PASS Summit 2019 thoughts and wrapup

Holy smokes my brain hurts!  And at the same time it is feeling the joy of learning things I can actually use!

If you are a Dallas DBAs client…you will soon very likely be reaping the benefits of my trip to Seattle for the 2019 PASS Summit.

Its rare, but when I’m really excited I pop for the in-flight WiFi, which is where I sit now typing this up. If you look to my right you can see…clouds.

Stream of consciousness in near chronological order, accompanied by notes where possible:

Day 1

What’s new in SQL Server Tools – Vicky Harp (t) and Udeesha Gautam

Most of this was Azure Data Studio (watch me embarrass myself here), which was clear in the abstract. Very cool tool mostly for devs, but the Notebooks aspect has lots of ways I can send something useful to my clients to review, in one format.  Has a little One Note with code and results feel to it.  Great demo. SSMS is not going away!

Improving Availability with Accelerated Data recovery and Resumable Operations – Pam Lahoud (b|t)

Ever tried to roll back a runaway query that took 4 hours to notice? Reboot the server trying to kill it and that didn’t help?

This is the fix to that nonsense! Off by default, rewrite of the SQL Server Recovery process.  Bang…instant recovery.  Of course there’s some overhead. SQL 2019 and Azure only feature.

Also, “Resumable Index Operations” are now a thing. A cool thing.

After the KeyNote and these 2 sessions, I managed to score a massive headache so no more sessions.

Game night! – sponsored by PASS (Thanks Joe!)

Day 2

DBA Tools – Jack Corbett (b|t)

I’ve already thanked Jack in person twice and online at least that much for this class. If I can only tell you one thing from 3 days of classes its this: “YOU DONT NEED TO KNOW POWERSHELL TO USE THE DBATOOLS COMMAND!!!”  I paid extra for the caps and 2 bonus exclamation points, just for you. That sentence alone has never sunk in to my head.  A whole lot of goodness will flow from that to you.  Thanks Jack!

If you are a junior DBA, you still need to learn the concepts and how to do things in the SSMS GUI/T-SQL, but these tools are a great step for some of the more complex tasks.  Best session of the week for me.

SQL Server in Containers – Grant Fritchey (b|t) – Red Gate vendor session

Awesome – Grant told us early and often that the 1st 2/3 of the session would be vendor agnostic, then move to RG tools.  Many thanks for that clarity!

I tried out Docker 2 years ago in test/dev and had no use case for it. Now I do and saw that some things have gotten easier. I spin up Azure VMs to play with stuff all the time. Now I can accomplish the tasks locally and faster and cheaper! I also learned the difference between images, layers, containers and VMs,  Greatness in a confusing tech stack.

Azure DR strategy – John Morehouse (b|t), with Denny Cherry in the back for additional flavor when needed.

I’ve known conceptually about much of what John presented for a while…but now I have a lot more clarity and insight from a true pro. Plus, some of what I learned at a DeepPockets™ client 2 years ago is out of date or enhanced in Azure

Exhibitor Hall and Beanbag sessions. I got to meet one of my freelancers for lunch so that was cool. Thanks Brendan.

HA/DR – Too many choices – Mike Walsh (b|t)

I go to sessions I know nothing about and sessions I do…this one I knew, and I still learned stuff. Sometimes I go just to see friends speak.  This was that as well as learning. Mike is a great guy running a great company. If you need SQL help, call me first.  If Dallas DBAs isn’t the right fit, Straight Path is.

Game night again!

Day 3 – Friday

Batch Execution Mode on Rowstore – Niko Neugebauer (b|t)

Learned a ton, saw great demos, super fun slides and WOW! Niko is a brilliant and highly entertaining presenter. If you present, go find something he’s done and watch his style.  Its crazy fun.  And the technical content is very solid.

Best Practices for Branching Database Code in Git – Kendra Little and the Corgi Crew (b|t)

I don’t do much in the Git/OSS world and was hoping this would help me pick some of that up along the way, even though this was not a “learn Git” presentation.  It did, and I now feel good about bringing some DallasDBAs internal scripts into a Git/GitHub type repository so the whole team can contribute to them. Maybe then I’ll start contributing to other open source projects.

Great lunch with a good friend I only see at conferences. We solved a few world problems.  Again.

More bean bag time.

Upgrading SQL Server – Mike Walsh again!

I’ve done more than a few upgrades, but I knew Mike and team at StraightPath have a more formal and streamlined process, so I wanted to steal info from a competitor. Is it stealing if he’s up front giving it away and I’m hiding in the front row?

Tap house for dinner, then back to the Sheraton to pack and chill.

I’m over Colorado now✈ .  If this was readable and no spelling errors, that happened at my desk in Dallas.

Look out clients…your stuff is going to get better.  And YES, YOU NEED TO MOVE TO AZURE OR SQL SERVER 2019. There, I said it.  “Mr. Wait and See” is pushing a product 6 days into formal release!

Thanks for reading!


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