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Information Security Summit PreCon

I will be teaching a one day Pre-Con session as part of the Information Security Summit 2014.  If you are a SQL Server DBA or Security Professional I urge you to check it out.

I have been a volunteer and supporter of the Information Security Summit for several years now. It is a good organization, run by good people, who want to do the right thing, and educate security professionals at a reasonable cost. Last year the event sold out at over 600 attendees over two days and was basically limited by building fire code. I predict this year will be pretty much the same.

So what about my Pre-Con? I have discussed SQL Server Security with some colleagues both on the SQL Server side and Security Professionals who all have indicated that there is a need for SQL Server Security education. Earlier this year I resolved to present a Pre-Con at the ISS. So my focus for the past 6 months has been building , researching and preparing to deliver the workshop.

Take a look at the outline. It’s SQL Server security content mainly aimed at Security Professionals and Practitioners in the context of Regulatory Compliance.  But if you are a Professional DBA, there will be lots of challenging material as well. In fact, I hope to pair up “teams” of Security Professionals and Database Administrators in the class to maximize learning opportunities and team building.

I hope to see you at the Pre-Con and if not, I will be presenting a session on Auditing in SQL Server on Friday October 31st at the ISS.

 

 

 
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Dog Food Conference 2014 Call for Speakers

Published on June 10, 2014 by in DogFoodCon

Earlier in the year, I was invited to participate in the steering committee for Dog Food Con as a SQL/BI track owner.  This Microsoft technology focused event will be hosted at the Quest Conference Center in Columbus, Ohio on September 29-30, 2014. The event last year had 585 attendees over 2 days. We are targeting 800 attendees this year.

A few days ago, the Call for Speakers was announced. We are looking for abstracts on Microsoft technologies like Powershell, SQL Server / Business Intelligence, Windows 8.1, Hyper-V, Exchange, Sharepoint, Lync and many others.  Special topics we are hoping to have presenters on this year include:

  • Office on the iPad
  • Project Roslyn and .NET open source Foundation
  • Hosting DNN, WordPress, Linux,  or Oracle on Azure
  • GitHub integration with TFS

The call for speakers will be open until July 9. Speakers will be notified on July 14. Please consider submitting an abstract paper today.

http://dogfoodconcfp.hubb.me/

 
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Akron AITP April Meeting Recap

Published on May 1, 2014 by in Uncategorized
  • Meeting began at 6PM. There was a little networking going on and we started a few minutes before 6:30. Food was typical fare, sandwiches, veggies and fruit.
  • Guest speaker was Keith Mayer, a technical evangelist for Microsoft. I’ve known Keith for a few years now so it was good to catch up a little.
  • Topic was DevOps with Azure. The promise of DevOps is to let IT pros into the Dev Circle, and also to let Devs into the IT Pro land, all in the name of delivering solutions to the business faster.  Cross pollination, I guess. But I’m skeptical. Sounds an awful lot like RAD (Rapid Application Development) from my college days. Keith did a good job with the content, although I’m not convinced Microsoft isn’t just hanging on to the next buzzword using that to push Azure.
  • Attendance was 16, a little down from last month, where it was somewhere north of 20 I think.
  • Areas to improve: The pre-meeting should be called out on the agenda, with an encouragement towards networking.  Maybe have the soft drinks out early and do a mini bingo card or something to encourage people to mingle.

On my way out, I heard that next month is Bob Coppedge speaking on Google Glass. Should be a good one, as Bob is always an entertaining speaker. Hope to see you then.

 
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Upcoming Events

I’ll be presenting at a couple of IT Pro events in the next couple of months: First, SQL Saturday Detroit on May 17th. This is their second event held in the Motor City. I was happy to attend last year and it’s great to be going back. I’ll be talking about Achieving Compliance in SQL Server. This is a new topic for me. I’ve long been interested in SQL Server security and hardening the database platform. In addition I feel there has been a long gap between the SQL Database world and the Security/GRC/Audit professional community. This is a kind of prelude to some additional talks I will be doing on this thread in the near future in an effort to help bridge that gap.

On June 7th I will be speaking at the Pittsburgh Techfest. This platform agnostic IT Pro event is coming back for a third year. I’ve attended it since it’s inception and it will be great to get back and see some old friends. I’ll be talking on Getting Started with Hadoop. This is a talk that I have been wanting to do for a while and I figured it would be a nice change from the usual SQL Server fare. I’m focusing on HDInsight Server (Hadoop on Azure) because I’m mainly a Microsoft guy so it makes the most sense. I’m planning on mentioning Hortonworks HDP 2.0 Hadoop for customers looking for an onsite install as well.
I hope to see you there if you are attending. Stop by my session and say Hi.

