SQLRally, just proud to be in there with you

What did I submit?

Several months ago, I submitted two sessions to SQLRally with great enthusiasm as detailed in this post. The first “The Great High Availability Hustle” I had been thinking about for a very long time and is hopefully going to fill a void that has existed for too long. As a DBA, if you are not already using Clustering I guarantee that you will be, sooner or later. SQL 2008 finally gave us true HA product for the Enterprise and I believe SQL High Availability is going to start gaining traction and market share over the coming months and years. But there is a problem with this. I believe that probably nearly every DBA that has become competent with SQL Clustering will at one point have had a baptism of fire with the technology.

Its that situation where you are presented with something that you have no real idea about, but still have to administrate anyway and KNOW if you make one wrong move you could take it all down without the knowledge or skills to bring it back up. I briefly discussed this subject in my post “Mr. Fumble Fingers” and encourage you to take a read if you are about to be put in charge of a SQL Cluster and seriously start thinking about what resources you need to ask your boss for in order to protect your business systems’ uptime.

So the void I refer to, which I hope to address, is to provide a session that gives a very good introduction to an experienced DBA so that they can feel comfortable with SQL Server Clustering, but more importantly make them aware of any skills or technologies that they might need to address in order to maintain High Availability. If you think this session might be for you then please cast your vote I will definitely need every one I can get!

My second session “Orders of magnitude: Scale-Out your SQL Server Data” is a subject that also I don’t hear talked about often with SQL Server very much. Surely if you can’t scale out then SQL isn’t really an Enterprise database is it? Well I think it’s very true that possibly the first thing we might think of doing should we see a bottleneck as SQL DBAs is to Scale-Up where possible and this mindset has been established I believe from our rather limited earlier editions, but does this mean scaling out is not possible? Secondly when is a Scale-Up also a Scale-Out? I’m hoping to look into this subject and also delve a little into various possibilities not often talked about. One of SQL Server’s main competitors -Oracle always offers up Real Application Clusters as the reason why Oracle is far superior to SQL, but I have a lot of trouble deciding whether this is a High Availability solution or a Scale-Out solution. I’m personally undecided and although Microsoft’s offerings are not perfect I believe it is easier to draw a distinction. This presentation is going to consume a lot of my time putting together, but I’m hoping it will be worth it, and again if it sounds like something that you wish to listen to then please don’t forget …I need your votes.

All the session details can be found here my two can be found in the HA/DR section.

Why should you vote for me?

My answer to this is fairly simple. If you feel as though you will learn something from what I am proposing then please vote, but if not you really shouldn’t. Please don’t misunderstand me, I *really* want your vote, but what I want is not important. The only thing that is important when you visit SQL Rally is that you will learn everything that you needed to learn and get a maximum return for your time. I would love to be there, but not at the expense of you missing out on something else you would rather hear. However …if you believe I can offer something, let me suggest a few other reasons why I think it would be good for me to present.

I can offer something slightly different. During my I.T. career I have put my hand to an awful lot of different things and believe this “rounded” outlook allows me to think outside the box.

I am a bit like you. I probably come from a similar background (albeit in the U.K), have probably experienced similar employers and managers – some very good and some very poor, and I understand that we all can’t implement Parallel Data Warehouses to meet our growing business desire for ever faster reporting solutions. In other words I will try and propose real world solutions to real world problems.

I want to help. For some reason I get satisfaction in knowing that through my advice or guidance, I have helped in some way. I don’t really know what the psychological reason is for my desire to help, I am sure there is one, but I really do and hope I can. I always try to answer emails, tweets and the like all the time, so I promise that if you do have any follow up questions or simply just want to keep in touch then I am definitely open to that. I have learnt that collectively we are exponentially stronger than if we are on our own, so lets connect!

I will work hard. I don’t want to pretend that putting material together for presentations is easy, in fact (for me at least) it is quite difficult and time-consuming since a lot of background reading and effort is required in order to produce something worthy of communicating to someone else. What I can definitely promise is that I will work very hard trying to produce some good content for you in the hope that you might find it useful.

So in conclusion, I would really love to have your votes and see you over at SQL Rally, it would be a big honour for me but there are some absolutely fantastic submissions and even better speakers. I have had the pleasure of meeting a few of you already -or even hearing you speak live, so I am humbled just getting to the voting stage.

I’m just proud to be in there with you!