Wednesday, March 10, 2010

March OPASS Meeting Recap

We had a great turnout of 25 people for last night’s OPASS Meeting sponsored by Quest Software.

We started the meeting with the PASS Chapter Deck which has lots of information on it.  I did get one comment later that there was too much on the deck to process.


After announcements, Andy Warren (@sqlandy) led a networking exercise that worked on remembering names.  The exercise started at check-in when we didn’t have name tags.  Then we were all given a number tag, a pen, and a piece of paper.  Andy then had each person, in random order, stand up and say their name twice.  After everyone had said their name we then went in numerical order and wrote down each person’s name, if we remembered it.  I did well only missing 2 and one was because that person did not stand up when we got their number.  The other I missed because I couldn’t hear the name very well.  There were a couple of conclusions:

  1. The more clearly and loudly the person said their name the easier it was to remember.
  2. If there was something extra added when the person said their name it was easier to remember.  For example, one person said, “My name is Bob, and now I’ll say it backwards, Bob”.  Everyone remembered him.

Featured Presentation

David Pless, Senior Premier Field Engineer with Microsoft, presented on Performance Tuning and Optimization in SQL Server 2005/2008.  He did a good job talking about different server and database configuration options, gotchas, and how to use DMV’s to find issues.  David had a lot of good information, and wasn’t able to get through his complete presentation in just over an hour.  The consensus was that we need to have him back for a part 2.  David had 2 things that he stresses that I’ll share:

  1. Autogrow is fine, but set it to a fixed amount, not a percent.
  2. Update Statistics.  Stale statistics are a common cuase of performance issues.

The featured presentation was recorded and is available at:

We finished up the evening with a Raffle with many items from Quest, plus some from User Group Support Services.

After Meeting

As usual there were good discussions after the meeting as well.  David had brought his 16 year-old daughter with him so I spent some time talking with her.  I also spoke with Mike Antonovich about some contacts he had given me at the last meeting.  Then Andy, Kendal Van Dyke (@SQLDBA) and I, spent some time talking about community, SQLSaturday, and PASS.  Always an interesting discussion as we each have our own ideas and it’s fun to see where they mesh and where we disagree.

As usual I encourage you to make it to meetings whenever you can, where ever you are.  Online meetings and events are fine, but there is nothing quite like being there in person and having discussions with your peers.

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