Real World SQL Server 2008: Inside the Olympics Video Monitoring Project

This summer I had the pleasure of teaming up with Eric Schmidt, Director of DPE's Media and Advertising Initiatives team, to provide a set of monitoring services around the Silverlight 2.0 online broadcast event of the 2008 Summer Olympics at  It was the coolest thing I've worked on in quite some time, and gave me the opportunity to deeply exploit lots of new features in SQL Server 2008 to build a massively scalable web based monitoring system that helped the NBC operations team at 30 Rock detect, diagnose and resolve issues affecting user experience.

The project was a big success from a lot of different perspectives, and we learned an awful lot doing it.  If you are interested in learning more, check out the following PDC 2008 session at

BB07 SQL Server 2008: Developing Large Scale Web Applications and Services

I co-presented this session with my colleagues Jose Blakeley, Partner Architect with the SQL Server Engine team, and Hala Al-Adwan, VP of Data at MySpace.   Jose was the principle presenter and talked about how with some careful engineering, SQL Server 2008 can be used to build and deploy massively scalable web applications.  My presentation focused on the Olympics project as a case study for messaging design patterns to achieve massive scale, and Hala's presentation focused on data partitioning to achieve massive scale. My demo focuses on the SQL Server 2008 backend architecture for the monitoring system.  You can download a recording of the entire session here.

To learn about the client piece of this project, including Silverlight 2.0 instrumentation, check out the following PDC 2008 presentation at

PC39 Inside the Olympics: An Architecture and Development Review

In this talk, my Platform Evangelism colleagues Eric Schmidt and Jason Suess will discuss the project as a whole.

I plan to do some blogging on some key discoveries I made as I worked on this project so stay tuned.

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