Beer, Cheese and SQL Saturday 118 Madison

This past weekend I (w|t) headed up to Madison, WI to attend and present at SQL Saturday 118. The MADPASS team did a fantastic job on their first SQL Saturday.

Attendance was excellent with 227 total consisting of locals and groups from Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Nebraska and other places far flung.

I drove up early Friday and worked remotely for the day to make sure that I didn’t miss the speaker dinner.

The fun started early as I met Jes Borland (b|t), Erin Stellato (b|t) and Joey D’Antoni (b|t) for lunch. Jes and Erin arrived “fresh” from a 15 mile run with hearty appetites. Cheeseburgers, grilled cheese and a beef melt were the fare. No beer at lunch, I had more work to do.

After work and settling into my accommodations, I headed over to the venue to give a hand with bag stuffing. Wow, the MATC was bigger than it looked. By the time I got to the room where bag stuffing was taking place, all the work was done. I developed quite a thirst trying to find that room. Fortunately we headed over to the Ale Asylum for a pre-speaker dinner beverage. I had a Big Slick Stout along with some good conversation. That stout was awesome. I would’ve liked to try some of Ale Asylum’s other beers, but we had to move on.

The speaker dinner was at a local Italian place. More good conversation and another excellent stout. I chose the Lilja’s Sasquatch Stout from Sand Creek Brewing Company, a big and powerful beer. It went very well with the food (cheese) and the fantastic chocolate that Bill Fellows (b|t) shared with us. The highlight of the the dinner was the impromptu paper airplane fight.

After the speaker dinner, a group of us took over the hotel bar. Geek rule. More good conversation and Capitol Brewery’s Maibock.

Saturday morning came quickly and since I was on at 9:30, I headed over to MATC early to grab a bite and park in the room where my session was scheduled. Mike Donnelly (b|t) was there giving his first SQL Saturday presentation ever, SSIS: Figuring Out Configuring. I listened as I was configuring the VM for my presentation. He did a great job.

My presentation, SSIS 2012 New Features, was next. Attendance was very good. Thank you to all who attended. Audience participation was also good with lots of questions as well as valuable additions from fellow speakers Bill Fellows, Mark Vaillancourt (b|t) and Aaron Lowe (b|t).

With my speaker duties fulfilled, I headed over to Stacia Misner’s (b|t) presentation, (Way To Much) Fun with Reporting Services. Stacia’s daughter Erika Bakse (b|t) was also assisting with the presentation. The banter between these two made for a very entertaining session. They covered the implementation of Words with Friends in RSS. Let’s see Connect 4 implemented with a play the computer mode using set based algorithms.

After lunch I attend Eddie Wuerch’s (b|t) session, TempDB Performance Troubleshooting and Optomizing. I’ve talked with Eddie at the previous Chicago and Indianapolis SQL Saturdays, but I’ve never attend one of his sessions. This was an excellent session with lots of myth busting and fairly deep insights into tempdb behaviour. He did a great job explaining this all in a simple manner.

I then attended fellow Chicagoan Luke Jian’s (b|t) session, Optimizing SQL Server I/O with Solid State Drives. Lots of good information on SSD hardware. I was surprised by the light attendance in this session. Are SSDs not a hot topic? You missed a good one here. You can catch Luke and this session at SQL Saturday 119 in Chicago

The last session I attended was Zach Mattson’s (b|t), A PowerShell Driven Life. Zach mixed up PowerShell script walk throughs with reviews of a pair of beers, one bottled (good) and one canned (probably bad). I picked up a few new PowerShell tricks and a few recommendations on beers to avoid. Good info and good fun!

A great day and I am definitely looking forward to the next SQL Saturday in Madison.

Congratulations to MADPASS for running a stellar event.


SQL Saturday 98, Iowa City

Calling all SQL peeps in Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Omaha,…!

It’s time for another SQL Saturday at the beautiful University of Iowa campus.

The speaker lineup looks great.

I’ll be there presenting on the SSIS Script Task.

There will be more SSIS goodness presented by Ted Krueger and Ross McNeely.

There’s still time to register and take a nice fall SQL road trip this Saturday.

See you there.

SQL Saturday 67 Chicago Pre-con Double Down

Yes, this looks familiar. Didn’t I write this last week? Well it’s new and the same. We have another pre-con available on the Friday, 3/25, before SQL Saturday 67.

