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Meeting Archive

January 2013

The Performance Impact of Database Design
by  Audrey Hammonds
 Thursday, January 24 2013 at 6:00 PM GMT
Time-travel stories all have one common plot element - some action done in the past has big impact on the future. Sometimes you get lucky… Hoverboards!
Sometimes, not so much... Morlocks! The same holds true in your database.
Design decisions have a huge impact on how you’re going to get data into and out of your database. This session illustrates the impact of database design on query performance and why thinking about performance during design time will help your database avoid an H.G. Wellsian future.

Audrey is the Data Architect for Nexidia, Inc. in Atlanta and a SQL Server MVP. She loves data and loves making applications happy by designing databases that work. She digs interesting applications of T-SQL and tries valiantly to understand the internals of what makes SQL Server go. She's a wife and a mother to two awesome sons, Chase and Gavin. Occasionally she finds time to try to learn to play the ukulele or read a book. She blogs at with one of her favorite people in the world, Julie Smith.


Sponsored by Confio


Palooza! 2012

On December 6, 2012 we hosted a full day of online sessions! Yes, that's correct, a full day of sessions which was called Winter* 2012 Performance Palooza. We'll started at 8 AM PST/11 AM EST and hosted sessions back-to-back all day. Think of it as a mini 24 Hours of PASS, but with every session related to our favorite topic, SQL Server Performance!

We hope you joined some of our favorite speakers as we closed out a successful 2012 with our own end of the year party**.
If you could not attend or want to watch a presentation again, the 2012 Palooza page has been updated with the videos of the sessions.
Congratulations to the following individuals, who each won a $50 gift card from, courtesy of our sponsor, Confio!   
Adeilson B. 
Ian P. 
Scott H. 
Harry (@SQLHarry) 
Jessica G. 
Jeni J. 
Hailin Y.   
Venky S.
Names were randomly selected for each session of the Winter Performance Palooza, held December 6, 2012.
Sponsored by Confio

October 2012 Presentation

Without A SQLTrace - Getting To Know Extended Events

by AJ Mendo 

Thursday, October 25 2012 at 6:00 PM GMT  


 If you have wanted to learn how to use Extended Events and have had a hard time trying to figure out where to start then this session is for you. This session is designed for someone that has never used Extended Events before. After this session you will know the basics of how to setup and  use this highly scalable and configurable architecture to trouble shoot server issues. You will see how to use them in SQL 2008 and how they have been beefed up in SQL 2012. This will be a demo rich session so come prepared to finally get to know Extended Events.


AJ has over a decade of experience working with database management systems and has supported a variety of applications. He is a frequent presenter at user groups, SQL Saturday's and online and is on the board of POSSE and the media manager for CACTUSS. He gives his time freely for SQL Events and loves being a part of the SQL Community.

View the Presentation

Sponsored by Confio






September 2012 Presentation


                                         I feel the need… the need for speed

by Jeff Renz
Thursday, September 27 2012 at 6:00 PM GMT


Every project that I worked on I’ve always felt that users want everything to be fast… really fast.  Since we tend to be constrained by time and money we want to best leverage the tools and techniques that make the project successful… ”fast”.  With the introduction of SQL 2012 we need to understand what we get by implementing a SQL Server 2012 solution. That led me to these questions:

Is SQL Server 2012 really faster and more efficient then SQL Server 2008 R2 when I load data and query data?  Does a SQL Server 2002 Tabular model perform the same as a SQL 2012 Dimensional Model?  Are there really any performance differences when loading data using SSIS 2012 compared to other data loading approaches?  Does SQL Server 2012 offer me anything specific that would cause me to change how I would design my database to take advantage of new performance features?  Find out the answers to these questions and more in my session.


Jeff Renz has developed databases using SQL Server for over 13 years, primarily focused on global manufacturing and supply chain data collection and reporting.  In the past two years he has implemented two large data warehouses using data vault architecture for Abound Solar.  Jeff has a Bachelors degree in computer science and a Masters degree in operations research from the Colorado School of Mines.  Jeff is a Certified Data Vault Data Modeler by the Genesee Academy.

