Tag Archives: Azure

Day 3 and Overall Impressions #sqlpass #summit12

To conclude my posts on the PASS Summit this year (see day 1 review and day 2 review), I want to go over the last day and then talk a little about the entire conference and my takeaways.

On Friday I attended three sessions. The last two of the day, the second to last one I was on the phone and missed the beginning and then decided to check out all the other things before they were done, and the last session slot, there wasn’t much appealing, and most everyone already left, so I skipped it.

1. CLD-303-A SQLCAT: What are The Largest Azure Projects in the World?

This was given by Kevin Cox and a another SQLCAT member. The SQLCAT team is crazy smart. If you can talk to any of them, you need to. Any chance you get. This was a good view of customers they have dealt with that are pushing SQL Azure to the limits. Since we are running a project now that we are going to be pushing SQL Azure (and Azure) hard, I thought this was good.

So customers have 20TB dbs, 10k databases, so it for sure can scale. Also some good tips/tricks on what you can do to use SQL Azure to the max like the other customers

2. BIA-203: Real-Time Data Warehouse and Reporting Solutions

I wasn’t sure on this one. Carlos Bossy gave a couple of presentations, and he seemed to know what he was presenting, but a topic like this is so situational it is tough to make it generic. Also, there isn’t a “huge” need for real time and I think I wouldn’t implement it the way he was saying anyways. Run SSIS 24/7 with a for loop that never ends? That is crazy. I’d rather pump data through something like StreamInsight with some code than that SSIS solution. Or run things every couple of minutes or something. “near real time”. Also his solutions was using replication which is fragile.

3. BIA-402-M: Optimizing Your BI Semantic Model for Performance and Scale.

Probably one of the better sessions. Again, Microsoft guys letting it all out here. Akshai Mirchandani and Allan Folting from Microsoft. Basically going *in depth* on how PowerPivot and Tabular does what it does with columnar compression, etc. Where you can look and dig under the hood to find ways to make small changes and optimize processing or querying depending on your need. This is a session I want my entire BI team to watch together.

Overall Takeaways Technically:

Azure, Hadoop, Tabular, Power View, BI, DAX, Excel. You can see a pattern here. I am sure there were good “DBA” and DB Dev sessions but I didn’t go to any. BI is taking shape with Microsoft’s strategy and it is all tabular/excel azure/hadoop stuff. Exciting times.

Overall Thoughts of This Year’s Summit and SQL PASS

Guidebook – was ok. I thought it could have been better. I have used before at conferences. Why no native Windows Phone app?

New Layout – the last two years I was at the summit, things were laid out (as far as where things were) pretty much the same. This year it was changed up. Took a day to get the “lay of the land”

Keynotes – kind of the same as usual. I mentioned in by part 2 blog about how the blogger/twitter table needs to grow up, just want to say that again here. First day there was some drama, second day more drama and badmouthing/infighting. Just needs to stop. Leave the drama at home.

Seattle – Seattle is great. Not going to Seattle next year since the summit is in Charlotte, is going to be tough. I know where to go in Seattle and I like the area. I am worried out Charlotte.

Reg Dates – as I mentioned in my day 1 review, many people came out a day early since the dates said 6th-9th. Same thing next year. Should really say 7th-9th.

Hash Tags – on twitter, usually the hash tag is #sqlpass .. this year they said use #summit12 , some people were using #summit2012 and confused. Also, using #summit12 wasn’t looked at by as many people which stinks as I used that on all my tweets. Next year they need to just keep it as one hash tag.

Karaoke – I have been to the unsanctioned one. It was great. Not sure sanctioning karaoke like this year makes sense. It loses some of what made it cool to begin with. I could get into a lot of detail here but I hope people understand what I mean… taking something “underground” and trying to make it mainstream, usually doesn’t work as well.

#sqlfamily – this is something that I have many thoughts on. I will say things but I don’t think many want to hear it. “sqlfamily” isn’t as big of a family as those in the echo chamber think it is. I would say 99% come to the summit and have no real idea of what it even means. 1% that tweet, present, schmooze think everyone else feels and interacts the same way they do, and it just isn’t true. I met many people at breakfast/lunch and after hours that in fact have no real want/need to be totally ingrained with the clique. Many don’t even use twitter, etc. They are just going to work, doing their job, trying to learn. etc. I think it would make sense fo the sql/sql pass community to step back and think about that for a while.

