PASS Summit 2012 Day 1

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We’re off and running here at the PASS Summit.

New this year is live streaming all day.

Bill Graziano is introducing the Summit. More importantly, he’s introducing PASS. Further, he’s introducing speakers to everyone. He doesn’t mean just speakers at the summit, but anyone who has spoken at a SQL Saturday or a user group, and it was a scary large group of people. PASS has created a new web site to make it easier to find local Chapters. Track one down. On the one hand, it’s weird that we’re sitting at the PASS Summit and introducing the PASS organization, but I think they’re right to do it. It’s a great organization and I’m always surprised at how many people don’t know about it.

Bill’s big announcement is the all new PASS Business Analytics conference which will take place in Chicago in April 2013. Since more and more people have gotten good at collecting data, but we really do need to work harder on making use of that data.

There are 300 Microsoft engineers this year at the PASS Summit. That’s a serious amount of brain power. No wonder it’s been so warm here in Seattle. That much brain power is going to warm things up considerably. I’m planning on going and talking to these guys. You should too.

Nice work Bill.

Ted Kummert is up for the keynote. He’s showing the team from SQL Server 2012 at their release party. That’s a large group of extremely smart people. I appreciate all they’ve done. SQL Server 2012 is an excellent product. Nice job kids. Don’t get cocky.

The message. Big data. Because let’s face it, we’re getting bigger and bigger data all the time. It’s the harder problem and the sexier problem. Howerver, a lot of us are still working with small data sets and struggling. Don’t forget about us. But, the new In-Memory database that they’re putting out is pretty slick. That’s going to move things very quickly. Plus, as a geek, it gives us more to learn. Wonderful. The new functionality is going to be released with the next version of SQL Server, and it’s going to be a part of the system. That’s pretty cool. Of course, it’ll probably be Enterprise only, but if you need it, it’ll be worth it. This is going to make a big difference in performance tuning. It’ll open up additional opportunities.

Oooh. Management studio looks radically different. He’s working through a web page. Fair warning, it’s not the finished experience, but it’s very interesting that it might be the direction that they’re heading in. It also resembles Windows 8 a little. The demo’s look pretty cool. He’s improved performance 30 times by simply moving everything into memory. IO latching and locks just go away. Performance shoots through the roof. I need to get my hands on that. We all do probably.

See how columnstore works within this type of hardware and software is pretty amazing too. Plus, you can update it in the upcoming release and you can cluster it. We’re moving into a new world people.

But, don’t forget, this requires HUGE hardware, so it won’t be cheap, at all. Plus, it’s not magic. You’ll still be able to completely mess it up. You’ll still be able to write horrible queries or make poor choices in where to apply indexes. TANSTAAFL always applies.

HDInsight is the new non-relational storage engines based on what used to be Hadoop. This is some cool stuff. Plus we’re seeing newer and bigger Parallel Data Warehouse. I love how things are expanding out so quickly.

The most interesting thing I saw was a new UI for managing SQL Server that was web based. It’s pretty slick, but I’m wondering where that’s going to go.

They also introduced a new thing called PolyBase. It shows a common interface to allow queries across Hadoop and Structural data from a single query. That’s going to be a big deal, but… like everything else, it suggests a lowest common denominator approach. Performance? As Brent Ozar tweeted, if you liked linked servers, you’ll love PolyBase. However, since it’s only in the Parallel Data Warehouse, the hardware made just make any problems go away.

I just can’t get excited about PowerPivot. I agree that it’s a cool thing for business people, but I just can’t get into it. My failing. I know. However, the spatial data display within Excel… that’s slick stuff.

But this has been an interesting and exciting keynote. The new technology coming up from Microsoft is really cool. I think we’re getting a lot of new opportunities to do new things with our data.

OK, fine, but what do you think?