PASS Summit 2008 Tuesday Recap (#sqlpass)

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PASS Election Update

I’m seeing a theme on the interwebz: lots of endorsements for Andy Warren and Tom LaRock:

Tom has pledged to get a tattoo if he gets elected to the board.  C’mon, folks: do your part to help a DBA come home from a convention with a tattoo.  Give him something to explain to the wife – or as he calls her, Congress.

Stickers Are Here!

New and Improved - Now with More Stickers
New and Improved - Now with More Stickers

I picked up a SQLBatman sticker from Tom LaRock and a SQLServerPedia sticker from Christian Hasker.  If you want a SQLServerPedia sticker, swing by the Quest Software booth at PASS and ask for an invite to the SQLServerPedia launch party tomorrow night.

Thoughts from the Quest Customer Advisory Board Members

We spent all day talking shop with customers, and I obviously can’t blog about everything, but there’s a few juicy nuggets that you might like.  We’ve got a wide variety of customers involved, from shops like Michael Deputy‘s with only one DBA all the way up to global financial companies.  It’s fun to peek into their shops to get ideas about trends like these:

Dev/test SQL Servers on VMware and Hyper-V are very commonplace. Everybody’s doing it for cost savings, space/power/cooling savings in the datacenter, consolidation, etc.  Production servers aren’t quite as common – the DBAs were dead-set against it except for small implementations, like say a standalone Microsoft TFS server.

Remote DBA firms still aren’t catching on. One customer is augmenting his staff with offsite DBA help, but just one.  I think the DBA job lends itself well to remote work, but remote workers outside of the company seems to be a problem.

DBAs get bad products shoved down their throats by project managers. PM’s will go buy crappy applications that violate all kinds of company standards, but by the time the DBA gets handed the CD, it’s too late.  The millions have been spent and the DBA just has to suck it up and live with it.  I’m not surprised at all by this – it echoes my personal experiences.  One DBA team had the ability to kibosh projects because they were involved early enough in the project planning lifecycle, but they were the clear minority.

SQL Server 2008 is finding its way into production. Early adopters talked about problems with third party application compatibility, especially around data modelers.  They also had issues with vendors who said they supported 2008, but they did it by removing features.

SQL Server 2005 training is still in demand. DBAs said they can leverage any newly acquired SQL 2005 skills on SQL 2008 anyway, so why not keep getting 2005 training that they can use against all of their 2005 and 2008 servers?  SQL 2008 BI training is another story, though.

At the risk of sounding sales-y, even our customers don’t know all our features. We came out with LiteSpeed 5.0 a few months ago, and customers were surprised that our object-level recovery works against both LiteSpeed backups and native backups without any tweaks at backup time.  Booyah.

My podcasts are way the hell too long. Tom LaRock told me this a while ago, and boy, did the customers echo that one.  I’ll be breaking up my podcasts into 5-10 minute chunks for easier viewing.

Other PASS Summit News

Recaps have been posted today by:

I’ve noticed a lot of PASS people signing up for Twitter.  That’s a great sign, because if they stick with it, it means more transparency to PASS.  I love the immediacy and the community that Twitter brings, and Jason Massie should be proud of starting his SQL Server Twitter list.  It’s bringing people together, as cheesy as that sounds.

Plus, I think the Twitter buzz is working for positive marketing: I’ve seen people tweet that they wish they were here, or that they’ll be coming next year, or that they’re anxious for more info about the event.  That means we’re doing a good job of conveying how much fun it is to be here.

Tonight, I’m missing out on a ton of good dinners and parties (especially the PASS Quiz Bowl), but I gotta make the donuts.  I’m presenting on how to data mine your Perfmon and Profiler results with SQL Server Data Mining in the Cloud.  I gave a similar presentation a couple of times a few months ago, but I’m going to kick it up a notch for my first PASS session.  BAM!

Tomorrow morning, I’ll be liveblogging the Ted Kummert keynote.  I’ll start a blog entry here and publish it, and save it every minute or two with the latest info.  You’ll be able to reload the page to see what’s going on.  I’ll also be covering it via Twitter, and you don’t have to use Twitter to get the updates.  Just go to my Twitter page and reload it every minute or two when the keynote starts around 9AM PST.

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