This year I wrote a blog post for the SQL Server Blog before the summit to drive excitement, which was cool. The first day at the keynote a guy sat next to me and we were talking before it started. He was like “dude, I read your blog on the sql server blog!” – To me that was so cool. He said I was a “rockstar”. No, I am not a rockstar (or an MVP – but the blog says I am, maybe the emails have been going to my spam folder all these years) – I am just a regular tech guy that is passionate about technology, SQL, BI (and a ton more). I was really happy though to see that people are reading that content and it is firing them up, it is what my intention was. And if you read that post, I took back a ton of good stuff from the summit. I am already starting to formalize and get strategy/implementation plans going for things I directly learned.

So to close, my third summit was great. Great content, meeting new people and seeing old faces and having lively discussions and knowledge sharing during the day and over a beer. I am going to miss Seattle next year but I can’t wait for the next summit, and possibly even the new SQL BA (Business Analytics) conference in April 2013. I hope everyone who went to the Summit this year enjoyed it and learned as much as I did!

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#msteched TechEd 2012 Conference Highlights

Last week I was in Orlando at Microsoft TechEd 2012. It was a great conference, especially for me, since I am all over the place with technology. There was DBA, SysAdmin, Developer, etc sessions.

What did I take away? Here is a quick overview.

Azure. The cloud. It is here (well it already was) but now with IaaS and persistent VMs, the game is changed for Azure. Also with websites and media streaming and other stuff Azure is becoming *the* platform.

SQL 2012 – While I was away, the BI team upgraded to 2012 at work. While I have been playing with 2012 for a while, it just got real. BISM stuff and SharePoint/Kerberos stuff came to light this week. Good stuff

System Center while I didn’t focus much on this, System Center is where it is at. You can now monitor your Azure cloud, your on-prem VM (HyperV or VMWare) and do tons of other stuff. Sky is the limit with this product.

There is so much more but it was a great time. Good people, good sessions, smart presenters, and just information oozing out of every room. Orlando in early June is like a sauna though :)

I am really pumped to get back in the saddle and start implementing some of this stuff in day to day solutions. Was so excited I actually moved my blog to an Azure website this weekend. It moved fine and I had to do some MySQL stuff to get my content moved, but it is basically sitting there idle as I can’t change the DNS over without pay more than I am willing to. More to come in this arena though.

To the cloud! (and the Tabular cube, and the System Center, and so on and so forth)…

Reflecting on 1000 Posts

First, I want to give an update on what’s up recently. First off, work is busy as ever. SQL 2012 RTM’d, so that is cool on the Business Intelligence side, and on the Dev side, working on moving a desktop app to the cloud, Azure specifically. Many things going on, as well as keeping on the SharePoint and Yammer trains. Enterprise Social is just “starting” and there is much more happening. Windows 8 is still good. Some quirks but very good, excited for the RC and RTM versions.

It has been a while since I have posted, for good reason, but of course it usually boils down to “just time”. This is my 1000th post on this blog. Well, not really, I had some that I probably removed over the years. Back since 2004, I have moved this blog from blogger.com, to wordpress, to my own wordpress (on windows!) to different providers and hosters and what not. It has been a road. And more to come. I have a few drafts queued up, but was waiting to have something good for post 1000.

So what else? Other things are keeping me busy. Since last October, Homebrewing has become a big hobby of mine.

We have done 8 batches so far, and it keeps getting better and more fun. We are now past kits and we now are picking our ingredients, which is cool. The beer is good too :)

MADPASS (www.madpass.org) – I am on the board with MADPASS, we hit our 1 year mark in Feb, which was cool.

We keep doing cool new things, the speakers are good, and the “community” is growing. SQL Saturday 118 is coming up on April 21st as well in Madison (at MATC) – and I am helping out with that as well.

Besides that? Always the same old tech things I do every day. Finally consolidated my Google life to my Google Apps (more on that in a future post). No, no iPad 3/Next for me yet. Maybe though. Thinking about my next tech gadget. Chromebook? New TV? Not sure yet. Nothing really pressing there.

What else could there be? Well… a couple of things :)

I have been in the Madison area since November 2007. Been at Trek since Sept 2008. I have lived in Madison (apts), Sun Prairie (condo) and now in an apartment downtown Sun Prairie. It is a cool place. Nice view. Right in the thick of everything that goes on downtown (parades, festivals, etc). But.. the apt life wears on you. We have been “looking” for a house for a while now. Not ready to just go pick one out that is on the market, but wait for the right one. Right area, right price, right look, etc. Well, we found one. In less than 2 weeks, I will be moving to a house in Sun Prairie. It is about 6 blocks away from downtown, so within walking distance of everything (cough cough – Eddies), but yeah, nice little place. In a semi-secluded street. 3 bed, 1.5 Bath, Nice fenced in yard. Should be a nice house.