Sponsored by Confio


August 2012 Presentation

         Troubleshooting SQL Server with SysInternals Tools

by Argenis Fernandez

Thursday, August 23 2012 at 6:00 PM GMT
(Meeting will be rescheduled)


In this demo-packed session we will explore the use of SysInternals tools like Process Monitor, Process Explorer, and many others to troubleshoot various problem scenarios with SQL Server. This session is not for the faint of heart and is tailored toward those adventurous DBAs who often like to step out of their comfort zone. A fair knowledge of Windows OS internals is recommended.


Argenis Fernandez is a Senior Consultant for Microsoft Consulting Services - US West Region based in Redmond, WA. He has been working with SQL Server for over 14 years. He thoroughly enjoys working with large SQL Server farms, high end OLTP databases, managing Windows environments and Powershell scripting. He is also a Microsoft Certified Master on SQL Server 2008, an avid user of Twitter (can be reached at @DBArgenis), and blogs rather infrequently on SQL Server topics at


Sponsored by Confio

July 2012 Presentation

Using the new XEvents in SQL Server 2012
by Kevin Cox
Thursday, July 26 2012 at 6:00 PM GMT


There is a new XEvents user interface that was released in SQL Server 2012. Kevin Cox will cover the basics of the UI and will show how to use it, and he will also discuss how to use it for performance tuning. Towards the end of the presentation there will be a short discussion about what would it would take for it to replace Profiler and Replay.


Kevin Cox has been working with databases for over 35 years and with SQL Server for more than 25 years.  He is an author, lecturer and mentor in database subjects.  Kevin is currently with the Microsoft SQL Server product group in the Customer Advisory Team and feels fortunate to be able to work on the largest projects around the world.
Sponsored by Confio

June 2012 Presentation

Performance Tuning for Pirates
by John Sterrett
Thursday, June 28 2012 at 2:00 PM EDT       




If you follow baseball you will notice that my favorite team the Pittsburgh Pirates has to do more with less to be successful. Working as a consultant, I have also noticed this trend with several IT shops. If you need to improve the performance of your SQL Server instances and cannot purchase 3rd party tools this session is for you.  I will help improve your performance tuning process while using several free tools. Through this presentation we will go over wait stats, dynamic management objects, perfmon, PAL, SQL Trace, ClearTrace, SQL Nexus and  SQLDiag.


John Sterrett is active within the SQL Server community. He is a PASS Regional Mentor for the Mid-Atlantic Region, co-founded the West Virginia SQL Server User Group and hosted two PASS SQL Saturday events in West Virginia. John has presented at several SQL Server events including PASS SQLRally Orlando, PASS Summit 2011, SQL Server 2010 Member Summit, many PASS SQL Saturday events, code camps, and, user groups. John is a syndicated blogger at SQLServerPedia, contributes tips at MSSQLTIPS, and also blogs about SQL Server at

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Sponsored by Confio


May 2012 Presentation

                               DMVs - Understanding an Application's Database Usage         

by Jerry Brenner
Thursday,  May 24 2012 at 2:00 PM EDT


The DMVs contain a wealth of information about how your application uses the database. This talk will describe how to build a tool to mine the DMVs to get a good picture of how your application uses the database, leveraging your understanding of your application and/or it’s data model. By building a tool in a programming language, instead of relying on scripts, you can use set operations to minimize the number of queries executed against the database and then correlate information from a variety of DMVs and system tables. For example, you can execute a single query to get the execution statistics, text and showplan xml for the top N queries and then use XPath on the client to query the showplan xml and extract a wealth of information.


Jerry Brenner is Lead Performance Engineer at Guidewire, spending a lot of time developing tools that mine the DMVs and system tables, to enable quick debugging of performance issues. He spent the first half of his career working on query optimizers and implementing SQL functionality. He was technical lead for the rewriting of subquery processing in Sybase, so that Peoplesoft could release on Sybase and an original member of the query processing team at Cloudscape.


View the Presentation

Sponsored by Confio


April 2012 Presentation

Execution Plans: A Deep Dive
by Grant Fritchey
Thursday,  April 26 2012 at 2:00 PM EDT     

It’s one thing to know to look for scans instead of seeks, but if you really want to know what’s going on in an execution plan, you need to dive deep. This session will cover reading execution plans from the basics, but goes way beyond the basics to cover as much of the information available within an execution plan as you might possibly ever need. We’ll go into how to understand how to interpret parameter sniffing and spot when a join operation is not performing the way you would want. We’ll use the graphical plan and the XML behind to thoroughly explore execution plans.

