PASS Summit 2010 – Seattle


After attending my first PASS Summit in 2009 I have managed to convince the powers that be, including my wife, that I need to go there this year.

If you haven’t attended the PASS Summit before or only know the European Summit), then you need to go to one of them.  They are invaluable resources, that pay for themselves through the contacts that you can make.  The hardest part (for me at least) is to talk to new people, but most people are in the same boat so just go for it.  The worst thing that can happen is that someone doesn’t want to talk to you!

It is going to be a little hectic for me this time round.  My brother is getting married on the Friday before the Summit, so I will be flying to England for the wedding, getting up at 07:00 to then drive down to London, to fly back to Germany.  The flight to Seattle is then on Sunday 11:30-ish from Amsterdam.  If I’m lucky, I will manage to stay awake from Amsterdam to Seattle, so I can get on local time a bit quicker. Trans-Atlantic flying really kicks you around the head!

I hope to catch up with a couple of people that I met last time, but would love to meet up with new people too.

See you there!

Training day in Cologne


I recently mentioned that Brent Ozar was presenting in Germany.  Well, that was today!

I found myself in a swanky office block in Cologne at 09:30 with about 25 other SQL Server professionals.  Brent was much “fresher” than I imagined after his trans-atlantic flight on the weekend.  I know that I felt rough the first few days of the PASS Summit, so hats off to him.  He was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, either he travels well or his coffee was really strong!

He kicked off with his“Performance Tuning for Race Car Drivers” presentation.  This was followed by “Top 10 Developer Mistakes that Won’t Scale” and finished off with “Virtualization and SAN Basics for DBAs”.  The first two were presentations that I had seen on webcasts, where the third was totally new to me.  Although I had seen the videos, I still took away a lot of information that I could not get from the webcasts.  The possibility of clarifying a point then and there makes the learning experience much better.

I will be booking some time with my SAN and Virtualization Admin in the next few weeks.  I know he is good, and want him to teach me about our EMC SANs and VMWare environment.  Brent implied that the phrase “Trust, but verify” was very important when working with SAN and virtualization, because SAN/VM Admins basically lie to us DBAs! :o)

Luckily my SAN Admin understands and supports my decision to dedicate my SAN hardware for the database systems and has shown me that they are blocked from general use.  I even managed what Brent mentioned today: I got him to use SQLIO to test his LUN configurations before putting a new SSAS system on them.  He managed to spot a problem(bad RAID choice) and fix it before it became an issue.

In conclusion, I think the audience interaction at live events makes Brents already good presentation skills even better.  He quickly answers questions and tries to connect the answer to the topic that is being discussed.  Added to this, the limited size of the audience today made it that bit easier to follow him and get questions answered, that I may not have wanted to ask in a room full of 200+ strangers (I have to work on that before November – PASS Summit ;).

It was well worth the 5 hour round trip and I will be keeping my eyes open for any other oportunities to take part in something similar.

Brent Ozar Presenting in Germany!


Quest software are offering two training days on the 22.06 (Cologne) and 23.06 (Berlin) in Germany: http://www.quest.com/events/listdetails.aspx?contentid=11498&technology=34&prod=&prodfamily=&loc=

Brent Ozar (www.brentozar.com) will be presenting on three topics, and it looks like it will be really good.

The best part of it, Quest is offering the entire thing for free (food & drink included)!  So if you haven’t signed up, do so ASAP.

See you in Cologne.

UPDATE: You can find a round up of the training day here