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SQLRally: Upgrade Roadmap Slide Deck

Published on May 11, 2012 by in Uncategorized

Thanks to everyone who attended my presentation on upgrading SQL Server yesterday. Below is the slide deck and upgrade advisor rules spreadsheet.

UpgradeRoadmap

 

 
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SQL Saturday 118 Madison Pictures

Published on May 4, 2012 by in SQL Saturday

Last night, I cleaned up and posted the pictures I took at SQL Saturday 118 Madison. Since I was speaking during the first session, I couldn’t take any pictures of those sessions. If you have any and want to share, send me the link and I’ll include it here.

SQL Saturday 118 Photo Gallery

 
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SQL Rally Networking Tips

Published on April 30, 2012 by in Networking, SQLRally

If you are attending the upcoming SQLRally event, one thing that you need to prepare for a little is the networking. No, I’m not talking about networking computers. Networking is the process of meeting and interacting with people in a professional setting, all in the interest of making contacts for a potential long term mutual benefit.

If you are the shy type or maybe a little introverted, the thought of meeting a bunch of strangers might scare you. Here are some tips to help you with this:

  • Learning to network is both a skill and an art form. Everyone has their own approach and the more you do it, the better you get at it.
  • Always have your business cards with you. Not having your card with you makes it harder to exchange contact information. Furthermore, the card serves as a reminder for us to follow up.
  • Don’t be shy. If you see someone at an event or in the hall and they look approachable, walk up and introduce yourself. Odds are, you probably have a lot of things in common with that person.
  • Engage in small talk. “So do you have any SQL Server 2000 left in your environment?” or, “What do you think about the NoSQL movement?” or, “What’s your favorite SQL 2012 feature?” Small talk leads to meaningful conversation.
  • Think quality, not quantity. You can’t meet everyone at the conference. You should be able to remember one detail or thing about each person your meet. That’s a good connection. To help you remember you can write details on the back of their business card, but NOT in front of them. I like to do it at the end of the mixer event or at the end of the day while my memory is still fresh.
  • Make it a goal meeting a specific number of people each day. That’s quantifies it and forces you to action.

Follow up. This is where most people fail in the networking process. They neglect to follow up. Typically you should follow up within 24 hours. But at events like SQLRally, you can relax that and typically follow up early the next week. Why? There’s just no time and everyone is in the same boat in terms of following up on meeting lots of people. Plus, when you get home, you will probably be tired and want to spend time with your family. Don’t wait too long, though as it could send the wrong message that your connection was not valuable.

Take the opportunity to expand your professional network when you attend SQLRally. You won’t be sorry.

 

 

 
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April IT/Security Summit Event Recap

The April IT/Security Summit event was a great success. The event was heavily focused on Higher Education and the Public Sector. I was chosen to present on SQL Server 101 for non-DBAs. The initial vision of the presentation was to deliver a no-nonsense, survival toolkit for SMB’s (small to medium businesses) who did not have or could not afford a full time professional DBA on staff. Basically, a crash course in SQL Server and what it takes to keep it alive and running. My session had around 30 attendees and the reaction was really positive.

Below please find the slide deck from the presentation:

SQL_Server_101_for_IT_Pros

 
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SQL Saturday 118 Madison

Tomorrow I will be flying off to beautiful Madison, WI to attend SQL Saturday #118. I’m really looking forward to this event, as this will be my 1st SQL Saturday of 2012. I will be presenting on Upgrade Roadmap: Let’s Delve into SQL 2012. For lunch we will be having birds of a feather tables, and I volunteered to lead one on professional networking. Should be a good day and I hope to see you there.

 
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Going to SQLRally? Don’t have business cards? Get moving.

Published on April 13, 2012 by in SQLRally

If you are attending the upcoming PASS SQLRally event, one thing you will want to bring with you is business cards. You’ll be meeting lots of  interesting people and in order to better connect with them, you should have a supply of business cards with you at all times.

If you don’t have a business card, now is the time to get moving and have some made. Now, you’re probably saying to yourself  “I already have my work business cards” . Yes, that’s true. You really should have a personal/professional business card in addition to your work card. Head on over to Vistaprint and you can get 250 printed up for free. All you have to pay is the shipping. They also have other options and deals if you don’t like the canned cards.