Grant Fritchey is a SQL Server MVP with over 20 years of experience in IT, including time spent in support and development. He has worked with SQL Server since 6.0, back in 1995. He has developed in VB, VB.NET, C# and Java. He has authored books for Apress and Simple-Talk and joined Red Gate Software as a Product Evangelist in January 2011.

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Sponsored by Confio


March 2012 Presentation

Eating the Elephant: SQL Server Table Partitioning         
by Mike Fal
March 22, 2012 at 2:00 PM EDT


Is your table fat? Do you need to manage a table that has billions of rows within it and are overwhelmed by index rebuilds that take more than 12 hours? SQL Server's table partitioning gives the DBA the tools to manage this beast and support very large tables in a way where index management and data retrieval does not become unwieldy. This presentation will take you step by step through choosing an appropriate partitioning key, setting up the partitioning on the table, and finally maintaining the partitions. 


Mike Fal is a musician turned SQL Server DBA, with 10+ years of experience along with some brief excursions into Oracle and Netezza. He has worked in several different industries, including healthcare, software development, marketing, and manufacturing and has experience supporting databases from 1 GB to 4 TB in size. Mike received his Bachelor's Degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1996 and has been caught playing trombone in public on more than one occasion.


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Sponsored by Confio

February 2012 Presentation

Filegroups: Putting The Pieces Together
by Jes Borland
February 23, 2012 at 2:00 PM EST
Every DBA must know how to create and maintain filegroups because they affect performance, maintenance, and security of your data. What are filegroups, and how do you use them? In this session, I'll show you how to create filegroups, create objects in them, move objects to them, perform maintenance, and walk through piecemeal restores.
Jes Schultz Borland is a Technical Consultant at Blue Door Consulting in Oshkosh, WI. She holds an AAS - Programmer/Analyst degree. She has worked with SQL Server since 2007, focusing on Reporting Services and day-to-day administration. She is an active member of PASS, Director of Communication for MADPASS, and Director of Social Media for the PASS WIT virtual chapter. She's a frequent presenter at user groups, SQL Saturdays, and other community events. She is also an avid tweeter, blogger and runner.

 View Presentation

Sponsored by Confio


January 2012 Presentaion

Discovering the Plan Cache
by Jason Strate
January 26, 2012 at 4:00 PM EST


Execution plans are stored after execution in the plan cache. This metadata about how queries are executed can provide insight into how your SQL Server environment is functioning. By using XQuery to browse and search the plan cache you can find potential performance issues and opportunities to tune your queries. This information can be used to help reduce issues related to parallelism, shift queries from using scans to using seek operations, or discover exactly which queries are using what indexes. All of this and more is readily available through the plan cache. In this session we will explore the plan cache and start you on the road to discovery.


Jason Strate, Digineer Inc, is a DBA with over fifteen years of experience. He is a recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for SQL Server since July, 2009. His experience includes design and implementation of both OLTP and OLAP solutions as well as assessment and implementation of SQL Server environments for best practices, performance, and high availability solutions. Jason is a SQL Server MCITP and participated in the development of Certification exams for SQL Server 2008.

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Sponsored by Confio


December 2011 Presentation

The Periodic Table of Dynamic Management Objects

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Periodic Table of DMOs


Taking the periodic table of elements into consideration I've created The Periodic Table of Dynamic Management Objects as a reference tool for these functions and views that have become so critical for today's SQL Server DBA to performance tune and gain metadata insights into their various SQL instances. In navigating the table we will examine key DMVs and DMFs of interest: requests, sessions, wait stats, indexes, system information will all be covered. We will also delve into how these DMOs - just like their elemental counterparts - can be combined to yeild interesting insights into your servers. We will also look at how things can go awry as well! Like mixing vinegar and baking soda, sometimes combining DMOs can cause a big mess too!

Tim Ford is the Lead Database Administrator and SQL Server Subject Matter Expert for Spectrum Health. Since 2010 he's been taking 15 students along with other community speakers teaches SQL Server, networks, and relaxes on SQL Cruises ( Tim is a community speaker, volunteer, and author.  His book with Louis Davidson: Performance Tuning with SQL Server Dynamic Management Views is now widely available; as an avid telecommuter, he rarely wears pants.

