SQL Saturday #21 – Orlando

I had the pleasure of heading down to Orlando this past weekend to attend the SQL Saturday #21 Conference.  This was the third SQL Saturday I’ve been to in Orlando and the second at which I’ve spoken.  This time I was able to come in the afternoon before and spend some time socializing with a number of the other speakers at the speaker / volunteer diner.  I got to have some nice long conversations with a number of people who I had not previously had the opportunity.  It is nice to see the level of camaraderie from the speakers, the volunteers and the attendees.  It was very interesting to listen to the range of conversations, to see how people were using their technology, and to hear what is in store for some of the organizations in which I am interested.  I am not 100% certain, but enough people tried to convince me of the uses of twitter throughout the DBA community that I might give it a try during the weeks I am in Seattle for the PASS Community summit.

Patrick Leblanc has wrangled a promise from me to speak at least once for his SQL Lunch series.  I have no clue when it is I will do a presentation or what on yet, but I’ll keep everyone posted.  In either case, I don’t imagine it will be before the new year.

For the first session I saw the SANS and SQL Server session by Kevin Boles.  I got some good information out of the session; unfortunately, I fall into the category Kevin mentioned of getting the choice of how much storage I would like but not much influence in how it is arranged or the configurations of the hardware and software in between the server and the SAN.  Kevin seemed to me to be very knowledgeable and friendly.  Apparently he turned the trip into a family vacation and was off to Disney shortly after his session ended.  Hope they had fun!

In the second slot I managed to catch Joe Webb’s session on Locking and Blocking Made Simple, which had been moved from its later time slot since Joe had a mid-afternoon flight to catch.  Last year at the PASS Summit I had a chance to see a few of Joe’s sessions as well as spending some time socializing with him at the forum  moderator get together.  Each time I see him speak I pick up a few things on topics I thought I knew pretty well.  This was an interesting and informative presentation.

For the third slot I went to see the Automating Routine Maintenance presentation by Ken Simmons.  Most of the scripts here are common sense.  There were, however, a few items that I hadn’t thought of before.  I do plan on implementing the database mail with the Alerts as presented here (and after lunch in the next session as well).  Overall this was a good presentation…. Even if I don’t agree with Ken about the usefulness of SSIS database maintenance plans.

Next, lunch was served.  It was catered by Jason’s Deli and I got a Roast Beef Sandwhich with cookie, and chips.  Pretty good food.  I don’t know if it was ten dollars good (the price that was charged to offset the costs of lunch), but it was good.  During lunch there was ample time to wander the courtyard for a bit and introduce myself to a couple of different people.  What can I say, I guess when you have Andy talking constantly about social networking and practicing your networking skills it rubs off a bit.

After lunch I went to see the End to End Troubleshooting Session by Kevin Kline.  Kevin is an excellent speaker and he led the group through the many layers of troubleshooting and how it is that he starts to track down where problems occur.  This reinforced my desire to dig in to the Perfmon and SQL Profiler more.  I have made my way through the first chapter of the Mastering SQL Server Profiler by Brad McGahee, but need to finish this out.  I know that I have certainly been using the tool more and more over the past year or so.

Finally, the last sessions of the day were set aside for my SSIS – A Beginning Framework presentations.  The session started out with a full room.  I am not certain if I drove people away or if the other sessions were too much of draw, but by the second session I was down to five or six people.  I know that I would have been tempted to head over to Joe Celko or Buck Woody’s sessions.  Patrick and Jack stated that their sessions were pretty sparsely populated, so I am not the only one.  Hopefully I was able to help people out.  As stated during the sessions, I plan on publishing some articles soon walking through the demos for importing the information from the Last Music solution.  As I do so I plan on explaining portions of the framework and how everything fits together.  As to the presentation, I will ensure that it is cleaned up and Andy should have it for posting shortly.

I didn’t get much SWAG… But I did get copy of a database benchmarking book which was autographed by Kevin Kline.  I also brought home a travel coffee mug for my wife.  This year, Andy decided that waiting for people to come up and accept the swag would take too long and began tossing the SWAG from the second story balcony into the waiting crowd.  Good Times!  My favorite piece had to be the Celko book that was written in Polish (?).  I mean, really?  SWAG in polish?  Fun stuff…

If anyone out there has yet to take the time to attend an SQL Saturday Conference, as always, they are highly recommended.  I can’t wait for the next one… Probably some time in late January in Tampa.

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