SQL Rally 2012 recap

Getting back into the swing of things, I thought I would post my thoughts about how SQL Rally 2012 went along with sharing some of the experiences.  I had posted before about what our presence would be like at Rally.  You can read that here

I didn’t get to attend last years SQL Rally, so I guess I was a first timer to Rally.  It was definitely a smaller scale.  Didn’t seem to have the full presence that PASS Summit does, but that is to be expected.


The Support team had 4 sessions that were highlighted in the previous post.  We had a great showing to all 4 sessions and they were well received.  Even if one of them had some demo issues (I won’t say who that was…  /frown).  Unfortunately, the sessions were not recorded.


SQL Clinic



We have been doing the SQL Clinic has a great history with PASS.  It has evolved from labs to what it is today over the years.  This is really the chance for people to interact with Microsoft directly via the SQL CAT team and the SQL Support Team.  Thursday was slow from my perspective.  I think part of this was the fact that, while we were advertising the SQL Clinic pretty heavily, I don’t know that people really knew what it was and that Microsoft was available to answer questions.  We changed some of our advertising throughout Thursday and in our Sessions on Friday.  Friday had a much better showing and we had some great conversations.

We heard a lot of positive comments about the Clinic and I really hope that it was helpful for the people that we talked with.  I also hope that it helped to build some relationships. While the Clinic is primarily a technical function, it is also a networking function.  We did have a few people stop by just to introduce themselves.  I also had a few conversations about what it is like to work in Support.


A taste of the Clinic:


1. SQL Server 2005 32 bit running ~250+ databases having some issues on a 32bit version of Windows 2003 with 4GB of memory.

My first response was “Are you having memory issues?”

2. Questions around the new AS Tabular Model/PowerPivot/BISM and how it will work going forward

3. An OLAP 2000 Cube processing data from SQL 2005.  The Relational database was upgraded to SQL 2008 and now the Query Plan is huge when doing the processing

This led into a discussion about updating statistics and looking at indexes after upgrading from 2005 to 2008

4. Several questions relating to Merge Replication

5. Several questions around SSIS

Thanks to Tim Mitchell (Twitter | Blog) for assisting.  #SQLFamily


One of the best comments I saw about the SQL Clinic was the following Twitter post from Nancy Wilson (Twitter | Blog)


We also had a few questions about how to get more involved in the SQL Community and with things like PASS.  The best advice I can give to that is to get on Twitter if you aren’t already on.  The SQL Community uses Twitter heavily and if you want to know what is going on, that is the place to find out.




image  image




Other Pictures:

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Thanks to Tim Mitchell (Twitter | Blog) for some of the photos.

Also special thanks to PASS and the local NTSSUG group for helping us put this together. 


Adam W. Saxton | Microsoft Escalation Services

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