Tuesday, April 24, 2012

SQL Saturday #107 Houston Post Mortem

SQL Satuday #107 Houston Schwag

This past weekend I attended SQL Saturday #107 in Houston. This was a special treat for me, since Houston last year was the first SQL Saturday I ever attended. As a double bonus, I was selected to present my session on troubleshooting memory pressure, SQL Server Amnesia. I've uploaded my slides and scripts for your amusement.

No one threw tomatoes at me, and I even had a few folks stay after to ask me questions. So I consider that a victory. I even brought my own feedback forms and received some good comments to try to improve it for the next time.


This year, there was an all day pre-con. When I saw the speaker, Kalen Delaney, I signed up immediately. She presented an in-depth all-day session on Query Tuning and Plan Cache management. I enjoy performance tuning, but I'm certainly no expert. So I jumped at the chance to learn from one of the best. In my opinion, this was some of the best training I have had.

Saturday Sessions

Mike Hotek gave a great session on how to recovery from disaster. He covered the basics, and showed us how to recover your data in some unusual situations. I had tried to see him at a previous SQL Saturday, but my own speaking slot prevented me from doing so. I was glad to be able to catch him this time.

One of my favorite sessions was given by my buddy, Argenis Fernandez. He showed us some great demos on how to use the SysInternals tools to troubleshoot SQL Server problems. I've been using SysInternals for a while but I know I've only scratched the surface of what you can do with it. So this session was right up my alley.

To finish out the day, I caught Kalen Delaney's session on the Cost of Concurrency. This is an area I have been studying lately for the MCM so I figured this was a perfect session for me. She did a great job taking us through the different isolation levels and how they affect your application.


This year the conference was held at a combination of the Houston Airport Hilton and the YES Prep Public School in Aldine. I felt the hotel was great for the pre-con and I was impressed with the discount rate we got through PASS.

The school was a cool place to hold the Saturday sessions. We got to see some of the students there on the weekend working on their activities or projects.

We had some great BBQ from Hines for lunch. Brisket, sausage, chicken, I loved it! I'll strt that diet next week.


One things many people may not realize is that SQL Saturday would not exist without generous support from the sponsors. The great folks at Idera, Redgate, HP, TMS, Joes2Pros, New Horizons, Confio, PASS, Insource, Fusion-IO, Cozyroc, and SQL Watchmen all provided various levels of support.

Each company had a drawing for some cool prizes: Amazon gift card, iPad, Kindle Fire, Training Vouchers, etc.

While all the vendors were awesome, I really must give a special shout out to Idera, as they underwrote a huge portion of the Pre-Con and made it possible to get some awesome training from Kalen Delaney.

SQL Family

One of the best parts of SQL Saturday is getting to reconnect with all you SQL Peeps. It's a lot of fun catching up and trading stories, 'you won't believe what my users tried last week...'  :-)

Exchanging war stories and tips from the field is an education in itself. I got to meet some great folks, book authors, and a few SQL Legends. I love how down to earth everyone is.

I especially enjoyed picking Robert Davis' brain about the MCM program and hearing tales of his SQL Greyhound Adventure.

Next Time It's Your Turn

Keep an eye out on the SQL Saturday website and see when they'll be rolling through your neck of the woods. Check out some sessions, meet some of your fellow DBAs, trade scripts, and who knows...you may be the next one to present a session.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Steven,

    Thanks for posting your presentation. Very good information. Attended SQL Saturday #120 in Orange County, CA. Great stuff.