Sep 082016
 

ITnDevConnections_logo_TylerOptimized_236x59I’m happy to announce that I’m speaking at this year’s IT/Dev Connections conference held at the ARIA Resort in Las Vegas from October 10th – 13th.

The first session is to be held on Wednesday, October 12th, at 11:00am, and is titled “Business Continuity for Virtual SQL Servers“.

Session Abstract: Do your SQL Servers have a different high availability or disaster recovery strategy than the rest of the servers, and the differences cause some friction with the infrastructure admins? SQL Server provides many features for improving high availability and disaster recovery resiliency, and they continue to evolve and change with each release. However, do these strategies and features complement or conflict with the current infrastructure strategy? How do these layers work together to protect the business? What if you can augment (or possibly replace) a complex SQL Server BC solution with a simpler, but just as effective, solution using some of the virtualization features available in today’s virtualized environments? This session will discuss strategies for improving your SQL Server uptime while reducing the complexity of your overall SQL Server continuity strategy.

The second session is to be held on Thursday, October 13th, at 10:30am, and is titled “SQL Server Infrastructure Performance“.

Session Abstract: The compute infrastructure beneath your critical SQL Servers is just one layer in the application system stack, but if issues are rampant under your data, your database performance is guaranteed to suffer, and your end user application performance experience is sure to be poor. As a DBA, we are usually at the mercy of the groups managing this hidden layer, but it does not have to be this way. Learning more about these layers of the system stack – physical compute server, virtualization, storage, interconnects, and networking – will help you understand how the infrastructure responds to a query request, and will make you a stronger database professional. You can also indirectly (or even directly) measure the performance of these layers to gain critical insight into their peculiarities.

This conference should be a blast! Please register for this conference here, and make sure to get in early so we can meet up and talk about your virtual and cloud-based SQL Servers!

Sep 062016
 

ITnDevConnections_logo_TylerOptimized_236x59I’m proud to be speaking at this year’s IT/Dev Connections conference in Las Vegas during the week of October 10th! This conference is all about mastering various tools and products from Microsoft, and I’m delivering two sessions in the data platform track.

Business Continuity for Virtual SQL Servers

Wednesday, October 12 – 11:00 am – 12:15 pm

Do your SQL Servers have a different high availability or disaster recovery strategy than the rest of the servers, and the differences cause some friction with the infrastructure admins? SQL Server provides many features for improving high availability and disaster recovery resiliency, and they continue to evolve and change with each release. However, do these strategies and features complement or conflict with the current infrastructure strategy? How do these layers work together to protect the business? What if you can augment (or possibly replace) a complex SQL Server BC solution with a simpler, but just as effective, solution using some of the virtualization features available in today’s virtualized environments? This session will discuss strategies for improving your SQL Server uptime while reducing the complexity of your overall SQL Server continuity strategy.

SQL Server Infrastructure Performance

Thursday, October 13 – 10:15 am – 11:30 am

The compute infrastructure beneath your critical SQL Servers is just one layer in the application system stack, but if issues are rampant under your data, your database performance is guaranteed to suffer, and your end user application performance experience is sure to be poor. As a DBA, we are usually at the mercy of the groups managing this hidden layer, but it does not have to be this way. Learning more about these layers of the system stack – physical compute server, virtualization, storage, interconnects, and networking – will help you understand how the infrastructure responds to a query request, and will make you a stronger database professional. You can also indirectly (or even directly) measure the performance of these layers to gain critical insight into their peculiarities.

Register now for this great conference. I hope to see you all there!

Jul 292016
 

vmworld_2016

This year’s involvement in VMware‘s VMworld conference is up on the content catalog! I am extremely proud to announce my participation in the inaugural SQL Server workshop at this year’s VMworld US on August 27th. If your SQL Servers are running in a VMware environment, this course is critical to your success!

The first business critical applications and databases pre-conference workshop will cover all pertinent aspects of best practices for deployments and ongoing management of MS SQL Server running in virtualized infrastructure. This deep-dive full-day workshop will be delivered by VMware technical SQL Server specialists working in concert with world renowned external SQL Server and Virtualization experts, including me! The attendee will experience a workshop rich with technical content to include subjects such as vMotion for Failover Cluster Instances, Availability groups, SQLaaS with vRealize Automation and Site Recovery Manager. The content will be focused on best practices for design, implementation and management augmented with anecdotes of successful customer implementations.

SQL Server professionals, listen up. If your infrastructure admins are attending VMworld this year, please let them know about this course. Training them in the intricacies of the VMware platform as it relates to SQL Server, and having the training come from SQL Server professionals, is going to make your virtualization experience better.

AND – It’s not just SQL Server! A terrific Oracle on VMware session is being held on the same day as well. If you are running Oracle on VMware, I highly recommend your administrators head to this session as well!

I’m also presenting on a number of sessions during the main event!