Another source  that you may want to look at is MOO. MOO cards are very unique. They let you do more and better customizations. What’s even better is that you can upload your own picture or personal graphic and that will be printed on the back side of the card. I highly recommend MOO cards. Yes, they cost a lot more. But I think it’s worth it in terms of personal branding and impressions. Remember the old saying? You never get a second chance to make a good first impression. Go and order some business cards right now.

 
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CBusPASS April meeting recap

Last night I had the pleasure of presenting to the CBusPASS SQL Server user group for the 1st time. I arrived a little early, not knowing what the Columbus traffic was going to be like. So I helped chapter leader Dave Schutz (Twitter) set up a little. The presentation went well, with lots of good questions from the audience of about 20 people.  Below you will find the link to download the slide deck.

 

UpgradingToSQL2012

 
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Declutter your life

Published on April 4, 2012 by in Personal

I originally took the day off today to work on my SQLRally presentation, among other things. I ended up cleaning the basement, going to the recycling center, spraying for weeds, throwing out some old junk and other things unrelated to SQL Server. I guess I needed it. So do you. Take a day to declutter your life, both physical and mental. I feel more refreshed, able to focus better, and I am ready to tackle upgrading SQL Server now.  The presentation will come soon enough.

 
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Ohio North SQL Server User Group April Mtg Recap

The Ohio North SQL Server user group held it’s April meeting on 4/3/2012. As usual, we had a pre event PASS video from 5PM to 6PM. At 6PM our leader Allen White (blog | twitter) welcomed everyone and reviewed upcoming events. Our guest speaker was Chris Umbaugh (blog | twitter) who presented on BI Fact table modelling. Myself having minimal data warehousing experience, I felt that Chris did a great job of making the subject matter understandable to non-BI pros. The talk was pretty generic, so as to be applicable to many different environments. He also mixed in some real world lessons learned which is always good. We had 37 people in attendance. Not a record, but not bad for a nice spring day.  Afterward, about 12 of us headed over to Mavis Winkle’s for beer and fellowship. Thanks to Brian Livaich (linkedin) and WIT, Inc. for sponsoring the event.

Come join us next month as Adam Belebczuk (blog | twitter) presents on SQL Server 2012 Always ON. Should be a good one. See you then!

 
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Upgrading to SQL Server 2012: Strategy Part 1

This is the second post in a series on Upgrading to SQL Server 2012. Tips, tricks, hazards, pitfalls, and real world experiences.

 

Your Upgrade Strategy

A big part of the upgrade strategy should be how we do it. There are three basic approaches to the problem. There is no right answer, as it depends on where your company is at in terms of hardware refresh cycle, SAN infrastructure, OS version, and HA/DR posture.

In Place Upgrade

This is the simplest approach. When you execute this upgrade, you will replace an instance of SQL Server 2005,2008, or R2 with a running copy of SQL Server 2012. The instance can be default or named. Think of it as a Hail Mary pass. You get one shot at it and if it fails, rollback can be ugly. That’s why you always need to do your homework and plan carefully for each upgrade, with multiple fallback positions. The big pro is that it is a lot simpler than the other approaches. The big con is that you cannot upgrade cross platform. This means if you are running any version of 32bit SQL Server, you cannot do an in-place upgrade to SQL Server 2012 64bit.

Side by Side upgrade

This approach can be also referred to as Build-out-new or migration. I am using the term migration to move databases to a new instance of SQL Server, as opposed to migrating to or from another RDBMS platform like Oracle or DB2. The Side by Side approach can take on two flavors:

  • A new instance of SQL Server on the same server.
  • A new instance of SQL Server on a new server.

If you take the side by side strategy, you will then test and move your databases in small chunks or groups over time to the new instance. Note that if you install a 2nd instance on the same server, it will have to be a named instance (assuming of course, that the 1st instance was the default instance). Some applications don’t like / can’t handle a named instance of SQL Server. Check with your ISV.

So what are the pros and cons of the side by side approach? Obviously if your hardware is more than a few years old you are probably going to be migrating to new hardware. If you are already on newer hardware,  you will want to go side by side on the same box.  Personally, I prefer side by side on new hardware. Long term, it’s a cleaner strategy. Big pro of this side by side approach is that your DBA team can move at their own pace and move databases slowly via the backup/restore ,  detach/reattach or by using the copy database wizard.  The big con of this approach is that it’s more labor intensive.

Do Your Homework

An upgrade is 75% project planning, and 25% execution. Take the time upfront and plan it out correctly and you won’t have any problems.

 
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