November 2011 Presentation

But it worked great in Dev!  SQL Server Performance for Developers

November 1, 2011 12 PM Eastern 

Speaker: Randy Knight


If you've ever found yourself stating the above, this session is for you.  For many developers, writing T-SQL that works is not the challenge.  But too  often, functional T-SQL is not the same as good T-SQL.  In this session, we  will examine why "SQL that works" is not good enough.  Understanding  indexes, execution plans, the impact of different types of SQL statements and more are all critical to writing  good T-SQL.  We will also examine several real-world examples of T-SQL that  "worked great in dev" but caused major issues when it hit production.

About Randy: 

Randy Knight (MCITP) has been working with Microsoft technology for over 20 years, focusing on SQL Server for the last 15. He is currently the President and Principal Consultant for SQL Solutions Group, a Utah-based SQL Server consultancy. He is a nationally known speaker and trainer, having presented at SQL Saturday, Code Camp, User Groups and the inaugural PASS SQLRally.

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Sponsored by CONFIO


Performance Tuning SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS)

October 18, 2011 12 PM Eastern 

Speaker: Brian Knight

Key takeaways:
Learn how to  performance tune SSIS and common pitfalls.  In this demo-rich presentation, Brian shows you some of the common and not so common ways to tune SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS). Learn how to tune the data flow using some of the advanced SSIS ptions and how to avoid common SSIS mistakes. See how to measure performance and how to keep SSIS from monopolizing your server's resourcing. Lastly, discover SQL Server 2008 and Denali features that will make SSIS more efficient.

About Brian: 

Brian Knight, SQL Server MVP, MCITP, MCSE, MCDBA, is the owner and founder of Pragmatic Works. He is also the co-founder of, and He runs the local SQL Server users group in Jacksonville (JSSUG). Brian is a contributing columnist at several technical magazines and does regular webcasts at He is the author of a dozen SQL Server books. Brian has spoken at conferences like PASS, SQL Connections and TechEd and many Code Camps. His blog can be found at

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Sponsored by CONFIO




SSIS Viagra: Top 10 Quick and Easy Performance Enhancers for Your Integration Services Packages
September 13, 2011 12 PM Eastern  (Please Note: Date has changed)
Speaker: Jose Chinchilla

Join us and learn from Jose Chinchilla's (aka SQLJoe) top 10 proven techniques from the field to speed up SSIS package  performance. As a bonus, attendees will learn how to maximize SSIS multithreading capabilities using the new and free SSIS Balanced Data Distributor (BDD). It's like Viagra for your SSIS Package Performance!

Additionally, Jose will do an overview of important design considerations
with SSIS regarding:

- Parallelism
- Memory buffers
- Synchronous and asynchronous operations
- Blocking, non-blocking and semi-blocking operations
- Row-by-agonizing-row (RBAR) and set based operations
- Change Capture techniques for incremental loads


About Jose: 

Jose Chinchilla is a Microsoft Certified Database Administrator and
Business Intelligence Developer working as a Sr. BI Consultant & Data
Architect for Pragmatic Works. Jose has12+ years of experience in IT
and has focused his career in OLTP and OLAP database design,
development and administration and specializes in Data Warehousing and Multidimensional Analysis using SQL Server 2005/2008 BI tools. He is also the current president of the Tampa Bay Business Intelligence User Group.

Contact info:
Email: /



Sponsored by CONFIO

August Presentation

Performance Optimization: Finding the Low Hanging Fruit
August 2, 2011 12 PM Eastern
Speaker: Robin Tanner

SQL Server performance optimization is a complex topic. The more you understand about the internals and how SQL Server processes queries, the more effective you can be at performance optimization. With that being said, there are many things which can help you drastically improve performance that can be immediately implemented without spending a considerable amount of investigation time. In this session, we will delve into easy modifications that can quickly yield performance improvements and increased scalability. We will discuss the concepts and then view demonstrations of these concepts in action. Be prepared to touch on the following:

·         Implications of different isolation level settings and what is appropriate for environments
·         The performance implications of using linq to contain the data access code in OLTP environments
·         Understanding how SQL Server manages the plan cache and how to leverage this knowledge to achieve greater scalability.
·         Execution plan basics. How to quickly identify problem areas.


