Blogging from the PASS Keynote, Day 1

Aaron Bertrand

Published On: October 28, 2015

Categories: SQL Server 2016, SQLFamily, Community, PASS Summit 0

Thomas LaRock comes on stage to open up the 16th PASS Summit. There were 5,500 registrations; attendees represent 58 countries and over 2,000 companies. He asks for hugs from #SQLFamily, gives a shout out to first timers, thanks the community and volunteers for helping PASS thrive, and invites all of us to attend the Board Q & A, Thursday, at 3:30 in room 307/308.

Next up is Joseph Sirosh, Corporate Vice President, Data Group. Quote: "The ability to understand data is transforming our daily lives." He shares his own genome results, where a company was able to predict the risks he has in the future, based on the data they derived from a simple saliva sample (he has three times the average risk for prostate cancer). He then invites Eric Fleischman of DocuSign onto the stage to talk about how SQL Server has helped them keep up with major growth. For those of us who didn't already know, Joseph announces that recently Microsoft was ranked as the leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Operational Database Management Systems and BI.

And now Shawn Bice, General Manager, Database Systems Group comes out. Quote: "Companies who embrace data will be far more competitive than those who don't." He tells us that all of SQL Azure Database is already running on SQL Server 2016, and that everything is built-in - industry leader in mission-critical OLTP, most secure database, highest performing data warehouse, end-to-end mobile BI, and in-database Advanced Analytics (investments in R, the language of statistical analysis). Then talks about some of their big bets:

  1. Dramatically simplify HA & DR - better algorithms and compression to move data to secondaries, hybrid cloud, load balancing of readable secondaries, faster failover, domain-less AGs
  2. Remove the complexity of big data - Polybase and Hadoop integration in the database engine (previously it was just in PDW/APS), JSON support
  3. Real-time operational analytics - combining R and clustered columnstore indexes with minimal impact on OLTP activity and no disk access
  4. More secure database - least vulnerable database 6 years running; new innovations are row-level security, dynamic data masking, and Always Encrypted
  5. Stretch database - cut storage costs and use Azure storage for cold data; works with Always Encrypted to reduce security concerns
  6. End-to-end mobile BI on any device - investments in SSAS, SSRS, Power BI

Sirosh comes back on stage. Quote: "We do not believe in nickel and diming customers for every new feature."

Aaron (@AaronBertrand) is a Product Manager at SentryOne, with industry experience dating back to Classic ASP and SQL Server 6.5. He is editor-in-chief of the performance-related blog,, and serves as a community moderator for the Database Administrators Stack Exchange. Aaron's blog focuses on T-SQL bad habits and best practices, as well as coverage of updates and new features in Plan Explorer, SentryOne, and SQL Server.


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