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