Monster VMs (Database Virtualization) Doing IT Right – VIRT8290R – with Michael Corey

Databases by their very nature are Monster VMs. If Monster VMs are not virtualized properly, they will never perform well and can negatively impact the performance of other VMs on the hosts. In this presentation, we teach you how to properly virtualize Monster VM Databases. We will discuss why you virtualize, installation issues, how to architect for performance, the storage layer, the processor, memory considerations, and the network layer. Topics include NUMA, memory reservations, and how to avoid common mistakes. Lesson learned here help you optimize any workload you are virtualizing, with special emphasis on Monster VMs.

Performance Tuning and Monitoring for Virtualized Database Servers – VIRT7511 – with Thomas LaRock

Business-critical database platforms like Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server are among the last holdouts to enterprise virtualization, and the first to exhibit symptoms of infrastructure challenges. Is your VMware environment ready to accommodate them properly? Are your DBAs ready to virtualize them? Have you virtualized these, and now the DBAs complain about performance or lack of control? Successful virtualization of these platforms requires a different approach to virtualization than for other applications. The speakers will share their years of experience in virtualizing these data platforms so that you know how to validate your VMware environment for these systems and manage the performance properly. Scalability concerns will be addressed through discussions on scaling an individual database VM upwards and outwards as you manage the lifecycle of these database VMs. Key talking points will be presented so you can not only perfect the database virtualization from a technical level, but also from an organizational and people level by knowing how to convince the DBA that database virtualization — done right — is here to stay.

Running Business Critical Applications and the Software Defined Data Center on Hyper-Converged Infrastructure at the Speed of Flash – STO9607-SPO – with Patric Chang, Jase McCarty, Jason Pederson, and Nanjunda Somayaji

Virtualization has advanced beyond the hypervisor to include software-defined storage, hyper-converged infrastructure software (such as Virtual SAN), and workload migration across data centers and cloud services. This panel session will discuss how to take full advantages of evolving SDS and HCIS capabilities with new flash-enabled architectures, including a number of reference configurations and architectures running the most demanding business applications, OLTP databases and VDI workloads. Panel speakers will provide their real-world insights on key decision criteria to include when considering a flash-enabled HCIS or SDS technology, including performance, density, manageability, and financial considerations. Extensive opportunities for audience Q&A will be included in this session as well.

SQL Server on vSphere: A Panel with Some of the World’s Most Renowned Experts – VIRT7654 – with Denny Cherry, Niran Even-Chen, Allen Hirt, and Thomas LaRock

Learn from real-life experience about virtualizing the most demanding SQL Servers from some of world’s most renowned SQL Server experts! In this panel discussion, you also have the chance to ask your own questions about SQL Server on vSphere practices and get your answers from the SQL Server gurus.

Register for VMworld here!

Jun 282016
 

pass_2016_websiteI’m very honored to be speaking at the PASS Global Summit again this year in Seattle during the week of October 24th. I cannot convey just how much this means to me, as speaking at any event is a gift and a thrill, especially a conference like the PASS Summit!

I’m presenting two sessions on my favorite topic – the convergence of infrastructure and data.

The first is an all-day preconference training session on Tuesday, October 25th, entitled “The Complete Primer to SQL Server Virtualization“.

Abstract: Your SQL Servers are probably virtualized at this point, but do you feel you have lost that control over the infrastructure that you used to have when they were physical servers? Do the virtual SQL Servers “feel” slower after they were virtualized? When architected and managed with SQL Server in mind, this added layer will help improve the SQL Server’s availability and ability to change with the business, but only when executed properly.

The second general session is a rapid-fire deep-dive on the virtualization topic for those that cannot make the precon session, entitled “Virtual SQL Servers. Actual Performance.

Abstract: Virtualizing your business-critical SQL Servers should not imply that they will run slower than if they were physical. When properly architected and managed, virtual SQL Servers should be equally as fast as their physical counterparts, if not faster. However, if not properly constructed, silent and seemingly random performance killers can strike and significantly hurt your database performance.

This session is packed with many tips and tricks gained from years of experience for getting the most performance from your virtual SQL Servers. The major roadblocks to performance will be discussed and the knowledge gained will help you work with your infrastructure engineers so you can optimize the system stack for performance. Tools, techniques, and processes will be demonstrated to help you measure and validate the system performance of the key components underneath your data.

I really hope each and every one of you can make it to this conference. I’ve said it before, and I will undoubtedly say it again, that this conference is the best SQL Server conference of the year, and speaker or not, I will always make time to attend this event. The speaker lineup is amazing, and the education is world class. I cannot wait until then!

Nov 092015
 

PASS_2015_240x400Last week’s PASS Summit conference in Seattle, WA was incredible (as always). It’s my favorite tech event of the year, and I’ll never miss it. The SQL Server community is one of the strongest (and arguably the most tight-knit) technical community in the world, and the #sqlfamily comes together every year at this event. It’s a whirlwind of technical education and networking events.

The highlights of the week were immersing in that sense of a family reunion that we get at this event every year, plus getting the thrill of presenting the content that I love in front of a large and eager audience.

