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.