Aug 14 2014

A Full Day of Query Tuning

I’m excited to able to say that I’ve been given the opportunity to put on a full day workshop at SQL Connections on Friday, September 19th, 2014. The title is “Query Performance Tuning in SQL Server 2014″, but I assure you we’re going to cover things that are applicable if you’re still working on SQL Server 2005. We’ll start the day covering the different mechanisms you have to capture query metrics. We’ll go over dynamic management objects and extended events that are incredibly important to you in understanding which queries you need to tune. We’ll get an introduction into how the optimizer works and the importance that statistics, indexes and constraints play in helping the optimizer make the choices it makes. I promise, execution plans will be covered throughout the day, in great detail, because they are a fundamental part of how you’re going to understand the choices the optimizer made. Then, we’re going to go through common problems, how you can identify them, troubleshoot them, and solve them. We’ll get rid of a lot of myths and just easily fixed issues. Throughout the day we’ll be covering both older versions of SQL Server as well as SQL Server 2014. Then, to finish out the day, we’ll go over some of the new opportunities that are unique to SQL Server 2014, their use and their shortcomings.

In short, I’m trying to take you from not knowing which queries you need to tune, to identifying those problematic queries, understanding what the problems are and how to solve them. You’re going to know where to go to get started reading execution plans. You’re going to walk away with a love and fascination for extended events. You’re going to get tools and methods that you can apply to your own code, your own applications, your own servers. And, this all takes place after an amazing week of learning at the IT/Dev Connections event in Vegas. Please click here now to register.

Aug 16 2012

Coming to Your Town

I can’t sing and I can’t play and I left the young generation behind a while ago, but I’m still coming to your town, or maybe one near you.

Between August and December I’m hitting a substantial portion of the country, so if you want to have a little fun, discuss SQL Server, network, or just chat, here are your chances. Please, ask me questions. Please, walk right up and say hello because we can learn from each other and I love my SQL Family. Here’s where I’m going to be:

SQL Saturday #125 in Oklahoma City, August 25: Only one presentation here, Top Tips for T-SQL Performance, but it’s a fun presentation. Register now because time is running out.

SQL Saturday #156 in Providence, RI, September 15: This is being run by the PASS User Group that I helped found and was President of for… a long time. It’s going to be a great event. I’m presenting Top Tips for T-SQL and What to Look for in Execution Plans.

SQL in the City, New York, September 28: The SQL in the City events are free SQL Server instruction done the Red Gate way. We did two last year, London and LA. We’ve already done London again this year (here’s the highlight reel). These are amazing and fantastic events. Not only do you get excellent SQL Server training from top names in the business, but you’ll also get a lot of great information about Red Gate products. We’re taking the show on the road in the US this year and this is the first stop. I have three sessions, Red Gate Tools the Complete Life Cycle, A Sandbox Development Process, and Forgotten Rings and other Monitoring Stories. Please register for this event by clicking right here.

SQL in the City, Austin, October 1: Yes, that’s only a few days after New York. We’ll wrap one up and head to the next. I’m jazzed as all get out to present in Austen. I like Texas (even though I grew up in Oklahoma). I’m doing the same presentations at this event; Red Gate Tools the Complete Life Cycle, A Sandbox Development Process, and Forgotten Rings and other Monitoring Stories. I point that out because they will change in different cities. Remember, this is a free event, so all you have to do is convince the boss that you need the day off and then click here to register.

SQL in the City, San Francisco, October 3: Two days later, on to the West Coast for another of the Red Gate events. By this time, I’m not sure what’s going to come out of my mouth, so you’re going to want to be there to watch. Kidding. I’m totally ready for this. I’ll be presenting the same three presentations again. I’m sure they change at some point. Just click here to register. Remember, it only costs a little of your time… and did I mention beer? I didn’t? Well I should have. We always close out with a little beer just to thank you for coming. So, put it all together, Free … Red Gate … SQL Server … Beer.

SQL in the City, Chicago, October 5: It’s Friday so it must be Chicago. One of my absolute favorite SQL Saturdays was here in Chicago, so I can’t wait to present here again, only this time painted red. And, I get to present with good friends. Actually, I get to do that in every city. This time I only have two presentations (see, told you it would change); A Sandbox Development Process, and a Presentation to be Named Later. You can register by clicking and filling out some 1s and 0s.

SQL in the City, Boston, October 8: Oh my god I’m dying. Kidding. I get to spend one night at home before this event, so I’m going to be completely recharged and ready to utterly crush it, like one of our local sports teams (in a good year). Seriously though, I’m really jazzed to be able to present in my adopted home town (well, near it, I live in Grafton) the following sessions: Red Gate Tools – The Complete Life Cycle, A Sandbox Development Process. May the demo gremlins leave me alone (unlike London). Free instruction available to you by registering.