 
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Switch Upgrade

Published on March 13, 2014 by in Uncategorized

NetworkUpdate

I recently undertook a project to upgrade my home network infrastructure. The existing core was a couple of old 3com 100Mbps hubs chained together, hardly an optimal setup. They had lasted many years and I decided to update to something more modern. I knew I wanted a 16 port Gigabit Ethernet (Gig-E). I shopped around some and got a little sticker shock when I started looking at managed switches. I wanted managed because was planning on handling iSCSI traffic. In the end, I decided on the unmanaged TP-LINK TL-SG1016 for around $75; with a smaller managed switch to come later dedicated to iSCSI traffic. As part of the project, I re-cabled all of the patch cables and made them nice and neat with wire ties. I’ve been very happy with the upgrade so far and have definitely noticed a speed improvement.

 
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SQL Saturday Cleveland Call for Speakers

Published on November 16, 2013 by in SQL Saturday

The call for speakers for our 3rd annual SQL Saturday in Cleveland remains open until December 10th. Checking the numbers this morning shows 44 sessions from 21 distinct speakers. There’s a good mix of local and regional/national speakers as well.

But we can do better. There’s a lot of interesting things that have not been submitted, like Hadoop and NoSQL topics for example. Have a professional development topic? Submit today. We had a PD track last year and it was pretty successful. I’d love to see it again. Are you a Sharepoint admin? Share your war stories with us!

If you need help with ideas or writing an abstract, please contact me and I’d be glad to help.

 
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SQL Saturday tip: Manually printing your SpeedPASS

Published on November 12, 2013 by in SQL Saturday

Manually print your SpeedPASSMost of the time when you sign up for a SQL Saturday, the event organizers will send out an email containing a link to your SpeedPASS. This is a pre-generated PDF that has your tickets and name tag. Just click on the link in the email and print it out.

If you register late or miss the email (sometimes it ends up in your spam folder), you can manually print your SpeedPASS:

- Login to the SQL Saturday site with your PASS login. Then click “View Profile” on the right.

- Scroll down to the bottom and locate the event you want. Then click the printer on the right.

 

 

 

 
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SQL Saturday Kalamazoo Recap

Published on November 4, 2013 by in SQL Saturday

I recently attended SQL Saturday #256 in Kalamazoo, MI.  I got the opportunity to go at the last minute due to some plans being reshuffled; so I eagerly signed up.  Oddly, this is my 2nd SQL Saturday event this year at which I did not speak. It gives you a different perspective on the day’s events. I definitely recommend trying it sometime, fellow speakers.

First off, I sat in Aaron Bertrand’s session on T-SQL: Bad Habits and Best Practices. I’ve been wanting to see this one for a while now and finally caught up with Aaron.  Next I attended Stacia Misner’s A Big Data Primer. Not very technical but a good perspective on the Big Data movement and where we may be headed. Afterward, I listened to Tamera Clark offer up good advice on SSRS Formatting Tips and Tricks.

After an excellent taco bar lunch, I sat in and listened to my friend Hope Foley speak on Server Side Performance Tuning. Lots of good advice and tips as well. Next up, Tim Ford on the Periodic Table of DMV’s: Collecting Baselines. Tim did an excellent job and I will be definitely be taking a look at his demo scripts. Finally, Karen Lopez and Joey D’Antoni presented on You wouldn’t let HR manage your databases for a great look at managing your career, recruiting, consulting, and insider tips.

I’d like to thank Josh Fennessy and his team of volunteers who did a really good job of organizing the event. Their experience clearly showed through.

 
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The Information Security Summit

Published on November 4, 2013 by in Events

I recently attended the 11th annual Information Security Summit held at LaCentre in Westlake. I know some of the organizers and have volunteered for the past couple of years. This event has been quietly gaining steam for many years, this year surpassing 550 attendees and 30 sponsors over two days.

Although security is not my background, I continue to find it useful to cross pollinate and meet other professionals in other IT communities. This year was no different and I met lots of interesting and smart people.

The conference was well organized and went off without any major mishaps. One thing I did notice though is that the ISS appears to have outgrown the LaCentre location. It will be interesting to see what the organizers do for a venue next year.

All in all, it was a good event. If you have any colleagues working in Security or GRC, let them know about the best kept secret in NE Ohio IT.

 
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SQL Saturday 256 Kalamazoo

Published on October 31, 2013 by in SQL Saturday

As a result of some last minute schedule changes, I will be attending SQL Saturday 256 in Kalamazoo, MI this weekend. This is my 2nd SQL Saturday this year where I don’t have speaking responsibilities. Attending can be fun enough though and I look forward to seeing my friends and #sqlfamily soon.

 
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