PASS Summit 2014—My Sessions and Free the Comments

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This week, I had the honor of being selected to speak at the 2014 PASS Summit in Seattle, WA this coming November. As always, the program committee did an excellent job of combing through a ton of submissions. I was graced with two sessions this year—one is called “Building Your Second Datacenter Disaster Recovery in Microsoft Azure”, and the other is “Building Perfect SQL Servers, Every Time” (I’m noticing a trend here about building stuff)

For the Azure session, I started last year (at spoke at last year’s summit on the topic) of using a hybrid model for building an Always On Availability Group. At the time, the process was complex and fairly complicated. Since then, Microsoft has done a lot of work (as have I, I just finished writing a white paper with Stacia Misner (b|t) on implementing Power BI in Hybrid IT) to make the process easier in simpler. In this three hour session attendees will learn not just about availability groups, but other DR options like log shipping, mirroring and replication, and how to implement them in both cloud-only and hybrid models. It should be an interesting session, with lots of opportunities for my demos to fail.

My other session is about things that need to be done after installing SQL Server-it’s something I’m passionate about. As a consultant, I get to see a lot of SQL Servers, and they aren’t always pretty. SQL Server has a lot of pretty bad defaults in place (max memory, max degree of parallelism, data file autogrowth sizes) and these can lead to poor server performance if left in place. In addition, you will learn about how you can fully automate all of these best practices, so you don’t have to click next and watch the green bar go across the screen. I’ll also talk about the lessons we learned in building a private cloud environment at Comcast.

For my final comment, there has been a lot of controversy around session and precon selection for this summit. I had several friends on the program committee, who I know put a lot of work into comments on each abstract reviewed. As a speaker who gets rejected sometimes (and who doesn’t) being able to read those comments (even on selected sessions) is a great resource for feedback and understanding about what to change. For whatever reason, PASS has decided to not supply speakers with this comments, which I feel is a big mistake and an insult to the program committees and speakers who put in a lot of work to write abstracts and comments. #freethecomments

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