Presentations – 2013

During 2013 I delivered the following public sessions on SQL Server topics. Where possible I have provided a link to a recording or session material.

This list does not contain product related recordings that I have made for my employer Dell Software Group (formerly Quest Software). These recordings can be found at http://www.quest.com/events/list.aspx.

Natural Born Killers, performance issues to avoid

Abstract

You’ll learn simple tricks to write better code, scripts, and tables. Gain a deeper understanding of common database development and administration mistakes, and how you can avoid them.

Plus, you’ll learn how to take corrective action when:
•The optimizer isn’t using all available processors
•The database engine fails to report all the resources a query has used
•The optimizer uses the wrong plan
•Database tables cause memory issues

Presented:

  • Leeds SQL Server User Group – 21st February 2013
  • SQL Saturday #194 (Exeter) – 9th March 2013
  • Maidenhead SQL Server User Group – 12th March 2013
  • SQL Relay (Birmingham) – 19th June 2013
  • SQL Relay (Norwich) – 20th June 2013
  • SQL Relay (Cardiff) – 24th June 2013
  • Southampton SQL Server User Group – 4th September 2013
  • SQL Saturday #228 Cambridge – 28th September 2013
  • Leicester SQL Server User Group – 2nd October 2013
  • SQL Relay 2013 R2 (Newcastle)  - 25th November 2013
  • PASS Performance Virtual Chapter – 5th December 2013
  • SQL South West (Exeter) – 12th December 2013

 

The Day After Tomorrow: Why you need to baseline

Abstract

Ensuring peak SQL Server performance isn’t always easy and requires a lot of work on the part of the DBA. To maintain the best-possible performance, you need to make sure you’re monitoring the right things. But how do you know if the figures you’re seeing are good or bad? Baseline comparisons can help, and in this educational session, SQL Server expert Richard Douglas will show you how to get the most from them. Richard will explain what a baseline is, why and when you need to take one, and how you can create one. You’ll also learn about a number of native Windows and SQL Server tools that will allow you to do just that.

Presented:

  • Cardiff SQL Server User Group – 28th March 2013
  • Maidenhead SQL Server User Group – 9th April 2013
  • SQL Rally Nordic - 6th November 2013
  • SQL Rally Amsterdam – 8th November 2013
  • SQL South West (Exeter) – 12th December 2013

 

How to improve SQL Server performance with indexing

Abstract

Indexing presents daunting challenges, as it offers countless options to choose from. Even organizing indexes in an optimal fashion can be overwhelming. But with a little help from SQL Server domain expert Richard Douglas, you’ll see how to simplify indexing and improve the overall performance of your SQL Server applications.

Richard will provide step-by-step guidance to help you:

  • Find missing and unused indexes
  • Resolve fragmentation issues
  • Follow the golden rules of indexing
  • And much more

Presented:

  • SQLMidlands – 23rd May 2013

 

Understanding Query Execution Plans

Abstract

Understanding query execution plans is something many IT professionals either don’t know about or don’t fully understand. SQL Server’s programming language, T-SQL, is different from most other programming languages. In most languages, you tell the language what you want it to do, but in T-SQL, you tell it what you want. This means you are at the mercy of the query optimizer, which will take the logical instruction and convert it into a physical plan. The query execution plan is a map of what the optimiser thinks will be a good way of returning the data you have asked for. Being able to understand query plans and what they show is critical for both DBAs and developers in uncovering query performance problems.

In this session,  Richard Douglas will explain:

  • Where to find a query plan
  • How to read a query plan
  • How to find common performance problems without looking at the code
  • Where the query optimiser and other features of SQL Server can cause sub-optimal plans.

Presented:

  • Maidenhead SQL Server User Group – 8th October
  • MSSQLTips.com – 20th November 2013
  • SQL Relay 2013 R2 (Norwich) – 27th November 2013

 

Teaching nerds T-SQL with Star Wars

Abstract

Even with the best willpower in the world, learning T-SQL or any programming language can be rather dull. It’s time to change all that with a new pedagogical method: Teaching nerds T-SQL with “Star Wars.”

Presented:

  • Southampton SQL Server User Group – 4th September 2013
  • PASS Summit (Charlotte) – 17th October 2013

 

Best Practices for Optimizing SQL Server with Solid State Disk

Abstract

Solid state disks (SSDs) are becoming increasingly affordable for small and medium businesses. Is now the time to retire your traditional spinning disks and start using flash drives everywhere? SSDs, if used the right way, are a powerful tool to increase application performance, but they may not necessarily be the silver bullet you are looking for. This session will show you how and why you might deploy SSDs, how to measure performance, the improvements you might expect in various scenarios, and what pitfalls DBAs need to avoid to get the most value from deploying flash disks.

Presented:

  • PASS Summit (Charlotte) with Patrick O’Keeffe – 17th October 2013