To start the week, Argenis Fernandez, Jimmy May, and myself gave an all-day preconference training session titled ‘The Complete Primer to SQL Server Virtualization‘ to a room of 90 folks. We had a blast! For those of you who did not receive my email with the attachments as promised, email me. Some emails bounced back.

Pike's Market - by Matt Slocum

Pike’s Market – by Matt Slocum

I also had a panel session called ‘Is Independent Consulting for Me?‘ on Friday morning with John Sterrett, Brian Moran, and Ben DeBow. We packed the room and had some fantastic questions from the attendees! Feel free to contact any of us for our experiences if you are seriously considering taking the plunge to go independent.

To round out the sessions on Friday, Ed Leighton-Dick and I gave a session called ‘How to Build a Virtual Home Lab‘ where we talk about the various methods you can use to build a test lab – from the smallest and least expensive local deployments to the crazy home lab that I have at my place. Let us know if you have any questions! We love to help empower people to learn in the convenience of their home at their own pace on the topics that they want to know more about (and we’re hardware geeks to boot!).

Friday night was a blast as well. To wrap up the week, we coordinated a small get together of folks for go-kart racing at K1 Speed Seattle.

K1 Speed Go Karting

K1 Speed Go Karting

Saturday a few of us also got out and explored Seattle with the Seattle Underground tour and then a trip to the Living Computer Museum. Take the time to see the sites while you’re in Seattle! It’s an amazing town!

Pike's Market Welcomes PASS

Pike’s Market Welcomes PASS

To the PASS organizers and volunteers: outstanding job! You all did another incredible job with the conference. You knocked it out of the park this year, and we look forward to seeing what you can do in 2016.

To the attendees: if you think you’re going to catch up on sleep at this conference, you’re not doing it right. the after-hours networking opportunities at this event are limitless, and the friendships will last a lifetime. Take the time to get to know folks outside of your comfort zone, because expanding your network is part of the #sqlfamily magic! Find the folks in person that you’ve been following on Twitter or reading their technical blog posts for years. Get to know them. Network with the vendors in the expo hall. Chat with random folks in the hallways. The discussions are always priceless!

Group Photo by Eve Acosta

Group Photo by Eve Acosta – Sumeet Bansal, Andy Yun, and Jon Shields

Build your own traditions while you’re here. The Tap House for end-of-day drinks seems to be a favorite of many. My favorite thing to do is to get up early on Saturday morning and go to Lowell’s in Pike’s Place Market to eat a quiet breakfast overlooking the waterfront. You get to see the city wake up, all while relaxing quietly with a cup of tea and out of the hustle of the city.

Seattle Waterfront

Seattle Waterfront

Just remember – there are no goodbye’s. I’ll see you all at the PASS Summit next year (or hopefully sooner)!

FYI – Don’t fly home Friday afternoon next year! Stick around for the afternoon sessions. They are worth it! Plus, for next year’s PASS Summit, I’m planning a new special event for Friday night for the group, so stay tuned!

Sep 102015
 

ITnDevConnections_logo_TylerOptimized_236x59Next week is the wonderful IT/Dev Connections conference in Las Vegas, and I’m proud to announce that I’m presenting two sessions! The conference is being held at the ARIA Resort and Casino from September 14-17.

The first session is Benchmarking Your SQL Server Environment, located in Bluethorn 4 on September 15 from 11a-12:15p. I’m co-presenting this session with Ben DeBow from Fortified Data.

What do you do when a user reports that “the database is slow again”? Do you run the user’s queries to see how the database is working? How do you try to track down the issues your users report? Wouldn’t you like to quickly whip out some performance numbers and review the platform to see if anything is amiss? This informative session will show you how to eliminate the subjectivity in the performance of your mission-critical SQL Server systems and replace it with objective performance metrics. Benchmarks and baselines can help you quickly find any performance anomalies in the environment, plus help you project performance and capacity into the future. Tools, techniques, and scripts will be shared and demonstrated.

The second session is called Handle with Care: Virtual SQL Servers, and is located in Bluethorn 5 and 6 on September 16th from 1:15-2:30p.

Maintaining the performance of a mission-critical SQL Server system during the virtualization process is different from less resource-intensive applications. Practices and processes that have worked for years for less-complex applications can detract from the performance of a large database server; but why? This hypervisor-agnostic session will explore the reasons why SQL Server is so hard to successfully virtualize and give you many strategies for working through each challenge to get the most performance out of your virtualized SQL Server systems. We’ll present tips and tricks for solving performance problems at each layer: storage, interconnects, hypervisor, VM, OS, and SQL Server. If you manage at least one virtualized SQL Server system in your environment, this session is for you!

I hope to see all of you at the conference, and if you have a SQL Server virtualization, performance tuning, or infrastructure question that you want to talk one-on-one with at the conference to discuss any challenges you’re experiencing, drop me a line and let’s meet up!

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