A short break…

SQL Server Connections, Las Vegas, October 30 – November 1: Connections is a multi-disciplinary conference featuring all different technologies all at once. It’s a fairly unique experience. Oh, and it’s in Vegas, which excites some people. But for the truly enlightened you get to receive instruction from top names in the industry (and they let me in too). The sessions here are going to be: All about the Execution Plan and Improving Query Performance by Understanding and Fixing Bad Parameter Sniffing.

SQL in the City, Seattle, November 5: A little hop across a single time zone and I’ll be in Seattle where we get to do our Red Gate dance again, right before the PASS Summit. If you’re in town, you may want to check this out. I’ll be presenting A Sandbox Development Process …. and that’s it (for the moment). You know you want to register for this.

PASS Summit Pre-Conference Seminar, Seattle, November 6: This will be an all day drill down on how to tune your queries. We’re going to cover how the optimizer works, how to identify the queries needing tuning, how to capture execution plans, all sorts of stuff, for seven hours. The last time I did this presentation at SQL Rally in Orlando, it sold out. I don’t know if you can actually sell out a pre-con at PASS, but rather than risk it, I suggest registering now. Plus, if you register for the Summit now, the cost savings pay for this session. How can you go wrong. Come down a day early and go to the SQL in the City event too.

PASS Summit, Seattle, November 7-9: It’s the PASS Summit. What else can I say about it. You’ve either been there and you know, or you’ve heard about it, in which case you don’t know, yet. I’m presenting twice here, Improve Query Performance by Fixing Bad Parameter Sniffing and What to Look For in Execution Plans.

a slightly longer break (probably spent in a hospital)…

SQL Server Live!, Orlando, December 10-14: This is a new conference for me, so I don’t know what to expect at all. But, it’s in Orlando, which is a great town, and a great place to meet and network with SQL Family. Please consider attending. I’ll be presenting Backups for the Accidental DBA and Query Performance Tuning and Load Testing.

That’s it. I have to be within 3-4 hours of a majority of the country at some point over the next four months. Please, get in touch.

Jan 13 2010

Connections Sessions Evals

I’ve kind of been embarassed to post these despite the fact that I received them a couple of weeks ago. Overall, I’d say they’re very good, and I’m quite proud of them, but one comment still has me upset. Anyway, here we go:

DMV’s For Performance Tuning (same session as PASS): 7 responses

Q1. Speaker’s knowledge of topic
Your average score for this session: 4.0
Highest score (all SQL speakers for this question): 4.0
Mean average score (all SQL speakers for this question): 3.74
Lowest score (all SQL speakers for this question): 3.0

Q2. Speaker’s presentation skills
Your average score for this session: 3.86
Highest score (all SQL speakers for this question): 4.0
Mean average score (all SQL speakers for this question): 3.47
Lowest score (all SQL speakers for this question): 2.0

Q3. Content of Speaker’s slides/visual aids
Your average score for this session: 3.86
Highest score (all SQL speakers for this question): 4.0
Mean average score (all SQL speakers for this question): 3.48
Lowest score (all SQL speakers for this question): 2.5

Q4. Speaker’s ability to control discussions and keep session moving
Your average score for this session: 3.86
Highest score (all SQL speakers for this question): 4.0
Mean average score (all SQL speakers for this question): 3.53
Lowest score (all SQL speakers for this question): 2.33

Q5. Accuracy of session description
Your average score for this session: 4.0
Highest score (all SQL speakers for this question): 4.0
Mean average score (all SQL speakers for this question): 3.5
Lowest score (all SQL speakers for this question): 2.33

Q6. Overall evaluation of this session
Your average score for this session: 4.0
Highest score (all SQL speakers for this question): 4.0
Mean average score (all SQL speakers for this question): 3.5
Lowest score (all SQL speakers for this question): 2.25

Comments:
• I loved the session. Excellent information presented in a “fun” format.

My comments? What’s not to like? I love how you see the highest speaker score, the average speaker score and the lowest speaker score. This really allows you to place yourself in context to the other speakers (PASS, please take note).  Based on this, the only area that I think I need work is on controlling discussions… except I really like to have more discussions, so I’ll just have to watch the balance on this one.

