The problem with SQL Saturday…

The problem with user conferences is that they usually leave me with a slight case of ADD the following Monday.  So much stuff, I have to try it all NOW!!!  SQL Saturday #75 this past weekend in Columbus was no exception.  There were some really good presentations and for a couple time slots it was tough choosing which one to attend.  Here’s a very brief recap of the sessions I went to.

Baseline Basics – Erin Stellato (blog|twitter):  This was a really informative presentation, a lot of information.  I’ve done baselining in the past using Perfmon and, more recently, Powershell.  But the best part of this presentation was the second half where Erin discussed analytical methods.  I’m looking forward to checking out PAL (Performance Analysis of Logs).  In fact, I’m running a Perfmon baseline right now just so I can check it out.  There’s also ClearTrace  for analyzing Profiler traces.

SANs and SQL Server – Kevin Boles (twitter):  I really need to get more involved in the hardware configuration of our database servers.  Ours is an environment where the “SAN guys” only want to know how much disk you need and where you want it attached.  The DBAs don’t have much more input beyond that.  That needs to change.

Build your own SQL Server Cloud – Sarah Barela (blog|twitter):  Externally hosted clouds didn’t allow Sarah the kind of control she wanted over the environment, so she decided to build her own.  In this session she provided a somewhat high-level overview of what the requirements were for her cloud and how she accomplished them using Hyper-V, mirroring, resource governor etc.

SQL Server Partitioning – Kevin Boles:  A good overview of partitioning, some best practices, and some shortcomings.  To date we have not used partitioning here, but this is good information for our datawarehouse team.

The 4-hour DBA – Sarah Barela:  This one was about automating the tasks you perform regularly and also partly about letting go of some of the control over your environment.  I know, that last part can make a DBA squirm.  I was hoping Sarah would provide more concrete examples and/or scripts, so I was a little disappointed, but it did get me thinking about the tasks I personally hate doing and how I can automate some of them.

WIT Lunch – Sarah Barela, Jen Myers (blog|twitter), Erin Stellato and Jes Borland (blog|twitter):  This was a very interesting discussion on how to encourage more young people (not just girls/women) to consider a career in technology.  Good stuff.

But I think the best part of this SQL Saturday was meeting and speaking with such wonderful people.  There was a discussion after the event about how supportive the SQL Server user community is and how unique they are (or seem to be) in that respect.  Where else do you have people giving up their personal time, be it evenings at user group meetings, or whole Saturdays (whole weekends for some out-of-towners) to help their colleagues improve their skills?  It’s fantastic!

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