About Robin: 

For the past five years, Robin Tanner has successfully served as both DBA and developer for an array of companies spanning several industries such as: health care, health insurance, e-commerce, online retail, finance and the legal system. His extensive experience includes: dashboard and report development, SSIS, CLR, T-SQL, SQL Server Administration, and data warehousing. With such a rich and diverse background, Robin possesses the capability of playing critical roles in all areas of SQL Server.



Sponsored by CONFIO


Intelligent Laziness with the Management Data Warehouse – why work harder, when you can work smarter?

July 5, 2011 12 PM Eastern

Speaker: Jen Stirrup

In this session, we are going to look at ways to help DBAs work smarter rather than harder when troubleshooting SQL Server performance problems! We will look at the Management Data Warehouse (MDW), which is a SQL Server database which holds data about the performance of SQL Server databases. Specifically, the MDW stores the standard performance counters which help performance monitoring and troubleshooting, thereby helping DBAs to commence a detailed analysis of the performance more quickly – leading to quicker performance troubleshooting and resolution.
This session will cover
-        The extraction of data from the MDW
-        The standard reports available
-        How to create customized reports using SSRS 2008 R2 using the MDW using best principles of data visualization (Stephen Few, Edward Tufte, to name a few)
 Join this session to help you to proactively manage your performance monitoring using the MDW whilst using intelligent laziness to get quicker answers to your performance monitoring issues.

About Jen: 

Jen Stirrup is an MCP, with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and two Masters in Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science. Currently, Jen is a freelance Business Intelligence consultant, delivering solutions to global clients. Jen is a veteran SQL Server Developer with over 12 years SQL experience in delivering end-to-end Business Intelligence solution. Jen blogs for SQLServerPedia as well as her own blog, and is very active in many SQL Server User Groups in the UK. Jen's focus is on the Microsoft BI stack, with a specific passion for Data Visualization.

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Sponsored by CONFIO




Looney Tuner? No, There IS A Method To My Madness!

June 7, 2011 12 PM Eastern

Speaker: Janis Griffin

SQL Server query tuning is often more art than science and it can quickly eat up a lot of DBA and/or Developer time. This presentation will outline a method for determining the best approach for tuning queries by utilizing response time analysis and SQL Diagramming techniques. Regardless of the complexity of the statement, this quick, systematic approach will lead you down the correct tuning path with no guessing. If you are a beginner or expert, this approach will save you countless hours tuning a query.

About Janis: 

Senior DBA at Confio Software
Janis Griffin has over 24 years of DBA experience including design, development and implementation of many critical database applications.
Before coming to Confio, Janis held DBA positions primarily in the Telecom Industry, working with both real-time network routing databases and OLTP business to business applications.
Janis was also a Principal Architect and Senior Manager, mentoring other DBAs on best practices in database design and performance tuning. She was responsible for managing all aspects of the Voice Network databases including short and long-term technical planning and strategic alliances. As a highly successful liaison between management and technical staff, Janis has proven to be an effective collaborator implementing cutting-edge database solutions.

View the Presentation


Where Are My Reports?

May 31, 2011 12 PM Eastern

Speaker: John Racer

Managing Reporting Services Reporting Services has quickly become and enterprise class report delivery system. As such, user adoption can grow quite rapidly and before you know it higher usage can bring the Report Server to its knees. This is why monitoring and maintaining reporting services from the beginning is important part of any deployment. Since the introduction in SQL Server 2000 many changes to the engine and user interface have been designed to help improve this management and administration.
In this session we will cover common scenarios for monitoring reporting services performance, tracking down performance issues and troubleshooting errors. We will also review solutions to improve performance in the report execution and engine configuration. Finally, we will discuss techniques to scale up and scale out to distribute load and isolate various forms of activity.

About John: 

I am a bit of Database Administrator, Business Intelligence Developer and Data Warehouse Designer with strong knowledge of telecommunications, care center, compensation and business operations systems. Experienced with implementation and maintenance of SQL Server and Oracle Multi-Terabyte High-Availability environments. Broad experience with project management through SDLC, RAD and Scrum. Driven by the challenge to understand business and processes and apply this knowledge create innovative applications of technology to improve organization and operational efficiency.

