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Buck Woody

Carpe Datum!

Bonus Post – The PASS Dakar

OK, this will probably never happen, and I have no official affiliation with the Professional Association of SQL Server (PASS) at all, everyone will think is crazy, but at the PASS yearly conference I would really like to see this competition:


There’s a special race called the “Dakar Rally”, which runs for weeks at a time over some of the most difficult terrain in the world. Hundreds of cars, bikes and trucks (!) start out, only a few finish. People get hurt in this race; some have even died. It goes from extreme deserts to high snowy mountains, through towns and rocky roads. It’s a speed and endurance test that proves you’re the best racer there is on almost any terrain. In the cars there is a driver and a navigator – a team of two.


So here’s what I think would be awesome. Take a series of standard PCs – nothing fancy – and display a data requirement. Users create a database design and a standardized client application (using PowerShell or even SQLCMD) on another standard workstation that does Create, Read, Update and Delete operations for the database.  Network is between those systems only.


Each day, the “organizers” of the PASS Dakar set up a series of CRUD operations. Some are small, and lots of them, others are huge BLOBS, streaming data and so on.  Two of the “competitors” would run those requirements through their app and to their database. As long as the results match across all competitors, it’s a clean “race”. Round-trip performance is measured for each competitor. Each day they can tune their database, workstation and even the network system for best throughput. That forms a “stage”. Each day, the “Stage Winner” is posted. Competition is held throughout each day.


At the end of the week, the team with the most stage wins is the overall winner. Trophy goes home with them. Next year, the process repeats, and the trophy goes to the new winner.


That would be so cool.

Published Friday, January 15, 2010 1:26 PM by BuckWoody
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Josef Richberg said:

I'm in!!! Do we have classes of 'races'?

January 15, 2010 4:35 PM

Buck Woody said:

Keep in mind the competitors would set up their design, client and tuning and deliver scripts ahead of time. Only thing that happens during PASS is the running of the tests and any tuning the team wanted to do.

January 15, 2010 4:38 PM

Meir Dudai said:

Great idea!

i actually think that it's best if the competitors don't get the requirements beforehand, and everything is done on site during PASS. That way you also get the time pressure element which is more fun.

I participated in the last Israeli peace rally and indeed - it is so much fun!

I wrote a blog in hebrew about the race. Don't have too much time to translate it so here is the automated google translation (not even close to what it actually says in hebrew, but you get the picture) :

January 16, 2010 5:00 PM
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