February 2012 - Posts

24 Hours of PASS

The Spring 2012 SQLPASS 24 hours of PASS event is a WHOLE DAY {Yes 24 hours’ worth} of SQL session exploding right onto computer screen’s near you

When: 21st March 2012 - 1 session every hour on the hour for a full 24 hours


The full agenda contains all the exciting details for each of the sessions & the speakers delivering the session

But just in case, the ones you can't make it too on the day, you can watch them at a later time


But you'll be attending mine LIVE of course {and don’t shake your head, nod instead}

Session 12 @ 11:00 GMT Neil Hambly  "SQL Server 2012 Memory Management"


I do feel very fortunate & honored to have been selected to present my session @ this great event

I’ll also try to stay awake and watch as many as I can during the day and night



Registration Opens for 24 Hours of PASS, Featuring Closed Captioning in 15 Languages

Top SQL Server & BI Experts to Deliver 24 Free Back-to-Back Webcasts Focusing on SQL Server 2012

CHICAGO, IL – February 16, 2012 – Catch up on your sleep while you can. The Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) is bringing an exceptional lineup of SQL Server and business intelligence (BI) experts directly to your computer March 21 for the free, nonstop

Registration opened today for the series of 24 live, back-to-back webcasts, which for the first time will feature live closed captioning in 15 languages.

No matter where you are in the world, you’ll gain access to best practices and expert tips delivered directly to your computer by some of the industry’s most knowledgeable and top-rated speakers, including MVPs and community and Microsoft experts from around the world.

“Thanks to Rob Farley and his 24 Hours of PASS team, we have an excellent speaker lineup and a rich mix of sessions that deliver deep SQL Server 2012 guidance as well as core SQL Server, BI, and professional development information that’s valuable no matter what release you’re on,” said PASS Vice President of Marketing Thomas LaRock.

“We are also thrilled to offer closed captioning for our global community as part of the IBTalk platform. The unique format of 24 Hours of PASS is about bringing database professionals together around the world, and I encourage anyone who wants to learn more about SQL Server to attend as many sessions as possible.”

In addition to extensive coverage of SQL Server 2012, the event presentations will explore Integration Services, PowerShell, performance tuning, data warehousing, data mining, high availability, T-SQL, cloud computing, and more. Each session will also feature a live Q&A segment.

Co-sponsored by Microsoft and SQL Sentry, the webcasts begin at 00:00 GMT on March 21 (8pm ET on March 20 in the US). To determine what time each session will air in your region, see our time zone guide. The sessions you sign up for will automatically be added to your Outlook calendar at the correct time for your time zone.

Learn more about 24 Hours of PASS: SQL Server 2012 at http://www.sqlpass.org/24hours/spring2012/

and register today for your favorite sessions.

About PASS
The Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) is an independent, not-for-profit association dedicated to supporting, educating, and promoting the Microsoft SQL Server community.

From local user groups and virtual chapters to Webcasts and the annual PASS Summit—the largest gathering of SQL Server professionals in the world—PASS enables knowledge sharing, in-depth learning, access to the Microsoft SQL Server team, and the ability to influence the direction of SQL Server technologies. The PASS mission is to empower the global SQL Server community to connect, share, and learn.

For more information about PASS and the benefits of its free membership, visit the PASS Web site at http://www.sqlpass.org.

All brand names, product names, and trademarks belong to their respective holders.


SQL RALLY 2012 (Dallas)

The normal session selections are just about to be announced (think this is happening in the next day or 2) I'm hoping to be one of them ......... fingers crossed – Stay tuned folks for news on those sessions

****** NEWS FLASH 17-02-2012 ******

Results are in and <Drum roll>  YES one of my submissions has been accepted for SQL Rally it is the most popular one I have @ the moment

Sesison is named "Compression - Define your Strategy"

I'm presenting this popular Compression Session @ 3 events on 3 consecutive Saturday's during March 

1. SQL Saturday #115 {Lisbon, Portugal} on 17th March + Portugal's Technical Launch SQL SERVER 2012

2. SQL Saturday #105 {Dublin, Ireland} on 24th March    + Ireland's Technical Launch SQL SERVER 2012

3. SQLBits X (10) {London, UK} on 31st March                + United Kingdom's Technical Launch SQL SERVER 2012

Also not forgetting my 24HOP session @ 11:00 GMT on 21st March http://www.sqlpass.org/24hours/spring2012/SessionsbySchedule/SessionDetails.aspx?sid=2582

I must like doing thing's in 3 as I've 3 Pre-Cons I'm attending @ these above events & 3 SQL exams between now and end of March !


