#SQLPASS #Summit14 Keynote LiveBlog: Dr. Rimma Nehme

#SQLPass, SQL Server

8:25AM Pacific: Goooood morning Seattle! It’s time for day 2 of the PASS Summit, and this morning we’ve got a technical keynote lined up. I’m a much bigger fan of these than the day 1 marketing keynotes.

Dr. Rimma Nehme from the Microsoft Gray Systems Lab is talking Cloud Databases 101. Here’s the abstract:

Cloud computing has emerged as an extremely successful paradigm for deploying applications. Scalability, elasticity, pay-per-use pricing, and economies of scale are some of the major reasons for the successful and widespread adoption of cloud. A cloud database is a type of database service that is built, deployed and delivered through a cloud platform. In this talk, I’ll give rapid introduction to cloud databases: what they are, where they came from, how they are implemented, and give a rough taxonomy. We’ll look at some of the specific examples of the cloud databases running out there in the wild and the latest state-of-the-art cloud database research.

I’ll be liveblogging it this morning, taking notes. I’m not going to transcribe it line-by-line because these technical keynotes are typically much more … technical … and you can watch the session live on PASS TV anyway.

Refresh the page every few minutes to see the updated notes at the bottom of this page.

8:31AM – The SQLPASS PASSion Award goes to Andrey Korshikov, who’s done all kinds of Russian event organizations in the last few years. Sounds really cool.

Andrey Korshikov
Andrey Korshikov

8:35AM – The next PASS Summit will be back in Seattle again on Oct 27-30th, 2015.

8:36AM – Dr. Rimma Nehme taking the stage.

8:42AM – The clicker isn’t working. Who cares. Confession: before the keynote, she said to me, “You’d better go easy on me.” I told her she has nothing to fear because I love technical keynotes. Yes, dear readers, I’m a softie for keynotes that aren’t trying to sell me things, only teach me things. That’s why we try to do the presentations we do as a company, too. Help by teaching.

8:44AM – Cloud computing characteristics: on-demand self-service, location transparent resource pooling, ubiquitous network access, rapid elasticity, and measured service with pay per use. (See, this is how you kick ass with a technical keynote – that one slide alone teaches everyone in the room something, and it’s accessible at all levels. That slide is awesome.)

8:46AM – Quick & easy deployment means that you can be agile with shorter development cycles and no need to wait for provisioning. Technically, you can do this on-premise in large corporations, but the beauty of the cloud is that it brings large-company IT scale without the red tape and red P&L statements.

8:48AM – “Storage costs are rapidly approaching zero.” For example, Amazon Prime’s free unlimited photo storage is a great example of this – companies can make enough off the storage of your data that they don’t mind eating the storage costs. Think of it as banks that can sit on your money and make money with it – cloud utilities can sit on your data and use it for interesting revenue purposes. While that makes a lot of the geeks in the room feel a little dirty, the public seems to feel it’s a fair tradeoff.

8:50AM – Showing Microsoft’s container-based data center in Chicago.

8:53AM – Dr. Nehme is explaining how container-based data centers improve power efficiency by letting servers run hotter, plus cool them down with more ecological methods like evaporative cooling. Again, this is how you do a killer database keynote – show concepts that are very interesting to your audience regardless of their expertise. Most of the audience has something in common, but not enough expertise on that topic. Play to that, and you can keep them entertained and educated.

8:57AM – Explaining PaaS, IaaS, SaaS etc by breaking them down into infrastructure, platform, software, and applications (Office). I’d love to see a pop quiz to know how many people know the differences between those. That’s our job as data professionals – we do need to know these – and I think a lot of us don’t. (I’m talking about you, dear reader.)

9:00AM – Explaining them with Pizza as a Service as an example.

9:08AM – Dr. Nehme’s focusing on virtualizing SQL Server in the cloud with shared resources. My notes will be less frequent here because I think the topic is covered online pretty well in a lot of resources (not to mention her talk) and I’m not going to add a lot of value here. Nothing against the talk – this actually gets to the heart of what I mentioned earlier, that so many folks need to understand more about services.

9:16AM – “Container-based hardware is 99.9% reliable, but we need 99.99% software.” That means you have to expect whole containers and data centers to fail, and assume you’ll need redundant data centers with the same services and databases. It’s thinking about reliability at a much higher level – for example, you might not bother with redundant power supplies or fans in a server. You can save a lot on power and cooling for the whole data center.

9:18AM – To achieve reliability in this mixed scenario (99.9 vs 99.99), Azure DBs have a primary database, plus three replicas. (It’s not explicitly stated on the slide, but you would assume there would be one or two in the same data center, plus one or two in other data centers or regions, based on how much you want to pay for geo-redundancy.

9:20AM – Each SQL DB node has one database, and multiple tenants are in that same database. They’re just logically separated – they all share the same data file and log file, but that’s not visible to you as a consumer.

9:24AM – “The number of DBAs is significantly smaller than the demand.” This is totally true – all of us are overworked, and there’s plenty more DBA jobs. The cloud (just like virtualization) is designed to offload work from you.

9:26AM – “Do the cost/benefit analysis.” This is one of the tough things for DBAs – most of us aren’t able to precisely identify the costs with on-premise databases. The cloud makes that way easier.

9:27AM – Dr. Nehme is wrapping up, and thanking Dr. DeWitt, who just took the stage. Great job!

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4 Comments. Leave new

  • So do you prefer new Updates at top or new updates at bottom for Live Blogs?

    (I prefer the latter when I read; the former if I’m actually refreshing the page and keeping up).

    • George – I prefer new updates at the top for stuff that changes rapidly, like day 1, but then after it finishes, I want to re-edit everything so that it flows from top to bottom. That’s a giant pain in the rear, though. So for day 2, where the edits aren’t as fast and furious, I make people scroll down so I don’t have to re-edit it later, hahaha.

  • Really enjoyed this Keynote (I was there!) – Weirdly it didn’t have the feel of Microsoft pushing Azure etc down our throats (like the previous day) and had a much more balanced approach..and always helps that i learned something!


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