Join me for a PASS Summit Pre-Con

Published On: 2019-04-24By:

PASS Summit 2019

I am very excited to announce I will be delivering a pre-conference session on SQL Server Performance Tuning on November 5th at PASS Summit 2019. If you have ever attended one of my sessions, you know how passionate I am about this particular topic. So, you also know how very excited I am to have this opportunity to spend a full day talking about SQL Server Performance Tuning and Optimization. Performance Tuning is one of my favorite things to do with SQL Server. There is nothing like seeing performance improvements in an environment as your reward for your hard work. It’s tangible and gratifying. In this session you will be guaranteed to walk away with a  list of items to evaluate in your environments and ways you can resolve common issues.

What is PASS Summit?

According to PASS it’s “Interactive training on the latest technologies and spotlights on hot topics such as security, cloud, and AI will be led by the best data minds in the industry”.

To me it’s a 5-day convention that bring geeks together to celebrate and learn from each other. It’s networking, learning, mind melds, fun, inspiration and renewal.

What’s a Pre-Con?

Pre-conference learning opportunities offer a deep dive into new skills and knowledge before the conference officially begins. These highly interactive sessions will help you build expertise and develop the skills that you can immediately put to work in your organization. The all-day time frame lets speakers delivers topics in greater detail, showcasing more demos and answering more of your questions than in a normal session.

SQL Server Performance Tuning and Optimization Abstract

Do your users complain about slow reports? Are your database servers overwhelmed during times of high usage? Every SQL Server environment can benefit from performance tuning whether your environment has one server or thousands. In this full-day session you will learn about how identify problems using a wide variety of tools and scripts and how to implement best practices across your environment. Additionally, you will learn how to begin reading execution plans and how to tune queries to improve your performance within SQL Server. You will walk away with a list of items to evaluate in your environments and ways to resolve common issues. This session will guide you through real-life performance problems which can be solved by best practices and practical skills. Taught on a level anyone can understand, this session will focus on Microsoft SQL Server 2016 and forward.

You will also learn about maintenance activities and how they affect your server’s overall performance, and how to identify when your infrastructure is affecting your performance. Lastly, we will cover the newest performance enhancements coming with the latest release, SQL Server 2019. You’ll leave this demo-filled session better prepared to tackle many issues that can plague SQL Server performance along with the knowledge of how to resolve them.

You can read more here.

How to Attend

You can register here https://www.pass.org/summit/2019/RegisterNow.aspx and using the discount code below you can save $150 on your conference admission.

Want to know more on why you should attend PASS Summit? Check out my blog on Why I Go to Summit Each Year

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Getting Started with the Cloud with No Budget and an Unsupportive Employer

Published On: 2019-04-11By:

This thread on Twitter last night really piqued my interest:

 

It really made me think of a conversation I had with a colleague in my last “regular” job. I’m not counting my time at Comcast, because we were effectively a technology firm. I mean a normal, regular company whose core business does not relate to computers or software. Scott, who was my colleague had just attended TechEd 2011, or maybe 2012–the years run together at this point. His comment was “with everything going to the cloud, it seems like all the jobs will be with Microsoft, or helping other customers implement cloud.” In 2011-12, the cloud was still really awful (remember the original SQL Azure? I do, and it was bad), but it was clear what the future would be.

The Future is Here What Do We Do Now?

So if you are working in a “traditional” firm, and you feel as though your skills are slipping away, as the rest of the technology world moves forward, what should you do? The first thing I’m going to say isn’t an option for everyone, because of challenges, and personal situations, but given the current state of economy and IT employment, I think it needs to be said. If you are in a job where you are only supporting legacy tech, of which I don’t really mean on-prem firms–some of the most cutting edge SQL Server orgs in the world are 100% on-premises, but if you are regularly supporting software whose version conforms to the regular expression ^(200)\d{2}$my best bit of advice to you would be to start the process of finding another job.

I know changing firms isn’t for everyone, and if you want to become a cloud engineer, you need to build your skills in that space. The crux of the twitter thread is how do you learn this things when you are in an organization that thinks that cloud computing has something to do with rain? The first thing I would recommend, if you are willing to spend a little money, is to use skillmeup.com (note: both DCAC and my company have business relationships with Opsgility, the parent company). I have taught classes using their labs–you get a real Azure subscription, with a production scenario, and you also get online training associated with the lab.

Other resources like Pluralsight or LinkedIn Learning (note: DCAC has a business relationship with LinkedIn Learning) offer online training, however I really feel like getting hands on with tech is the best way learn tech.

My Budget Isn’t Even That High

Both Amazon and Microsoft offer free trials–I know Azure a lot better, so I’m going to focus on that scenario. (BTW, this ties to another bit of advice I have, learn one cloud first. The concepts between them are pretty similar, and if you learn one cloud really well, transitioning to the other one will be much easier than trying to consume all of it at once). The Microsoft offer gives you $200 to use for 30 days, also if you have an MSDN subscription you also get somewhere between $50-150 month to use.

