza 2014” entitled “Infrastructure Tuning for SQL Server”.

Abstract: Mention SQL Server performance to any DBA, and the impulse is to dive headfirst into the database and queries. However, if the infrastructure underneath the data is your performance bottleneck, the time spent tuning at the database layer is usually in vain. Server hardware, operating system parameters, storage, interconnects, and networking will all be discussed in depth in terms that DBAs can relate to. Practical architecture guidelines and troubleshooting techniques will be presented so you can analyze your environments and see if your performance bottlenecks are where you think they are.

The slides for today’s session are available for you to download here, and the recording – as well as all of the other session recordings – will be available at performance.sqlpass.org within the next week. Thank you all for attending, and I look forward to the next time!

Jul 032014
 

If it were not for the SQL Server community, I would not be where I am at with my career today. Period.

Some of you know me personally but a lot do not. I come from a hard-working family of teachers and educators. We’ve had our struggles over the years, just like any other family, but we always push hard (sometimes to a fault) to try to make our dreams a reality.

Ever since I was in grade school, I knew I was a geek. I got my first computer when I was five, and built my first computer for my parents when I was nine. I was building networks when I was in middle school. I loved technology but always got a thrill out of being able to put it to use to solve problems. But, there’s the conundrum that was always in the back of my head. When you are a technologist, how can you cross that chasm into the business world?

About eight years ago I discovered the SQL Server community through the very first Omaha SQL Server Users Group meeting that John Morehouse (t | b | l), a great friend of mine, first launched. It was an incredible experience, and because of the fantastic sense of community that the first meeting brought me, I decided to become the best SQL Server professional that I could be. I really enjoyed the technology, but the community was the biggest factor. The community accepted me for the person that I am in ways that non-techie groups wouldn’t understand.

Somewhere around this time I had a few jobs that were up and down and kept me on the tech side. I wanted more ability to make a positive difference on business and people. But how? How can a tech make any sort of impact? Making the impact helps to cross the bridge. Fortunately, the community helped to steer me along the right path.

About three years ago I decided that it is time to start giving back, and struggled to find the avenues to do so. I never thought I would enjoy it until I played a bit part to help coordinate the first SQL Saturday in Nebraska back in 2010. I had always been the person to quietly get the job done but never one to be in front of people. I think the teacher part of my upbringing came out for the first time with my SQL Saturday session at that first event. I found that giving back helped me feel more complete. Giving back helped me feel like I could make a difference. And it grew from there…

My commitment to the SQL Server and other technical communities that I am a part of is simple. You helped originally steer me in this direction. You helped mentor and guide me over the years. You supported me when I launched my own consulting company in ways that continue to astound and amaze me. I want to give you everything that I can in return. I want to help others any way that I can.

Today I am honored and humbled to be awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award for my efforts in the SQL Server community over the years. To have Microsoft acknowledge the work that I have done is incredible and amazing and very much appreciated, but the impact to the communities and people, and the friends that I have made for life as a result, is the best reward.

#SQLFamily – This award is for you, because of you. As my friend Argenis Fernandez wrote so eloquently a few days ago, now the real work begins for those of us who were selected for this award, past and present. But it does not have to just be me or the other folks who are visible in the community today. Speak at community events. Blog. Tweet. Nominate anyone you know that is an unsung hero in this community for MVP. Continue to grow the community participation and give back. You never know how fulfilling that it can be unless you give it a shot!

microsoft mvp wide

Jun 302014
 

2014_header_logoThe SQL PASS Summit 2014 community sessions were recently released. I’m very pleased and honored to announce that I will be presenting a 75-minute session entitled “Right Sizing Your Virtual Machine” at the Summit this November. It’s a topic that I spend many hours a week on in my professional duties with my company, and I am very excited about sharing the fundamentals of the topic and the methodology that I use to perform a right-sizing analysis on a SQL Server virtual machine. If you have a virtualized SQL Server anywhere in your environment – this topic will matter to you.

Abstract: Virtualizing your top-tier production SQL Servers is not as easy as P2V’ing it. Sometimes allocating more resources to the VM (Virtual Machine) is the wrong approach, and getting it wrong will silently hurt performance. What is the most effective method for determining the “right” amount of resources to allocate? What happens if the workload changes a month from now? Join this session and find out!

The methods for understanding the performance of your mission-critical SQL Servers gathered over the past ten years of SQL Server virtualization will be addressed, and valuable processes for performance statistic collection and analysis will be displayed. Come learn how to properly “right-size” the resources allocated to a VM, improve the performance of your SQL Servers, and keep it maximized well into the future.

If you did not get selected for the Summit this year, don’t fret. Keep up the great work in the community and keep submitting. Refine your topics and speaking style at various events, like SQL Saturdays, PASS Virtual Chapter presentations, or SQL Server user group sessions. All of the experience adds up, and with the right presentation background, topic, and some luck, we’ll all be speaking there next year.

I really hope that you are able to attend the Summit this year – and every year after. I consider it the most professionally important conference of the year for any SQL Server professional. Attending the conference over the last three years has changed my career and my life in a number of fantastic ways, and it can do the same for you.