(I seem to say this after every PASS Summit. Every year has been better than the last. What will next year bring? I am excited to find out!)
The first part of the week, I attended the Microsoft MVP Global Summit from Sunday to Tuesday. The details of the Global Summit and the topics that we covered are all unfortunately under NDA, but rest assured, I am very excited for the future of the products that I have dedicated this portion of my career to.
Tuesday evening to Friday was the PASS Summit 2014 at the Seattle Convention Center, the largest SQL Server conference of the year. My goals were simple – network, present, and network some more.
We had a blast meeting everyone that stopped by the booth! I thoroughly enjoyed the varied conversations around virtualization migrations, performance tuning, and rubber chickens.
The largest presentation that I’ve had so far was Wednesday at 1:30pm. Have you ever had one of those moments where you stop what you are doing and “is this really happening” starts going through your head? I had this moment when I was approaching the doorway for the room where I presented the session. The room had all six doors open and I saw nothing but chairs covering the entire view. I had to stop and pause for a moment because of the wave of emotion. Exhilarated… excited… humbled… Nothing clearly describes how I felt. It was a very surreal moment. When I walked through the room and onto the stage about 45 minutes early, this is the view I saw.
This session, “Right-Sizing Your Virtual SQL Server”, was presented to solid attendance in one of the very large conference rooms. It was also broadcast live to the world on the streaming video page at PASStv, which you can watch here. That’s no self-imposed pressure at all, right? The audience and I had a fun time with the 75-minute session going through all of the nuances of why and how virtual SQL Servers should be “right-sized” to maximize the performance and consolidation. The attendees were engaged and energetic, and asked some wonderful questions throughout the session. I really appreciate each and every one of you who came to see me speak!
It was in this session that I announced my company’s intention to release a product that can run in the background on a physical or virtual SQL Server and determine an approximate number of virtual CPUs and memory allocation for the server. I am proud to announce that it will be available for FREE. If you would like to sign up to become a beta tester once it is ready to release, please sign up by just sending me a quick message with your email address at the contact me page here.
Throughout the week, I attended a number of great gatherings after hours. Denny Cherry, SQL Sentry, Fortified Data, SIOS, and others all had some fantastic gatherings at venues near the convention center. Your contributions to community building are much appreciated! We all had a blast, and you helped us all stay out WAY too late most evenings!
On Friday at 4pm I presented another session entitled “Achieving Top Performance with your Virtual SQL Servers” to a great group of die-hard attendees in the last session block of the conference. Being the last session of the conference, I was going to be genuinely thrilled if a single person showed up, but much to my amazement, the room was mostly full! You all were great. The interaction level was high, the questions top notch, and I wanted to keep going until midnight to make sure that I had everyone’s questions answered.
Saturday morning wrapped up the week with a nice, quiet breakfast at Pike’s Market overlooking the waterfront and friendly banter with a few friends from the #sqlfamily. I did not want the week to end. I spent the rest of the day on two uneventful flights back to Omaha.
The week of this conference is the most amazing week of the year for me, and I am going to attend this conference each and every year going forward. This event is created by the SQL Server community, for the community, which is quite unique in the tech field. For those of you who have never been, or are looking for the best SQL Server ecosystem training in the world, I cannot stress enough the value of this conference. You should leave the conference with at least three things that will directly improve something you are working on or manage in your environments. The friends you make will last a lifetime. The professional contacts will help you when you’re in a bind in your business.
As for next year, the next PASS Summit is back in Seattle on October 27-30, 2015. I can’t wait to see you all there!