But wait, there’s more!

Now, I would say that I have everything I need to be happy, and that is true. But sometimes things happen and you get things in your life that will even make you *more* happy. Well, it is a good thing the new house is a 3 bedroom, because come fall there will be another baby Novoselac running around. Yes! We are expecting. Ella will be a big sister and of course our lives will change for the better once again. I am excited but will be even more excited around October!

So until then, and even after, we will keep watching the movie that we call life and having fun.

Ok. 1000 down. couple more thousand to go. Keep rockin’ everyone.

Cool Things I Have Been Doing On the Computer Lately

In the past couple of months, weeks, whatever (time flies) I have been doing some pretty cool things on the computer, in a wide range of areas. Just want to get them down on paper (you know what I mean)…

1. Yammer – working hard on growing Yammer community, external networks, just getting engagement and showing the benefits. It’s fun.

2. Kinect – did some Kinect hacking. On my own then with the group, got some cool stuff to show. It is crazy how easy it is to get something up and running with Kinect and the SDK. I see this stuff taking off in the coming months/years.

3. Azure – dorking around with Azure, looking at what it can and can’t do, what it could do well, how it would fit in with everything.

4. SQL 2012/Power View – been playing around with SQL 2012 since “Denali”, but now its got an official launch date (March 7th) and things are getting real. Power View demos online, trying to figure out how SQL 2012 is going to fit into our infrastructure and just learning as much as I can about it.

5. Ruby – been getting into Ruby and Ruby on Rails on my Mac, git, sqlite3, heroku, etc. Trying to learn more things that just the .NET ecosystem.

6. Ubuntu – same here, set up a VM, been trying to use it consistently, trying to get the other viewpoints from Windows and Mac and where things are at. Keep up with the joneses so to speak.

7. Android – I picked up a Samsung Galaxy (Verizon 4G) a few weeks ago and have been using it. I still love my iPhone, but getting more into Android. Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) is a pretty good OS, there are still quirks, but its better. Verizon sucks around where I live btw.

8. Google+/Picasa Web Albums – been getting this into my photo workflow, for sharing and backup. Liking it so far.

9. SharePoint 2010/FAST – been researching and reading FAST server like crazy trying to see how it will fit in with a potential project. I think it could be amazing. more to come.

10. SMS – been playing around with different frameworks, and seeing how they compare, trying things out. Using Voice and SMS is all the rage these days. (Hall and Oates thing anyone?)

Bonus: Nothing with computers, but I have been really getting into brewing beer/homebrewing. I think we have made 5 batches now, and the ones I have tasted so far are really good. It is a fun hobby and breaks up the constant technology I am involved in. More to come here too.

And much much more. Time is limited, time to post is limited. Getting out there and doing cool things is fun, and sharing them is fun too. Gotta find the right balance. I hope everyone is having a cool 2012 so far.

VS 11 Experience

Today I decided to give it a go and install VS 11 Developer Preview (off the USB key I got from BUILD) onto my production machine. Whoa, Steve, that could be risky!!

Yeah, it could, but sometimes you need to live life on the edge. As much as a geek can.

There aren’t a ton of options when installing. The installer looks.. “beautiful” compare to other Visual Studio installers. It installed a few things, then reboot, then some more, then it was done. Easy. But of course, it installed SQL Express (Denali CTP3) which I really didn’t want to install since I already have 2008 R2 developer on my machine. Maybe in the advanced install I could have disabled it, but I didn’t dig through it all. Anyways, I just turned the service off and set it to manual start.

VS 11 is nice. Seems faster. Cleaner. Crisper. I LOVE the code clone feature. Found some good info there. I like the new TFS design (the work items, etc look nicer – almost a fat client version of the new TFS server and TFS azure experience).

The big app we work on compiled and ran, which was good. I didn’t try .NET 4.5 yet, that might be for another day. One thing that does stink about the dev preview is that you lose all your add ons. The VS productivity tools are baked in (at least some? I didnt try them all). But things like Resharper, etc aren’t there so you might be “missing” some things you are used to.

The solution file of the project changed on me, since I opened up a VS 2010 sln file. It added some comments and rearranged some things, but after I closed VS 11 and saved everything, I opened in VS 2010 and it still worked. Checked into source control and other devs with just VS 2010 opened it and it worked, etc. So MSFT wasn’t lying.. backward compatible!

Excited to dig into it more and for the future versions.