My specialties include:

  • SQL Server 2000, 2005, 2008/R2
  • Oracle 9i, 10g, 11g
  • Business Intelligence
  • Data Warehousing (Kimball Top Down)
  • Reporting Systems
  • Commissions Systems

View the Presentation


Sponsored by CONFIO


March 1, 2011

Performance Degradation due to Fragmentation

March 1, 2011 12 PM Eastern

Speaker: Bryan Oliver

Often as a DBA we look at Index Fragmentation on our Non-Clustered Indexes and Page Fragmentation on our Clustered indexes but we often forget File and Extent Fragmentation. The question often arises from other DBA's how do we detect it, how do we fix it and finally how do we avoid it. In this presentation I will look at all four types of fragmentation that rob a SQL Server of its ability to deliver results quickly from queries. I will discuss way to monitor and detect the 4 types of fragmentation and raise new topics on storing data relating to these events. Finally I will present a broad range of material on how to avoid or at best reduce the occurrence of fragmentation.

About Bryan:

Bryan Oliver has over 20 years of industry experience, 11 of which were spent working primarily with SQL Server. Bryan is a SQL Server Expert focusing on performance tuning, backup and restore best practices and general SQL Server issues. Bryan's position allows him to work with some of the largest and most recognizable SQL database environments in the world. He is also a valued speaker at conferences such as SQL PASS and SQL Server Summit. Born and raised in Australia, Bryan graduated from RMIT University in Melbourne and was an early adopter of SQL Server.

Previously Bryan was a Vice President of R&D at Quest in the SQL Server Division. I worked with a number of solutions, including LiteSpeed for SQL Server. Prior to joining Quest Bryan was the vice president of research and development for Imceda Software.

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February 2, 2011

Improve SQL Server Performance through Unique/Non-Unique Indexes

February 2, 2011, 12 PM Eastern

Speaker: Klaus Aschenbrenner

SQL Server provides two kinds of indexes for relational data: Clustered- and Non-Clustered Indexes. Both of them can be defined as unique and non-unique.  In this session you will learn how to use Clustered- and Non-Clustered Indexes in your database and how you can improve the execution time of your queries with those indexes. Furthermore we will have a look into the concrete storage details of both indexes and how they differ when you define them as unique and non-unique and what's the tradeoff between it. Finally you will get some best practices how to deal effectively with Clustered- and Non-Clustered Indexes in your database.

About Klaus:

Klaus Aschenbrenner provides independent SQL Server Consulting Services across Europe and the US. Klaus works with the .NET Framework and especially with the SQL  Server 2005/2008 from the very beginnings. In the years 2004 - 2005 Klaus was entitled with the MVP award from Microsoft for his tremendous support in the .NET Community. Klaus has also written the book Pro SQL Server 2008 Service Broker which was published by Apress in the Summer of 2008. Further information about Klaus you can find on his homepage at He also twitters at

 View Presentation

January 18, 2011

Index Fragmentation: The Hidden Menace

Speaker: Paul Randal

As soon as you have more than one index on a table, you're going to start seeing fragmentation. Many people know that fragmentation is bad, but why is it bad? And what is the best way to get rid of it? Paul knows everything there is to know about fragmentation, having written the original DBCC SHOWCONTIG and DBCC INDEXDEFRAG. In this session, he will explain how fragmentation occurs and why the process that leads to fragmentation can often be as damaging to performance as the fragmentation itself. He'll explain how to test for fragmentation and show why some of the tools cannot be trusted to give an accurate measure. Finally, Paul will explain the different methods of removing fragmentation and everything you need to consider when putting together an appropriate fragmentation-management strategy.

About Paul:

Paul S. Randal is the CEO of, which he runs with his wife Kimberly L. Tripp. Both Paul and Kimberly are very widely known and respected experts in the SQL Server world, with both being SQL Server MVPs, and Microsoft Regional Directors. Paul is a Contributing Editor for both TechNet Magazine and SQL Server Magazine. He writes the bi-monthly SQL Q&A column for TechNet Magazine, the monthly SQL Q&A column for SQL Server Magazine, and feature articles for both.

Paul started in the industry in 1994 working for DEC on the VMS file system and its check/repair tools (the equivalent of chkdsk for NTFS), then on a kernel mode file system for Windows NT.

In 1999 he moved to Microsoft to work on SQL Server, specifically on DBCC. For SQL Server 2000, he concentrated on index fragmentation - well, removing it! - writing both DBCC INDEXDEFRAG and DBCC SHOWCONTIG, plus various algorithms in DBCC CHECKDB to support it being able to run online, and code in other parts of the Storage Engine.