While those numbers are small, especially when talking about services, it can still easily get you started with the basics of cloud. Virtual machines (which also cost a lot) are for all intents and purposes very similar to your virtual machines on-prem. But if you want to learn how to extend an on-premises Active Directory to the cloud, you can do that by building a Windows Server VM on your laptop, and then connecting to Azure Active Directory. That has minimal cost (AAD is a free service). Also, learning things like networking and storage also have minimal cost.

One of the most important cloud skills you can have, Automation, just involves using PowerShell (or CLI, depending on what you like). If you haven’t learned a scripting language, you should invest more time into that. You can do this on any trial account, and with a minimal cost, especially when you learn how to clean up the resources you deployed as soon as your deployment script created.

As a SQL Server pro, if you want to start learning Azure SQL*, you should get started with Azure SQL Database. It’s cheap, and you can do everything you can do in the $15,000/month database with the $5/month database.

tl;dr

This was a long post. Here’s what you should start learning for cloud:

  • networking
  • storage
  • security
  • platform as a service offerings in your field and how they work with networking, storage and security

You can do all of these things with a minimal financial investment, or perhaps even for free.

Summary

You are in charge of your career, not your current employer. If you want to advance your skills you are going to have to work for it, and maybe spend some money, but definitely a big time investment. Also, consider going to some training–I just did a precon at SQL Saturday Chicago, and while the attendees aren’t going to be cloud experts after a day, they have a great basis on which to move forward. Books and reading are challenging in a cloud world–it moves quickly and changes fast.

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Power BI: Where Should My Data Live? Webcast

Published On: 2019-03-28By:

When you start a Power BI project, you need to decide how and where you should store the data in your dataset. There are three “traditional” options:

  • Imported Model: Data is imported and compressed and stored in the PBIX file, which is then published to the Power BI Service (or Report Server if you are on-prem)
  • Live Connection: Data is stored in Analysis Services and your Power BI dataset is really a reference to the Analysis Services database.
  • DirectQuery: Data remains in the source system and Power BI stores metadata and a reference to the source data, executing live queries when a user interacts with a report

As Power BI has evolved, there are now some variations and additions to those options. Composite models allow you to combine imported data sources and DirectQuery data sources. We also now have dataflows, which allow you to use self-service data prep to define and share reusable data entities.

Each of these options has its advantages and limitations. There is no single right answer of which one you should always pick.

If you have been struggling with this topic, or just want to double-check your thinking, please join me and Kerry Tyler (@AirborneGeek on twitter) for our Denny Cherry & Associates Consulting webcast on April 5th at 12pm Mountain / 2pm Eastern.

The webcast will review your options for where to store data and explain the factors that should be used in determining what option is right for you. Obvious requirements such as data size, license costs and management, and desired data latency will be discussed. We’ll also talk about other factors such as the desire for self-service BI and avoiding data model sprawl. We’ll have content to present, but we are also happy to take questions during the webcast.

Register for the webcast today and join us next Friday, April 5th.

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Another Year Gone, Another Year as a VMware vExpert

Published On: 2019-03-25By:

Another year has past, and VMware has decided to make me a VMware vExpert again. I believe that this is the 5th time I’ve been a VMware vExpect (the 4th time in a row, there was a gap year because I forgot to fill out the form, it was a thing).

I’m thrilled that VMware has decided to give me this award for the 4th time in a row.  It’s a great honor to be selected for the VMware vExpert award, more so because I’m not a sysadmin by trade, but I’m able to talk to sysadmins about databases and what the best options for hosting them within your VMware environment are.

Thank You, VMware for recognizing all the work that I’ve been doing, and that I plan to keep doing throughout the next year.

Denny

The post Another Year Gone, Another Year as a VMware vExpert appeared first on SQL Server with Mr. Denny.

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Globally Recognized Expertise

As Microsoft MVP’s and Partners as well as VMware experts, we are summoned by companies all over the world to fine-tune and problem-solve the most difficult architecture, infrastructure and network challenges.

And sometimes we’re asked to share what we did, at events like Microsoft’s PASS Summit 2015.

Awards & Certifications

Microsoft Partner   Denny Cherry & Associates Consulting LLC BBB Business Review    Microsoft MVP    Microsoft Certified Master VMWare vExpert
INC 5000 Award for 2020    American Business Awards People's Choice    American Business Awards Gold Award    American Business Awards Silver Award    FT Americas’ Fastest Growing Companies 2020   
Best Full-Service Cloud Technology Consulting Company       Insights Sccess Award    Technology Headlines Award    Golden Bridge Gold Award    CIO Review Top 20 Azure Solutions Providers