P.S Community voting for some specially selected SQL RALLY session's opens today and until Friday 24th Feb 1PM PST ...Please take a few minutes to cast your votes 

 ****** NEWS FLASH 17-02-2012 ******


I was indeed fortunate & extremely pleased that my Pre-Con submission for SQL Rally was chosen for inclusion in the community voting round, and sadly even though it didn't manage to finally secure a TOP 2 spot, those went to 2 VERY deserving winner submission's

(Congrats to the winners these look like they will be really awesome pre-cons to attend)

Demystifying Database Administration Best Practices
Database Administration (DBA)
Argenis Fernandez (Coinstar), Robert Davis (Microsoft Corp.)

How to be a DBA - A Utility Belt of tools
Database Administration (DBA)
Tjay Belt (Imagine Learning), Chris Shaw (AMS)

I'm going to this event , maybe will see you there and will enjoy soaking up all the great SQL knowledge and community vibe as well as catching up with my #sqlfamily friends

Who knows I might have even had found time to try my hand @ MCM Exam & Lab before the conference

I have some scheduled pre-requisite exams later in Feb & March {Wish me luck}


Posted by NeilHambly | with no comments

As the builds progress we have gotten more and more wait_types

These where the number of wait_types in each version so far

  • 202 SQL Server 2005
  • 484 SQL Server 2008
  • 490 SQL Server 2008 R2
  • 631 CTP3
  • 646 RC0 (15 more as listed below)

These 15 are the ones I have not encountered before in any pre 2012 RCO builds - What are they ??

[Sorry] For now I just can't tell you as I simply do not have the resources to fully explain their purpose { Some of their purpose can be deduced by its name }

and none of these as yet show me any values other than 0 (zero)


Select *

from sys.dm_os_wait_stats

WHERE Wait_type in





As I learn more and try out the AlwaysON feature I’m sure some of these may start to show some numbers

Posted by NeilHambly | with no comments
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SQL Server like other software unfortunately has bugs, and thankfully these are often resolved in the subsequent Service Packs & Hotfixes released

One such bug was the incorrect growth of the log file, if the growth increment was any multiple of 4GB - it doesn't grow with the expected growth size


For those who didn't know

As log growths are split in a number of equally sized number of VLFs, with that number of VLFs dependent on the overall growth increment size

For a growth increment that is less than 64MB, this will grow the file in 4 VLFs (equally sized), and with a growth increment size between 64MB to 1GB this is in 8 VLFs, finally for the growths > 1GB this is in 16 VLFs

Paul Randal blogged on this bug way back in May 2010 - that's when I learned about the 4GB increment issue


I recommend that you also read this entry VLFs by Kimberly http://www.sqlskills.com/BLOGS/KIMBERLY/post/Transaction-Log-VLFs-too-many-or-too-few.aspx#ixzz1lXeN9jNy

Subsequently my growths have been primarily in 2GB Growths, thus 16 VLFs each being 128MB (Once this hotfix is in place I can perhaps use the 4GB interval I want larger VLFs)

Finally a Connect item can help highlight such issues and ultimately even get us a fix - I try to review these regularly and vote for those you agree should be resolved


Well for SQL Server 2008R2 this is being now addressed with the SP1+CU4 or CU11, details are documented in this KB http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2633151

It doesn't seem that there is also a fix for SQL Server 2008 - if this does become known I blog those details also

Posted by NeilHambly | with no comments
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Things are getting real BUZY for me on the SQL Events front already {I have plans to do a lot of SQL Events this year, to even try to match my huge 2011 tally)

I have to try to find time to plan and organize all the various tasks needed to just fit it all in {need to get my travel plans sorted .I will have to try using Tripit as Jen Stirrup has recommended

and I still need to find a few evenings to run some local User-Group events in London over the next few months

