SQL Pass–Day 2 Keynote

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Bill Graziano took the stage in a lovely green kilt, with proper socks. Talking about growth in PASS outside of North America. For those of you not directly involved, PASS has been making a big (and successful) push to grow regions particularly outside in Europe and Asia. Lori Edwards (twitter) is the winner of the 2011 PASSion award for outstanding volunteer. Bill discussing PASS financials. Revenue has grown 45% (mostly from Summit), and expenditures to chapters have grown by 105%.
Lots of hardware on stage. Quentin Clark, Corporate Vice President for SQL Server from Microsoft takes the stage, as we get videos of attendees discussing some of the benefits of the new features in SQL Server 2012. He will be talking about what’s coming in SQL Server 2012. Slide up with the vision–any data, any size, anywhere. Connecting the World’s data–I feel like Microsoft with it’s new Data Store, may be opening up to competing with Google on data.
SQL Azure is powered by SQL Server 2012 codebase. Integration Services as a server, HA for stream insight. Additionally, discussing SQL 2012 Always On. I’ll be blogging about that more here in the near future. Bob Harrison, VP of Interlink Transport Technologies, number two import/export in the world takes the stage to discuss, their HA solution. Discussed their Mission Critical systems running on SQL Server. Their primary databases in New York, DR is in New Jersey. They then discussed AlwaysOn Availability Groups which allow up to 4 readable copies of a database, and allows for database to be grouped together. Also, they displayed the availability monitoring solution.
Now showing reporting off a read only copy of the database–we could do this before with a snapshot of a mirror, but this is way better. This will probably be an Enterprise Edition feature (I have no NDA–this is just speculation on my part).
Talking about ColumnStore indexes–this a feature that flattens tables to improve performance. This is a big win for analytic workloads. He moved into PowerView and PowerPivot, some of the BI that integrate Excel, Analysis Services, and Sharepoint. These seem good, but don’t seem to happen much in the Fortune 500, as firms tend to stick with their ERP vendor for analytics.
Now talking about the BI Semantic model, and Data Quality. Just coming off of the SAP project, I’m curious to see of Data Quality Services (new in 2012) and Master Data Services can be a real competitor to Business Objects Data Services. Lara (@sqlgal) is demoing SharePoint reporting. She builds a columnstore index to try to improve performance on a slow running report. MDM allows mapping to Azure Data Marketplace, and will do data correction. I have to say–this looks better than BOBJ-DS. And it’s adaptive–it has an intelligent engine. After building a columnstore index, performance on the query goes from 47 seconds to .3 seconds.

We then see some of the data quality monitoring features that are baked into Master Data Services.

Talking about compliance–a subject that is near and dear to my heart about 9 years in health care. SQL 2012 has user-defined auditing, as well as user-defined server roles. Frankly, this has been a big hole in SQL for a while in my opinions (especially for my dev servers)

Distributed testing–this will allow for workloads to be tested. Discusses SCOM, and a cloud based Premier Mission Critical support services.
Now we move onto the PDW solutions. This is an appliance based solution, that is provided from HP or Dell, and allows for massively parallel processing. You work with an implementer and Microsoft to do this. Originally, it was really expensive, but now Microsoft is providing some options that may be suitable to smaller shops, especially with the Data Warehouse Appliance–these go from full racks all the way down to 1U. These devices only provide Network, Power and Security info. From the box to loading data, this a 20 minute process.

Shows the HP Database Consolidation Appliance–this can provide a big private cloud.

Talking about ODBC drivers to Linux, and Change Data Capture for SSIS & Oracle. These have been requested for a long time. Finally—seriously we’ve need this for 10 years now.
Micheal Rys took the stage to demonstrate a visualization based on the Semantic Search feature in 2012. Using a file table to do semantic search–this does language processing. He did a very good demo around and actually zoomed in on his code.
Next we saw how to deploy a DACPAC to Azure. Additionally, we can now backup Azure databases to Windows Azure storage. This should have been in SQL Azure from the beginning, and is a good feature add. Also, the data sync is moved into SSMS–again this should have been there sooner, I was using a tool from CodePlex for this functionality before. Discussing Federations in SQL Azure, which will allow your domain to be joined to MS–for Domain Based Authentication and Sharding. Microsoft renounced data sync, which will allow for actual DR scenarios in Azure.

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