Paul then spent the first 3 years of SQL Server 2005 development rewriting the DBCC CHECKDB and repair code-base, gaining extensive insight into disaster recovery scenarios and problems through close partnership with the SQL Server PSS (Product Support) group. Paul spent the remaining two years of SQL Server 2005 development leading/managing a 9-person development team in the Core Storage Engine. His team was responsible for data access and storage (DBCC, space allocation, indexes & heaps, pages & records, text/LOB storage, snapshot isolation, bulk load etc) so Paul has a very deep understanding of the Storage Engine. Paul also holds a patent on consistency-checking technologies from his work with Microsoft.

For SQL Server 2008, Paul decided to put his customer passion to better use and switch to a Program Management role within the Storage Engine team - first with responsibility for the entire Storage Engine for a year, and then with a narrower, more hands-on focus on the Core Storage Engine. This involved both feature set definition plus customer and partner engagements. It was during this phase of Paul's career that he first started public speaking, with his first session being on DBCC Internals at TechEd US 2006. This was also where he met Kimberly, and they were subsequently married July 29th 2007.

In 2007, after almost 9 years on the SQL Server team, Paul left Microsoft to join Kimberly running and pursuing his new-found passion for writing, teaching, and consulting. Paul is a regular, top-rated presenter of workshops and sessions at conferences and user groups around the world on high-availability, disaster recovery, database maintenance, and Storage Engine internals. Paul teaches all of Microsoft's internal classes on Database Maintenance/Operations, Storage Internals, Disaster Recovery, High-Availability and on these same topics at public and private events around the world. Paul is also a course author/instructor for Microsoft's most advanced Microsoft Certified Master - SQL Server qualification, teaching the deep internals in the first week. He's been involved with this qualification since it's inception as the Microsoft-internal 'Ranger' class, teaching every rotation except one.

Paul is one of the most active people in the SQL Server community, from user groups to online forums to helping out on Twitter (@PaulRandal - checkout the #sqlhelp tag). His very popular and widely-referenced blog is at and he can be reached at Together with Kimberly, Paul Co-Chairs the bi-annual SQL Connections conference.

Download Slides | Download Scripts

December 7, 2010

Understanding Join Operators

Speaker: Ami Levin

SQL Server implements three different physical operators to perform joins. In this session, we will examine how each of these operators works, including its advantages and challenges. Using real life examples, we will better understand the logic behind the optimizer’s decisions on which operator to use for various joins. Finally, we will learn how to avoid some common join related pitfalls and how to get better performance from our queries.

About Ami:

Ami Levin is a Microsoft SQL Server MVP, with over 20 years of experience in the IT industry. For the past 12 years, he has been consulting, teaching and speaking on SQL Server worldwide. He manages the Israeli SQL Server user group, leads the local support forum, and is a regular speaker at Microsoft conferences. Ami is the CTO and co-founder of DBSophic, a company that develops workload tuning solutions for SQL Server applications.

November 2, 2010

Five Fast Fixes For Fatal Flaws

Speaker: Brent Ozar

Brent Ozar, a consultant who specializes in slow servers, will share his most recently hair-tearing moments and how they were easily improved.  If you've got these design patterns in your environment, you'll be armed with quick ways to go from zero to hero.

About Brent:

Brent was the fifth Microsoft Certified Master of SQL Server 2008 in the US outside of Microsoft. He's a Principal Consulting Partner with and is a Microsoft SQL Server MVP. Brent has a decade of broad IT experience, performing SQL Server database administration, systems administration, SAN administration, virtualization administration, and project management. In his current role, Brent specializes in performance tuning, virtual and cloud-based database servers, and disaster recovery. Previously, Brent spent 2 years at Quest Software as a SQL Server expert and 2 years at Southern Wine & Spirits, a Miami-based wine & spirits distributor. Brent has experience conducting training sessions, has written several technical articles, and blogs prolifically at


October 5, 2010

Using Storage to Increase Database Performance

Denny CherrySpeaker: Denny Cherry

In this session we'll look at some ways that your storage solution can be configured to increase database performance.

We'll look at some of the things to lok at when selecting the correct RAID level to use, as well as how to setup the cache in your storage array or DAS.

