SQL Saturday #200 Philadelphia – Microsoft Malvern – June 1

June 1 is the date for the 2013 SQL Saturday Philly @ the Microsoft Malvern office again this year. Here is the home page for the event. You can register for FREE there and also submit a session.

The event is an entire Saturday filled with FREE training on SQL Server, business intelligence, data warehousing and Big Data. The only cost is an optional $10 for the catered lunch. Or bring your own lunch, your choice!

I will present an updated version of my Big Data material called “Microsoft Big Data in the Real World” and I’ll share the updated material here on MSSQLDUDE, MSDN and KromerBigData once I have that completed and checked in.

Thanks! Best, Mark

April Catch-up on Recent Goings-on

Time for an end-of-the-month catch-up on the goings-on of the life of a Microsoft SQL Server TSP!

My latest blog entries for the SQL Server Magazine BI Blog are on Enterprise Information Management (EIM) tools in SQL Server 2012 and on using the new SSAS Tabular Model database paradigm using Report Builder as your reporting tool:



I was honored to have my entry on SQL Azure Reporting Services in the latest edition of SQL Server Magazine (now SQL Server Pro) and now online only (subscription required):


I completed my Windows Azure Web application for event registration using Windows Phone 7 and Silverlight UIs and successfully deployed it at Microsoft’s Women Executive retreat in Philadelphia last week. I am making a Codeplex project for the code and will publish the App in the Windows Marketplace soon. Look for a write-up on that on MSDN and this blog shortly.

If you are in the Philly area May or June, I will be presenting the SQL Server 2012 overview for the local .NET Code Camp at the Penn State Abington campus on May 12 and our SQL Saturday on June 9. There I will present DW management in SQL Server and Cloud BI. Both of these events are on a Saturday and include an entire day of free training immersed in .NET and SQL Server, respectively.

Well, back to authoring SQL Server & BI demos, presentations and planning my weekly customer visits for next week … That is a MSFT SQL Server TSP’s life after all!

SQL Server 2012 Roadshow in Malvern MTC

Many thanks to all of those who were able to attend today’s roadshow in Malvern, PA for our Microsoft SQL Server 2012 here in the Malvern Microsoft Technology Center!

As promised, here are some follow-up links and presentations that I have to share with you all. If you have any further questions or require anything else from today’s session, please post follow-up questions in the comments and I promise to reply back with some answers or further material.

You may also follow this blog by subscribing or follow my twitter @MSSQLDUDE for other updates and events related to SQL Server.

Thank you!! Br, Mark Kromer

This is a link to the primary SQL Server 2012 overview presentation

Here is the Microsoft page with presentations and additional information about the database Private Cloud and Consolidation Appliance that I talked about today.

If you would like to try out the awesome new BI reporting tools in SSRS for SQL Server 2012, we have publicly-available live data models built on our new in-memory BISM analytics with Power View that you can play around with here. This is the Power View tool that AJ was demonstrating today in the BI sessions.

There were 2 questions that I promised to follow-up on for the audience today and here they are:

1. Here is the link to the Upgrade Advisor for SQL Server 2012

2. Chargeback appears to be part of the Microsoft System Center suite’s capability set for VMs, meaning that it is meant for chargeback in virtualized private cloud scenarios.


My Notes on 70-432 SQL Server Exam for DBAs

I’ve finally found some down time this weekend to write a few notes about the Microsoft Technology Specialist 70-432 exam for SQL Server 2008: Implementation & Maintenance. I had wanted to do this for some time, but have been very busy recently. My hope is that if you are a SQL Server DBA looking for gain certification by taking the 70-432 exam, that this will help you to prepare. And so, without any further ado, here are my notes for those taking the exam and helpful tips to be successful:

  1. The Microsoft Press book for 70-432, the MCTS training kit, is essential. The sample tests and the material is spot-on with what you can expect from the test. And beyond just the test, the book does a very good job of explaining concepts that any DBA can find useful in your day-to-day job. Which leads me to point #2 …
  2. Even the most seasoned SQL Server DBAs typically struggle with their first attempt of the cert. I know SQL Server DBAs that have been at it longer than I have and are better at database administration that I am who scored in the 400-600 range on their first attempt (you need 700 to pass). My first attempt was 661 and I studied for weeks prior to the test. After missing the 700 minimum requirement the first time, I went back to the book & prep tests, went through EVERY QUESTION in the book and the prep test again, and passed the 2nd time 2 weeks later. My bottom line is this: even if you think you know everything about SQL Server 2008 implementation and maintenance, STUDY the prep book and prep tests for several weeks FIRST.
  3. Study, study, study. As I just explained in #2 above, you may be a drop-dead awesome SQL Server DBA, but you must use material like the book in #1 above to learn about what the testers are looking for. I am also certified as a PMP in project management and I like to use that PMP test as a good example. Just as with the PMP, a certified DBA or project manager is not necessarily a GOOD DBA or project manager! That’s because the cert tests are looking for very specific by-the-book answers that you may have found in practice don’t always work the way that you want or expect. But the tests are testing your book answers, not your specific experience. So try not to get hung-up on answers that you think are not really correct and go by what you read and practiced in the prep tests.
  4. I can’t do any better at compiling resources to use for your studies than my colleague Buck Woody did at his MSDN blog here. Check it out and don’t assume that you already know it all. Do your work ahead of time. Buck and I are both Microsoft Technology Specialists and I can tell you that I needed to study for hours to pass this exam even though I work with SQL Server every day and have for a number of years.
  5. Remember, SQL Server is very, very large platform, so make sure that you have an understanding of areas that may seem out of the mainstream for long-time SQL Server DBAs, those that started with SQL Server prior to SQL Server 2008. Things like MDW, PBM and spatial indexes, for example, may be areas that you’ll need to brush-up on.


Best wishes and good luck! – Mark

CLOSED: Free SQL Server Performance Monitoring Seminar in Malvern MTC

**** We had to close registration for this 20-seat seminar as the response was so quick and we filled it up!

**** If you sent me an email and received a response back that you are registered, then we will see you here on June 22 @ 2 PM.

If not, don’t worry … I promise to work to schedule another SQL Server free seminar in the Microsoft Malvern office again very soon.

Thanks! Mark




Are you going to be in the Philly are on June 22 from 2-5 PM? We are hosting Sebastian Meine for a 3-hour complimentary seminar in our Microsoft Technology Center in Malvern, PA. This free training will focus on SQL Server 2008 R2 performance Monitoring and will include snacks & beverages.

If you can join us, that would be great! Just send me an email here. You must register with me in order to attend. Below is the flier for the seminar. Many thanks! Mark

SQL Server Performance Monitoring Basics — Will my SQL Server keep up with the workload of tomorrow?

This class will introduce the concepts and tools to recognize performance trends to identify and address small problems before they become big ones.

To accomplish this we will:

-­‐ introduce the ACIDproperties, focusing on Isolation including locks and latches

-­‐ explore the query lifecycle with query compilation and the three query execution phases

-­‐ investigate blocking, showing ways to monitor for blocking occurrences

-­‐ examine performance-­‐related DMVs

The class  closes out by introducing the Management Data Warehouse, a tool to use on all your servers to monitoring the items covered in this class.

After  attending the class, you will be able to:

-­‐ describe ACID and its components and explain its  impact on concurrency

-­‐ differentiate between locks  and latches

-­‐ explain the query lifecycle

-­‐ identify blocked and blocking sessions and their SQL statements

-­‐ use DMVs to get a picture of your server health

-­‐ monitor  important SQL Server performance metrics over time using the Management Data Warehouse

-­‐ see  important trends in your performance metrics