Blogging from the PASS Summit Keynote #2

Aaron Bertrand

Published On: November 6, 2014

Categories: PASS Summit, Virtualization 0

8:12 AM PST

I will be live blogging today's keynote, too (see yesterday's recap).

Our name in lights!

Rimma Nehme, a Senior Research Engineer working under Dr. David DeWitt, will be giving today's primary keynote content. She just walked by and said hi to all the bloggers.

8:19 AM

First, though, Adam Jorgensen comes on stage and talks about PASS over the past year and the future. He says that 30% of spending goes international, 3% of overall budget goes to the SQL Saturday silo, and reserves are healthy (just over $1MM).

Fiscal year 2016 they are going to publish portfolio-level budget summaries, so that we can have a lot of transparency into the organization's focus.

8:22 AM

Tom LaRock comes on and thanks Sri Sridharan and Olivier Matrat for their service to the board, and wishes them well in their future endeavors. He welcomes Sanjay Mishra and Grant Fritchey.

8:25 AM

Denise McInerney comes on stage and tells the story about how involvement in PASS events and chapters helped drive her career. She and Tom present the PASSion Award to Andrey Korshikov, SQL Server MVP, Regional Mentor and Chapter Leader.

8:32 AM

PASS Business Analytics Conference has been announced - Santa Clara, CA, April 20-22, 2015.

8:35 AM

PASS Summit is back here in Seattle next year, October 27-30, 2015. More details at

8:40 AM

Rimma comes on and gracefully deals with a technical problem with her clicker. She talks about her background and thanks us for being such an amazing community. (I spotted two different pictures of me on her collage slide.)

She's going to talk about cloud, and says:

"I'll assume 1/3 of you are experts, 1/3 know some, and 1/3 don't have a clue."

Brent Ozar commented that this is exactly why keynotes are so hard to pull off.

8:43 AM

She says to consider cloud computing as a service or utility, like electricity or water.

On-demand self-service, location-transparent resource pooling, ubiquitous network access, rapid elasticity and capacity, and measured service for paid use. Except when there's a thunderstorm, yes, that sounds a lot like electricity, actually.

8:48 AM

She says that cloud computing reduces development time, effort and costs as there is no need to spin up your own infrastructure. She shows a Chicago data center - shipping containers packed with servers. She calls it a fancy trailer park. You can learn more about these facilities here.

8:55 AM

Microsoft has over 100 data centers in over 40 countries, comprising more than 1 million servers. The factors in site selection include proximity to customers, existing infrastructure, and the skill level of the local workforce.

Why cloud? Focus on fast time to market using a service instead of building a service.

8:59 AM


On-prem = made at home, IaaS = frozen pizza, PaaS = delivery, SaaS = dining out. A lot more details here.

9:03 AM

She coins the term "earthed" as a replacement for the horrible "on-prem" and "on-premise."

9:08 AM

She then talks about how virtualization was developed to put underutilized resources back to work. The analogy is a single person living in a big house - they can rent out rooms so the space isn't wasted. She also talks about a bathroom - imagine one bathroom in that house, but add 8 faucets, they can all wash their hands at the same time. This is what virtualization is supposed to do for workloads.

Of course, there is no free lunch - you lose direct access to the computing resource, and there are overhead penalties for management and sharing.

9:11 AM

Multi-tenancy - Private OS (apartment), Private Process/DB (private room), Private Schema (shared room), Shared Schema (shared bed). Her analogies are fantastic. Need to perform cost-benefit analysis to determine which type of multi-tenancy is best for your app/service.

9:15 AM

Service Level Agreements are divided into legal and technical components. The latter involve service level objectives. Old version of SQL DB has three nines (8 hours of downtime a year). New SQL DB has four nines (53 minutes of downtime a year).

9:23 AM

Our roles as DBAs: Yes, we absolutely still need DBAs in the cloud era. Think about stretched tables (publicly revealed yesterday), which allow you to keep hot data on-prem earthed, and cold data in the cloud. For the same table. Transparently.

She suggests that cloud is NOT a threat to the DBA, in fact suggests that we add the skills and call ourselves Cloud DBAs. That got some laughs but of course we get her point.

She thanks her boss ("well, at least he thinks he is my boss"). Dr. DeWitt comes on stage and she suggests that they may do a keynote together in the future. YES PLEASE!

Aaron (@AaronBertrand) is a Data Platform MVP with industry experience dating back to Classic ASP and SQL Server 6.5. He is editor-in-chief of the performance-related blog, 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.