We'll then look at some of the newer technologies like FLASH Cache to improve even more the caching abilities of the storage arrays.  We'll finish up with looking at some of the differences between iSCSI and Fibre Channel and the use of Tiered storage from both a performance and finance perspective.

About Denny:

Denny Cherry has over a decade of experience managing SQL Server, including’s over 175 million user installation, one of the largest in the world. Denny’s areas of technical expertise include system architecture, performance tuning, replication and troubleshooting. Denny uses these skills on a regular basis in his current role as a Sr. Database Administrator and Architect at Awareness Technologies. Denny currently holds several Microsoft Certifications related to SQL Server as well as being a Microsoft MVP.  Denny is a longtime member of PASS and Quest Software’s Association of SQL Server Experts and has written numerous technical articles on SQL Server management.


September 7, 2010

Introduction to SQL Server Statistics

Speaker Photo: Andy WarrenSpeaker: Andy Warren

This beginner to intermediate level session will introduce you to statistics, including how to create, manage, troubleshoot, and more! Statistics are a key part of getting solid and repeatable performance and is easily just as important as having indexes. Whether you're a DBA or trying to get by without one, this session will give you the information you need to know.

About Andy:

Andy Warren is a SQL trainer focusing on basic administration and performance tuning, he runs the free training site, is currently a SQL Server MVP, blogs daily at, started the SQLSaturday franchise, is co-President of the Orlando SQL Server Users Group, serves as a member of the Board of Directors of PASS, and was a founding partner in In his remaining free time he’s working on a book for first time managers.

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August 3, 2010

Parallelism and Performance: Are You Getting Full Return on Your CPU Investment?

This is a 2010 PASS Summit Post-Con Preview Session

Presenter: Adam Machanic

In today's multi-core-driven world, query performance is very much determined by how well you're taking advantage of the processing power at your disposal. Are your big queries using every available clock tick, or are they lagging behind? And if your queries are already going parallel, can they be rewritten for even greater speed? In this session you will learn the background necessary to take full advantage of parallelism. We'll cover what parallelism is, why it's important, and the basics of how to read parallel query plans. Examples will be shown to illustrate some of the huge performance gains that can be had when we learn to properly control SQL Server's parallel processing capabilities. This session is a small preview of some of the material that will be covered in Adam Machanic's full-day PASS Summit post-con, "A Day of Doing Many Things at Once."

About Adam:

Adam Machanic is a Boston-based independent database consultant, writer, and speaker. He has been involved in dozens of SQL Server implementations for both high-availability OLTP and large-scale data warehouse applications, and has optimized data access layer performance for several data-intensive applications. Adam has written for numerous web sites and magazines, including SQLblog, Simple Talk, Search SQL Server, SQL Server Professional, CoDe, and VSJ. He has also contributed to several books on SQL Server, including "SQL Server 2008 Internals" (Microsoft Press, 2009) and "Expert SQL Server 2005 Development" (Apress, 2007). Adam regularly speaks at user groups, community events, and conferences on a variety of SQL Server and .NET-related topics. He is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for SQL Server, Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP), and a member of the INETA North American Speakers Bureau.

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July 6, 2010

Title: Performance Impacts Related to Different Function Types

SQL Server MVP Jason StratePresenter: Jason Strate

User defined functions provide a means to encapsulate business logic in the database tier.  Often the purpose of the encapsulation is to provide standard method access segments of data within the database.  Unfortunately, not all methods of creating user defined functions are equal.  In this session we’ll review the types of user defined functions and investigate the performance impact in selecting the different types


  • Identify purposes for creating user defined functions
  • Discuss the types of user-defined functions
  • Demonstrate performance impact in selecting different types of functions

About Jason:

Jason Strate, Digineer Inc, is a database architect and administrator with over twelve years of experience. In July 2009, he was awarded Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) for SQL Server.  His experience includes design and implementation of both OLTP and OLAP solutions as well as assessment and implementation of SQL Server environments for best practices, performance, and high availability solutions.  Jason is a SQL Server MCITP and participated in the development of Microsoft Certification exams for SQL Server 2008.  He is actively involved with the local PASS chapter (SQL Server User Group) and is currently serving as the Director of Program Development.  In the past year, Jason has presented at the 2009 PASS Summit, SSWUG Virtual Conferences, TechFuse 2009/2010, SQL Saturdays, and at PASSMN user group meetings.

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