Category Archives: PASS

Geek City: More Hekaton Details

I apologize to all you folks who attended my Hekaton precon at the SQLPASS Summit last month, who have been eagerly awaiting my answers to some of the unanswered questions. I had got most of the answers sorted out, but I was waiting for one last reply, and put the whole list on the back burner. I just realized today it was now December, and I still hadn’t published this. So here it is, six questions that I didn’t completely answer during my talk, although for some of them I did make a guess. 1. Do…(read more)

Some Thoughts on Event Speaker Selection

I write this from the perspective of experience. I’ve helped organize dozens of events over the past ten years. Feel free to take the parts of this advice that help and discard the parts that don’t. Enjoy! Planning an event is hard work. If you’ve never volunteered to help your local User Group or SQL Saturday, I encourage you to get involved. You will work hard and put a lot into it. But I promise you will get more out of it than you put in. Every organizer is free to organize their event in whatever…(read more)

Where do 100-Level Sessions belong at PASS?

Now that the PASS Summit 2014 is over, I remember having a hard time deciding which sessions to attend and can’t wait for the USB to arrive. This year, I was on the Program Committee for the first time ever. I would recommend the experience to all speakers or potential speakers at some point. I know with the explosion of SQL Saturday events that many more people have had to wrestle with how to choose content. The Program Committee has the main goal of selecting the content that will drive people…(read more)

PASS Summit 2014: Manhandling Parallelism – Demos

Just a quick post to say thank you to everyone who attended today’s Manhandling Parallelism talk! I hope you had even half as much fun as I did. For those of you who didn’t attend, the talk was recorded and broadcast on “PASS TV,” and I’m sure it will be available somewhere soon for on-demand viewing. The demos are attached. Let me know in the comments area if you have any questions!…(read more)

Analyzing I/O Subsystem Performance at PASS 2014

On November 5, 2014, I had the pleasure of presenting Analyzing I/O Subsystem Performance at the PASS 2014 Summit in Seattle. I was in room 6C, coming on after Conor Cunningham’s presentation on Query Store.

People seemed to like the session, and I was answering questions  for about 30 minutes after the session was over (with some great assistance from my friend and co-worker Jonathan Kehayias).

I just want to thank everyone who attended, and showed so much interest!

You can get a zipped version of my deck and the demos that I used here.

Filed under: PASS, Storage Subsystems, Teaching

BI Announcements at PASS Summit 2014 #sqlpass #powerbi #powerpivot

This morning the PASS Summit 2014 started in Seattle and during the keynote there was several announcements from Microsoft. I’m considering here only the ones about Business Intelligence (you will find other blogs around about SQL Server).

  • In the coming months, Azure SQL Database will get new features such as column-store indexes, which can be very interesting for creating data marts on the cloud
  • Another upcoming feature in SQL Server will be an updateable columns-store index on in-memory tables. Real-time analytics will like this feature.
  • For a store analysis, an interesting demo using Kinect capturing heatmap to display which areas of a shop store have been visited more using Power Map. Just a demo, but it’s an interesting idea and the best big data demo I’ve been so far (something you can implement in the real world using big data technologies without being Twitter or Facebook).
  • New Power BI dashboards: many new visualizations and a new user interface to place data visualizations on a dashboard (similar to the grid you have in DataZen if you know that product)
    • You can connect to your data source from the cloud, without creating a local data model and sending it to the cloud
    • Q&A is integrated in the new user interface – the web site is a domain, it seems not in SharePoint
    • Q&A generates the report in HTML5, no Silverlight signs here
    • The entire editing is done in a web browser – a preview of that was presented at PASS BA Analytics keynote, this seems a more refined version (still not available, however)
    • TreeMap is available as a new visualizations
    • You can upload an Excel file from your disk or from OneDrive – just Excel file, no Power Pivot data model required (it is created on the fly on the cloud?)
    • Combo chart combining line and bar chart visualization available
    • Private preview now, public preview available soon
    • Request access to public preview on
  • Azure ML is publicly available for free in trial mode

The Power BI story seems the real big news. Combining this with the fact that you can query *existing* on-prem databases on Analysis Services without moving them on the cloud opens up interesting scenarios. Many questions now about when it will be available and how it will be deployed. Interesting times ahead.

Attending the PASS Summit

The PASS Summit is an annual gathering of SQL Server professionals and others interested in learning more about SQL Server. Folks come from all over. Here’s a few suggestions for getting more out of your PASS Summit experience. “What if I’m Not There?” Not everyone can attend the PASS Summit. You can still enjoy a taste of the activities via PASSTV, which will be streamed from the PASS Summit 2014 home page . Meet New People If this is your first (or one of your first) PASS Summit(s), don’t be shy….(read more)

Are you ready for PASS Summit 2014?

I wanted to re-publish an old blog post that is still fairly accurate. It is actually a summary of blog posts I did back in 2011. A great deal of the information is still relevant. I hope that you find the information useful and to see you at the PASS Summit 2014!…(read more)

Did You Know? My Hekaton Book is at the Publishers!

I am very excited to be able to report that my latest book is at the printers now, and should be ready in time for the PASS Summit! And since the last files were sent off to the publisher (Red Gate) last Friday, I could finally finish up the slides for my Pre-Conference Seminar, all about In-Memory OLTP. Check it out here: Although there will be some copies of the book at the Red Gate booth, along with many of their other wonderful…(read more)