SQL Saturday #202 – SQL Scotland

I wanted to arrive early to network, meet my friends and colleagues in the community and then discuss the various vendor solutions with the sponsors.

Also I’d made a point of staying in a particular track this time, rather than choose what I wanted, so I could learn more, fill knowledge gaps and refresh current understandings. Soon the sessions had started and the sun had started shining!
First session I attend was by Tobias Koprowski @KoprowskiT where he presented a session on Windows Azure SQL Database, previously SQL Azure, and covered the most important points to consider and its place in our solution selection.

Secondly was Joseph Sack @josephsack from SQL Skills @SQLSkills where his session demonstrated Query Plan Quality Issues and the major importance of statistics and cardinality estimates.
I attended the Pre-con on Friday and this was a good follow on from the knowledge absorption session the previous day.
Before we broke for lunch James Rowland-Jones @jrowlandjones  from the Big Bang Data Company gave a talk on the Parallel Data Warehouse appliance. It was a great was to learn about the basics of PDW and its complexity yet simplicity.
The distribution compatible joins seem like magic!
Then time to break for some lunch whilst watching Thomas Kejser @thomaskejser from FusionIO talk about SSD’s, SLC’s and MLC’s in the sun, a fun and fairly technical discussion that always interests many. The sun was glorious all day and it was an excellent atmosphere as he presented informally outside.

The first session after lunch was presented by David Peter Hansen and covered Layered Partitioning.
Second last of the day was Jonathan Kehayias @SQLPoolboy who held a pick an issue session where he covered how we might troubleshoot certain issues using extended events such as tempdb contention amongst others. From this and the previous days training I’ll certainly revisit Extended Events in SQL Server 2012. 
Finally Mark Broadbent @retracement discussed the basics, and not so basics, of Always On, Failover Clustering and some do’s and don’ts. He covered in good detail yet understandable to newcomers the various objects such as quorum, node majority and how SQL Server fits in the cluster mix. 
Then the prize giving sessions and wind down from a head-packed enjoyable day.
 A fantastic couple of days where I caught the sun, learnt lots and met new people and a resounding thanks to the event organisers and the sponsors. 
My takeaway: the more you put in the more you get out. And make lots of notes!
SQL Saturday #202 – SQL Scotland

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