Here is the link to register,

The presenter is Kevin Kline, MVP, SQL Server expert, author, keynote presenter, Sql cruiser, former PASS President, etc.

This presentation will be held at the Quest office in Warrenville, IL.

Here is the detailed information on the pre-con session:

Cost: $99 (til March 11th), $119

Location Quest, 4320 Winfield Rd # 500 Warrenville, IL 60555-4036

Troubleshooting & Performance Tuning Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2


Presenter : Author, expert  and Microsoft MVP Kevin Kline                         (


This full day seminar will teach you introductory, intermediate and advanced techniques for troubleshooting and performance tuning using SQL Server’s built-in Dynamic Management Views (DMVs), Performance Monitor, Profiler, Wait Stats, and Extended Events.  In troubleshooting, you’ll learn how to detect, diagnose, and resolve problems on SQL Server using the native tools, as well as how to determine where SQL Server is experiencing bottlenecks that prevent it from achieving optimal performance. Bring your laptop with SQL Server 2008 R2 and AdventureWorks R2 to work through the labs as Kevin demonstrates various techniques.  (SQL Server 2005 is also allowable, but you will not be able to demo those that are specific to SQL Server 2008 R2).
Topics covered include:
–          The “Rocks, Gravel, Sand” Troubleshooting Methodology
o   Understanding Wait Stats
o   Using beginner, intermediate, and advanced DMVs
o   Correlating Performance Monitor and Profiler
o   Extended Events
–          Determining meaningful key performance indicators thru benchmarking
–          Catch problems before your users do thru monitoring
–          Preventative Maintenance Best Practices
Seminar includes lunch and refreshments.

Attendees will receive troubleshooting scripts, posters detailing important DMVs and PerfMon counters, session video recordings on DVD, and a free signed copy of Kevin’s book Database Benchmarking.

SQL Saturday #67, filled with many free sessions and events, will be held the next day.  For more info and to register for SQL Saturday, please visit the event website:

SQL Saturday 67 Chicago Pre-con

We have big news for SQL Saturday #67 Chicago. There is going be a pre-con on Friday 3/25 at the Hampton Inn right around the corner from the SQL Saturday venue.

Here is the link to register, SQL Saturday #67 Pre-Conference: DBA Skills Upgrade Toolkit.

Questioning why you should attend the pre-con? Check out Noel McKinney’s take on it.

Before I give details about the event, let me introduce you the presenter. The pre-con will be presented by Eddie Wuerch (Blog|Twitter) from Indianapolis. I had the pleasure of meeting Eddie at SQL Saturday 45 in Louisville a few weeks ago. We had some interesting discussions about the extreme loads that hit his environment. With this daily experience, I’m sure Eddie will have some great things to share in the pre-con session. Eddie is also a regular presenter at SQL Saturdays and Indy PASS. Eddie tweeted this earlier. Need I say more: “@dawndevirgilio: A million rows of data isn’t cool, you know what’s cool? A billion…! #ETHub” <-we’re approaching a trillion, actually…

Here is the detailed information on the pre-con session:

The DBA Skills Upgrade Toolkit

Cost: $99 (before March 7)

Presenter: Eddie Wuerch

This full-day seminar is for DBAs and developers with DBA responsibilities looking to beef up their skillsets and simplify their lives with additional insight into their SQL Servers.  Eddie Wuerch takes his extensive experience as a speaker, trainer, mentor, and DBA in one of the largest and busiest SQL Server environments in the world and distills it into a collection of topics for DBAs managing databases of all sizes.

Topics included in the seminar include

  • Current and historical monitoring of server processes and resources
  • SQL I/O for the DBA:
    • RAID, disk options, and SANs
    • File and Filegroup planning, placement, and monitoring
    • Transaction log internals
    • TempDB considerations
  • Encryption for the DBA
  • Locking, Latching, and Deadlocks
  • Capacity planning (CPU, memory, and files)
  • Performance and operational troubleshooting techniques
  • Backup and recovery planning
  • Automation of standard tasks
  • Includes a large collection of T-SQL scripts for performing many of the tasks covered in the seminar

Seminar fee includes lunch, breaktime refreshments, and seminar materials.

SQL Saturday #67, filled with many free sessions and events, will be held the next day.  For more info and to register for SQL Saturday, please visit the event website: