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Spring SQL Server Connections / DevConnections

March 30, 2012

I returned late last night from the Spring DevConnections event, delivering three sessions in the SQL Server Connections conference. I talked about Encryption, Filestream/Filetable, and Contained Databases. Always cool to see your name in print

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It was a nice event, with decent crowds in the SQL Server. I didn’t have a ton of people, but when you’re competing with the SQLskills crew, Brent Ozar, Allen White, Glen Berry and a few others, it’s hard to draw a large crowd.

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Grant and Brad both presented as well, filling up the slots in our SQLServerCentral track, and talking about a wide range of topics. Grant’s talk on continuous integration and deployment was really good, with lots of interesting information. It was good to hear from a few people in the audience that face challenges on this particular topic. We have a whitepaper from Red Gate that talks a little about how we solve this, but Grant gave some other alternatives that you could use to tackle this.

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The show was at the MGM Grand this time, and I have to say I really like that resort. Things seemed a little closer together, more food/dining choices, and close to other places on the strip. A walk to the Bellagio was no big deal. There were also three of my favorite morning stops on the road

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It wasn’t just me that liked the hotel. I left Paul Randal, Kimberliy Tripp, Brent Ozar, and Glenn Berry at Craftsteak Thur night to go to the airport. I say down before my flight to see a tweet that the First Lady of the US was having dinner that night in the restaurant.

The sessions I attended and delivered were interesting. Lots of system administrators and developers mixed in with the DBAs, looking for information on various features. It was a twist to get questions that sometimes were more basic for DBAs, and at the same time, had a different view and some challenges when presented from another perspective. On a panel with Grant Fritchey and Brent Ozar, we had some interesting HA/DR questions from the audience about 2012 as well, things that made us think a bit.

The exhibition hall was a little small, but it’s nicely set up with long breaks between some sessions for people to wander around and see what new third party tools are available. I spent a little time at the Red Gate booth and had some very interesting conversations with people, including a nice long one about .NET development.

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As I do everywhere on the road, I start the mornings out with a run. This time the loop around the MGM complex is a little over a mile and a half, which I enjoyed all three days with Allen White at 6:30 every morning. #sqlrun in Las Vegas!

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This time the Windows and Visual Studio tracks were on another floor, and with three sessions to prepare for, I didn’t get the chance to visit those tracks. I did see a great talk from Allen on Server Core, which I’ve been wanting to experiment with. Look for most of my future server VMs to be Server Core, which should make things run faster on my little Air.

I also saw a couple talks from Mark Minasi on Windows 8 and that looks rather interesting in a few ways. I’m not sure I like the client interface, but some of the architectural changes look like good moves on the part of Microsoft. The server side, especially seems like it will end up being a good server OS for management by IT staffs.

The other great thing about a show in Vegas is the wide variety of shows. I asked in my sessions and a few people saw Ka, one of the Cirque du Soleil shows. Someone saw David Copperfield as well, which I would have liked to see. Oh well, there’s always next time.

My entertainment this time was a wonderful dinner with Brent Ozar and Grant Fritchey at e by Jose Andres in the Cosmopolitan. Brent invited us and I wasn’t sure since it’s a very fancy dinner. However I thoroughly enjoyed it. Not sure I’d go back myself, but I’d take someone else, just for the experience. The food was very interesting (I’m not a foodie), and the presentation amazing. I had a great time. Here was one of our “courses”

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Overall a great show, and a fun time. SQLServerCentral is one of the sponsors, and we have a track there every show.

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We should be back in the fall, this time at the Bellagio, Oct 29-Oct 1. Hopefully you can join us, and we look forward to seeing you then.

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One Comment
  1. It was good seeing you again, man! Glad we got the chance to share that dinner together – I love that place.

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