Scouting Out Execution Plans: 18 responses

Q1. Speaker’s knowledge of topic
Your average score for this session: 4.0
Highest score (all SQL speakers for this question): 4.0
Mean average score (all SQL speakers for this question): 3.74
Lowest score (all SQL speakers for this question): 3.0

Q2. Speaker’s presentation skills
Your average score for this session: 3.83
Highest score (all SQL speakers for this question): 4.0
Mean average score (all SQL speakers for this question): 3.47
Lowest score (all SQL speakers for this question): 2.0

Q3. Content of Speaker’s slides/visual aids
Your average score for this session: 3.82
Highest score (all SQL speakers for this question): 4.0
Mean average score (all SQL speakers for this question): 3.48
Lowest score (all SQL speakers for this question): 2.5

Q4. Speaker’s ability to control discussions and keep session moving
Your average score for this session: 3.72
Highest score (all SQL speakers for this question): 4.0
Mean average score (all SQL speakers for this question): 3.53
Lowest score (all SQL speakers for this question): 2.33

Q5. Accuracy of session description
Your average score for this session: 3.88
Highest score (all SQL speakers for this question): 4.0
Mean average score (all SQL speakers for this question): 3.5
Lowest score (all SQL speakers for this question): 2.33

Q6. Overall evaluation of this session
Your average score for this session: 3.88
Highest score (all SQL speakers for this question): 4.0
Mean average score (all SQL speakers for this question): 3.5
Lowest score (all SQL speakers for this question): 2.25

Comments:
• Good session and overview of Performance Point.
• Please have Grant back next year!
• Great examples. Hope these are part of the slides that we will have access to. One of the best sessions at the conference.

Again, I’m pleased as punch by the evals and the comments. Assuming it’s not the week after the PASS Summit again, yes, please have me back next year. I think at least one eval here was mislabeled. Performance Point? Again, comparing my ability to control sessions with the average & max, I can work on this a bit. Now for the embarassment.

More Unnecessary Query Tuning: 16 Evals

Q1. Speaker’s knowledge of topic
Your average score for this session: 3.94
Highest score (all SQL speakers for this question): 4.0
Mean average score (all SQL speakers for this question): 3.74
Lowest score (all SQL speakers for this question): 3.0

Q2. Speaker’s presentation skills
Your average score for this session: 3.69
Highest score (all SQL speakers for this question): 4.0
Mean average score (all SQL speakers for this question): 3.47
Lowest score (all SQL speakers for this question): 2.0

Q3. Content of Speaker’s slides/visual aids
Your average score for this session: 3.56
Highest score (all SQL speakers for this question): 4.0
Mean average score (all SQL speakers for this question): 3.48
Lowest score (all SQL speakers for this question): 2.5

Q4. Speaker’s ability to control discussions and keep session moving
Your average score for this session: 3.69
Highest score (all SQL speakers for this question): 4.0
Mean average score (all SQL speakers for this question): 3.53
Lowest score (all SQL speakers for this question): 2.33

Q5. Accuracy of session description
Your average score for this session: 3.5
Highest score (all SQL speakers for this question): 4.0
Mean average score (all SQL speakers for this question): 3.5
Lowest score (all SQL speakers for this question): 2.33

Q6. Overall evaluation of this session
Your average score for this session: 3.63
Highest score (all SQL speakers for this question): 4.0
Mean average score (all SQL speakers for this question): 3.5
Lowest score (all SQL speakers for this question): 2.25

Comments
• Very rude to participants.
• Good focus on useful topics.
• Hope you feel better, Grant.
• Clear examples that illustrated the problems and solutions.
• Great examples of common pitfalls to watch out for before there is a problem.

Very rude. This could be three things, only two that are under my control. I did actually have to walk out of this session, right in the middle of it for about 2 minutes because I was physically unwell (and that’s all I’m going to say). If that was how I was rude, I’m sorry, but things happen. But, maybe it was because I joke with audience. I talk about cowboy developers and hyper-control freak DBA’s and stupid support calls, really ignorant management decisions, nHibernate & Oracle. I make fun of all of them. Lastly, it could have been this topic. I’m calling your baby ugly in this one. I’m telling you that using NOLOCK hints, DISTINCT operators, WHILE loops & CURSORS, and any number of other silly crutches are hurting your performance and making it necessary to tune queries when they should just be written correctly to begin with. It’s one of these three. If it’s one of the two I can control, I’d sure like to do better. I’m frankly bothered by this.

This was my lowest eval of the three and I’m just bummed because I put the most work into this session. Still, it appears it was helpful for the majority of the audience, so I’d say it was successful, but that “rude” comment stings a bit.

That was my Connections conference. I did enjoy presenting there and I hope I get invited another time. I mentioned it before, but I’ll say it again, having the high, low & average so that you can compare your performance to others really makes these much more useful.

Jun 03 2009

SQL Server Central Track at Connections

This year at SQL Connections, there will be a new track, the SQL Server Central track (scroll down). I’ve been honored to be selected to present two different sessions on that track, MUQt or More Unecessary Query tuning (pronounced MUCK) and Scouting Out Execution Plans. I’m on a list with a bunch of speakers that… well, WOW is all I can say. I almost wish I wasn’t presenting (almost) so I can just attend their sessions & learn stuff. Anyway, for those that won’t or can’t make the PASS Summit in Seattle, I hope I catch up with you in Las Vegas (where I’m told that anything that happens will remain in place, or something, is it a transaction rollback do you think?).