A few months ago I posted about a free SQL Server training event, SQL In The City London 2012, being put on in London by the good people of Redgate. Well, yesterday it took place and I thought I’d write up a quick post on the day.
The venue was great, it was held at One Wimpole Street in London. Very comfy seats, a nice clean building – but if I were to be critical of something, it would be the temperature. For some reason the air-con was on all day in the auditorium, which makes for some cold limbs when you’re just sat there listening to talks! Anyway…
This was the first conference I’d ever been too, and it was great to see people talk who are so clearly at the top of their game.
The talks were great, and I learned plenty of things to take back to the office with me on Monday morning. A brief outline of what I saw is below:
Brad McGehee: Database Maintenance Essentials – This was the first talk of the day, and it was my favourite one. Brad covered a few topics in the hour he had, including importance of proper index and statistic maintenance, some dangerous DMV’s, the importance of DBCC CHECKDB, and some other bits.
Steve Jones: Prepare for When Disaster Strikes – Steve hates it when his phone rings, because nobody ever calls him to see how he’s days going. If Steve’s phone is ringing, something’s broken (sounds familiar, right?). This talk was all about being prepared, and the importance of SLA’s. He showed off Redgate’s SQL Compare, which would be a very nice tool to have if you do quite a bit of publishing from a UAT environment to a production server – like I do! Steve is a funny dude, and he was really great with audience (even if he did insult the English’s sporting ability).
Brad McGehee: Proactive Data Growth Management – Another good talk from Brad, and this one really showed off Redgate’s SQL Backup Pro. I want it. Compressing your backups by UP TO 95%!! It also has the ability to encrypt backups, which is only available as an option in SQL Server with the use to Transparent Data Encryption (requiring enterprise edition) and lots of other cool features. Brad also stated some pretty incredible statistics, like the fact that in 2011 roughly 1.8 zettabytes of data was generated!
Steve Jones: AlwaysOn and Contained Databases in SQL Server 2012 – As someone who hasn’t really had an opportunity to play with SQL 2012 yet, I really liked seeing some of the newer features. Contained databases look like a big step forward, but I think I need to play around with it myself a little before saying much more than that.
Grant Fritchey: Forgotten Rings and Other Monitoring Stories – Aimed at showing off Redgate’s SQL Monitor, Grant showed us some of the more awkward to use DMV’s and DBCC commands, explained why they were generally useless as just a single figures – therefore requiring a benchmark. This is where SQL Monitor comes to life. It monitors the server constantly, providing benchmarks as well as historic figures for trend analysis.
It was a great day, and I’d recommend it to any DBA or Database Developer. I learned some genuinely useful things that I can apply in the real world, got to see some of the new 2012 features, a lot of cool industry tools I’ll be convincing my boss to let me buy, and three of the industries greatest DBA’s – Brad McGehee, Steve Jones, and Grant Fritchey – All SQL Server MVPs.
The people of Redgate did an excellent job organizing the event, and had thought of literately everything. I was a little disappointed that there were multiple talks going on at any one time, as I thought I’d miss out on some of the other talks I wanted to see. Luckily, this isn’t an issue at all – Redgate had all talks filmed, and are going to put them up on the web for attendees to view at a later date – brilliant. At the end of the event, they let you choose a free book from a selection, but it didn’t really matter which one you took, as they’re putting them all up on the site for free download as PDF at some point anyway!