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Adam Machanic

Adam Machanic, Boston-based SQL Server developer, shares his experiences with programming, monitoring, and performance tuning SQL Server. And the occasional battle with the query optimizer.

PASS Summit 2014 and the Contradiction of Long Running Things

As database professionals, I find that one simple thing unites us in our mission, above all else: we absolutely hate long running things.

I'm with you. I'm here for you. I want to help you reject long running things.

PASS Summit 2014, the premier SQL Server conference of the year, is returning to Seattle this November. And I am returning to PASS Summit, after a one-year hiatus, with 8 hours of fun and exciting performance tuning content to help you expunge the long running things from your life.


Better Performance Through Parallelism (Full-Day, 400 Level Preconference Seminar)

Big queries? Lots of data? No problem. Your server probably has a tremendous amount of CPU resources (most do, these days). And your queries are most likely not using anywhere close to everything they can to help speed up your requests. Want solutions? This advanced seminar is designed to give you a deep and thorough understanding of SQL Server's parallel processing capabilities, along with exactly why and how you can exploit things to massively improve performance -- by a factor of 10x or more in many cases.

You'll learn about how Windows thinks about your CPUs, how SQL Server thinks about your CPUs, how SQL Server interfaces with Windows, how the query optimizer makes its parallel plan decisions, how the query processor interfaces with SQLOS, and how to leverage some basic Computer Science theorems to help the query processor do a much better job on your behalf. And you'll learn how to troubleshoot and take action when something goes wrong.

It's a lot of deep material packed into a single day, and that's why it's 400 level. I want to pack your brain full of information. This is a seminar I've delivered a few times now, and I'm going to be making various enhancements for PASS -- including adding more content on Columnstores for SQL Server 2014, some of the new DMVs, and some interesting twists on a few of the techniques. Will be a fun day!


Query Tuning Mastery: Manhandling Parallelism, 2014 Edition (400 Level Breakout Session)

Where "Better Performance Through Parallelism" ends, "Manhandling Parallelism" takes over. This session will have only a tiny bit of overlap with the seminar, and pretty much assumes that you know everything I've taught in the full-day session. From that common starting point I'll attack the query optimizer and query processor from various angles, exploiting parallelism in new and interesting ways. You'll learn how to hack the optimizer's costing model, how to fix a less than ideal implementation in the storage engine, and how to take control using a series of specially designed CLR functions.

This session is all about applied internals. You may or may not want to rush some of these techniques directly into your production queries; the idea is to show you what can be done if you push the envelope, help you learn some of what makes SQL Server tick, and hopefully have some fun with it.


And as for the contradiction mentioned in the title of this post?

Before we reject long running things, I'm going to ask you to embrace long running things. Because you will be the long running thing.

SQL Long Run (400 Level Outside Run)

You're about to sit in a convention center for a week filling your brain with technical information. You're about to attend a conference that's full of networking opportunities.

Can you simultaneously kick off the networking while helping to counteract your forthcoming period of physical inactivity? Why yes, you can!

SQL Long Run is a simple concept: strap on some running shoes and go for an 11-14 mile run with whatever SQL Server people are in Seattle and want to run with us on the morning of Sunday, November 2. (The day before PASS Summit precons begin.) Have fun, break a sweat, and chat with some fellow runners and SQL geeks.


See you in Seattle!


Published Thursday, July 17, 2014 3:00 PM by Adam Machanic

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Chris Wood said:


Looking forward to a LONG Manhandling Parallelism 400 level session. Hope its an end of day session.


July 18, 2014 1:24 PM

TiborKaraszi said:

Rats! I'd love to be in that SQL long run...

July 18, 2014 2:35 PM

Kevin Conan said:

I took this precon in Chicago and I highly recommend it!  I've used some of the techniques I learned from Adam a few times and they work wonders!

July 18, 2014 3:19 PM

Adam Machanic said:

@Chris: Well it will be 75 minutes. Long enough, I hope :-) ... and personally I'd prefer the morning just before lunch. I don't like presenting advanced material to tired audiences!

@Tibor: Why can't you join? Would be great to see you there!

@Kevin: Thanks for the glowing review!

July 18, 2014 5:50 PM

Dennes said:

Hi, Adam,

I will be at the precon.

I saw you have a session at wednesday, Manhandling Parallelism, is the session content included in the precon or should I attend both ?


November 2, 2014 12:07 AM

Dennes said:

Sorry, already found the answer, I will take both!

November 2, 2014 12:09 AM

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About Adam Machanic

Adam Machanic is a Boston-based SQL Server developer, writer, and speaker. He focuses on large-scale data warehouse performance and development, and is author of the award-winning SQL Server monitoring stored procedure, sp_WhoIsActive. Adam has written for numerous web sites and magazines, including SQLblog, Simple Talk, Search SQL Server, SQL Server Professional, CoDe, and VSJ. He has also contributed to several books on SQL Server, including "SQL Server 2008 Internals" (Microsoft Press, 2009) and "Expert SQL Server 2005 Development" (Apress, 2007). Adam regularly speaks at conferences and training events on a variety of SQL Server topics. He is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for SQL Server, a Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP), and an alumnus of the INETA North American Speakers Bureau.

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