I'm Looking for companies to be hosts for our User-Group evenings - So would you like to have a SQL User-Group event in London @ your own location (Ideal for your SQL Team to attend)

it just needs a room capable of seating 30-100 people for ~ 3 hours (6-9PM) during a mid-week evening (Tuesday - Thursday's) and not be difficult for the attendee's to get to.. close to a tube station (within 5-10 minutes) is always helpfull

We'll provide the speakers (you can help choice the topics for the evening) and we also provide the dinner & refreshments + SWAG for the attendee's - interested please email me @ Neil.Hambly@Hotmail.co.uk


So with this many event's already in my Calendar over the next few Months, it is going to be very exciting time but a tad exhausting as well

I will get to see so many of my SQL Friends over these events and undoubtedly meet a few new ones

Feb 2012

13th   Online MCM Overview event

Robert L Davis (MCM Program Lead) hosts this 90 minute session on the MCM cert

23rd   SQL UG (North Acton, London)

Presenting on Extended Events & Hosting the Evening

 March 2012

7th  Online "Virtual launch SQL Server 2012" 

Whole day of events (30) .. should be a real fun day {have it booked off to watch a lot of this without distractions}

16th- 17th  SQLSat #115 Lisbon, Portugal

Confirmed Speaker "Compression" + a LT on WMI

21st @ 11AM GMT 24 Hours of PASS Virtual event  http://www.sqlpass.org/24hours/spring2012/

Confirmed Speaker "SQL SERVER 2012 Memory Manangement" 

22nd -24th  SQLSat #105 Dublin, Ireland

Confirmed Speaker "Compression"

29th- 31st  SQLBits X London

Confirmed Speaker "Compression" + Volunteer + attending Adam's Pre-Con (excellent)

April 2012

19th SQL Server User Group (London)  @ IMGROUP EC4Y 8DP

Another of our User-Group Events, this one I'm just the host of and have Tony Rogerson MVP speaking and another from IMGROUP on BIGDATA topic


20th - 21st  SQLSat #107 Houston,  USA

Still awaiting outcome of my submissions & Idera ACE 2012 competition

May 2012

9TH - 12TH  SQLRally  Dallas, USA

Confirmed Speaker "Compression"

14th - 18th SQLSkills IE2 Course London

Attending this week 2 IE2 course, having done week 1 IE1 in July 2011

21st - 25th SQL Relay 2012 

Our UK week long series of full day SQL Events (Roadshow with SQL 2012 focus)   I'll be @ the London Event @ least , perhaps others as well

24th - 26th SQLDay Wroclaw, Poland

Confirmed Speaker with "Why are we Waiting.." session that I did that @ SQLPASS Summit 2011 

I'm only there on the Saturday 26th as in UK for the Thursday/Friday Sessions

Have more planned for June onwards... but that is a story for another day

Posted by NeilHambly | with no comments


As some of you probably know - I do speak a lot of SQL conference's, but getting session submissions picked can be tough @ times (especially for the larger events)

Sometimes there are community voting rounds .. for a few precious slots @ these larger events


I now have one of those voting rounds for my Pre-Con submission @ the next SQLRally event May 8th -  May 11th  in Dallas, TX  (this is one of the largest SQL Conferences)

My Pre-Con submission "Performance Trace & Event Collection in SQL Server" was selected for the voting round (that in itself is a big deal)


So please can I kindly ask if you can you spare just a minute of your time  & vote for my session

(it will be tough competition to secure one of the spots)


Just Login (free to register if not already a member) and selected the session(s) you want to vote for - The voting ends 9th Feb 5PM (CST)


For those interested my upcoming confirmed events I'll be presenting @ (some outside of UK) as follows

  • London 23rd FEB @ UK SQL User-Group (North Acton) ..Presenting on Extended Events (replacement for Profiler)


"Effective Data Management Using Data Compression" session I have presented before @ SQL-in-the-City (Red-Gate) conference

  • Lisbon (Portugal) Mar 17th @ SQLSaturday #115
  • Dublin (Ireland) Mar 24th @ SQLSaturday #105 - Also Ireland SQL 2012 Technical launch
  • London April 1st @ SQLBits X - Also UK SQL 2012 Technical launch

"Why are we Waiting.." Session I one I did @ SQLPASS  (that had 310 attendees, 9th highest session attendance of the conference from 160 sessions)

  • Wroclaw (Poland) May 26th @ SQLDay

THANK YOU for your support

Posted by NeilHambly | with no comments
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