Bob Muglia & Ted Kummert Keynote Address: Pass Summit 2009

Today the keynote address started out with Wayne Snyder
welcoming all the PASS attendees. He mentioned that 43% of the attendees where
first time PASS attendees, then Wayne said “Where have you been all these
years?”.

The PASS summit is truly an international event. This year
participants come from 45 different countries. After Wayne completed his PASS
update he introduced Bob Muglia from Microsoft for one of the keynote addresses.

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Wayne Snyder showing the PASS attendee numbers for the past three years


Wayne Snyder showing the PASS attendee numbers for the past three years

Bob Muglia talked about the new capabilities of scaling out
and scaling up that is coming with SQL Server 2008 R2. SQL Server 2008 R2 is
scheduled to be released in the first half of 2010. With this new release of SQL
Server, you will be able to build a SQL Server environment that runs SQL Server
on 256 different CPUs for some real awesome computing power. Bob showed us a
rack that contained 8 different IBM machines that was configured with 192
different CPUs that will be used to support his demonstration.

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Bob Muglia shows off the hardware that supported 198 CPUs


Bob Muglia shows off the hardware that supported 198 CPUs

This rack of machines was setup running Windows Server 2008
R2 and SQL Server 2008 R2, and supported some really impressive demos. The
demos flexed their muscles against a database that supported billions of rows
of data and returned results in just a few seconds. Just goes to show you what
some great technology, running on highly optimize hardware can really do. The
demo showed how you could significantly bring down CPU usage by aligning your
data platform to meet the demands of your business data requirements. He
stressed the fact that as IT architects we need to redefine our roll to make
sure data strategies and platform solutions align with business goals and
results. At the end of Bob’s presentation, he introduced Ted Kummert of
Microsoft.

Ted Kummert started off his keynote address by discussing Microsoft’s
Information Platform Vision. This vision covered empowering the IT
professional, providing pervasive insight to the business, providing dynamic
development tools, supporting mission critical platforms from the desktop, to
the server, to cloud commuting.

Ted Kummert talking about the vision

Ted Kummert talking about the vision

Microsoft’s vision is to provide better rollout support for
migrating to new releases of SQL Server. They are doing this by providing a
streamlined update process. In future rollouts they intend to have easier
approaches to deploying new releases and backing them out.

Ted showed off some of the tools and concepts to support
their direction. One of those new tools was the Utility Explorer. This new
tool allows you to connect different SQL Server instances to monitor and manage
instances using a single dashboard. The demo showed how control points can
be defined that identify things you want to monitor. Once the control points
are identified, the Utility Explorer allowed DBAs to monitor the resource
utilization from a single dashboard directly inside of SQL Server Management
Studio. This new utility will definitely help DBAs monitor their SQL Server
database environment.

Another tool demonstrated was Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2, and
how it will change the way DBAs deploy changes into their SQL Server production
environments. With Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2, Microsoft introduced a new
project type. With this new project, type developers can now build deployment
packages, known as a “dacpac”. These dacpacs will define the database schema
changes that a developer needs to deploy for the next version of their
application. A dacpac is a pre-packaged deployment plan for rolling out schema
changes. The DBA will no longer need to have developers provide T-SQL script
to deploy database changes.

Ted also talked about and demonstrated SQL Server Report
Builder 3. Report Builder 3 is a much more feature rich version of Report
Builder. Report Builder is now becoming a powerful tool to put in the hands of
the end user. This demo showed a number of new graphic capabilities that you can
easily incorporate into your reports. He also showed how you can now easily
incorporate mapping features directly into your Report Builder reports. This
new Report Builder version will definitely enhance the great self-service computing
options available to end users.

With all these new enhancements in SQL Server 2008 and
Visual Studio 2008, I’d suggest that DBAs and developers consider downloading
the latest CTP for SQL Server 2008 R2, as well as Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2,
and start becoming familiar with the features that are being built into these
products. These new tools will clearly change how IT professionals manage and
introduce change into the SQL Server environments.

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Gregory A. Larsen

Gregory Larsen
Gregory Larsen
Gregory A. Larsen is a DBA at Washington State Department of Health (DOH). Greg is responsible for maintaining SQL Server and other database management software. Greg works with customers and developers to design and implement database changes, and solve database/application related problems. Greg builds homegrown solutions to simplify and streamline common database management tasks, such as capacity management.

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