I attended the Special Ops Tour (AKA the SQL Server 2012 Launch Event) in Columbus earlier this week. I was really looking forward to the event. The Columbus user group (CBusPASS) partially hosted the event. I got there a little early so I could help out setting up but there wasn’t really anything to do. So I chatted with some of the CBusPASS folks. I am going to be presenting for them next month and I wanted to get some details on location, timing etc. Chapter Leader Dave Schutz (Twitter) kicked off the event welcoming everyone. The theme, of course, was secret agents. It was funny to see the Microsoft people acting in specially made spy videos. The keynote speaker was Dandy Weyn(blog | twitter), a senior Product manager for Microsoft. He showed us many cool new features of SQL Server 2012. My friend Brian Davis (blog | twitter) was a guest speaker, presenting for around 10 minutes on installing SQL Server 2012 on server core. The big hit of the event was the discussion and demos of the new Always On availability groups. Great stuff! Unfortunately, I didn’t see very many Cleveland people there. There were about 125 people in attendance. Not as extravagant like I remember the SQL Server 2005 launch event was, but those were different times. All in all, it was a good event.