PASS Summit 2015 Day 1 Recap

Kevin Kline

Published On: October 28, 2015

Categories: PASS Summit 0

Here follows a stream-of-consciousness series of notes about the first day of the PASS Summit 2015:

#SQLFamily - SQL hugs are a 'thing'.

Thomas Larock, current president of gave us some quick notes about the PASS Summit this year - 58 countries, > 2k companies, 5500 registrations, 100's of members of the Microsoft team et al

Tom also spent some time talking about giving thanks. Gratitude is so important. Don't forget the vendors and sponsors.

Technical training sessions limited to 50 attendees, including coaching and learning sessions for those who'd like to speak. WIT with Angie Chang of Hackbright Academy.

The Technical Presentation

Presented by Joseph Sirosh, Corporate VP Data Group Cloud & Enterprise, "Accelerate your business with a modern data strategy" (
  • 30 years ago, all of the worlds data was analog. CDs and DVDs started in the late '90s and '00s. 2005 data has an IP address.
  • Now, data is connected and in the cloud. Now is mostly cloud. Heading towards 50 Zb of data!
  • 50 years ago it was all about faster things - cars, rockets, plans, factories. 30 years it was a PC on every desktop and was all about software which automated the drudgery of our every day life.
  • Now we're in the age of data and intelligence from data. Today, data underpins everything. IOT flows into the cloud. Hospitals, for example, are all about treating emergencies that have already happened, not for predictive and preventive medicine.
  • The story of sequencing of the human genome.
  • DocuSign, Eric Fleischman, Chief Architect and VP Platform Engineering, doubling in size every year, a new user every 0.4 seconds. Customer!!!
  • Made big bets and radical hardware departures: FusionIO, AGs, app engineering changes
  • Early choices (schema e.g.) were bad choices.
  • They thought about betting on open source. But thought of it as a hiring decision. "Who and what technology can help us make this happen? We need one throat to choke!"
  • They want deep data, with telemetry system to manage the core systems over and above the OLTP system.
  • SQL2016 AGs and Always Encrypted are big features for them, including building these features back into what Microsoft is using.


  • Oracle is all on-earth, then migrated to cloud. Amazon is all on-cloud. Only Microsoft is both earth and sky!
  • MVPs talking about SQL2016 goodness
  • Shawn Bice, GM Database Systems Group, 7 BIG BETS
    = But first the underpinnings (and it's all built in)
    • Industry leader in mission critical OLTP.
    • Most secure database - least vulnerabilities in the past 6 years.
    • Highest performing database warehousing. Top TPC benchmarks.
    • Industry leading mobile BI at a fraction of the cost of Tableau and Oracle.
    • In-database advanced analytics with R + in-memory.
      • Dramatically simplify HA & DR, driving by DocuSign running ultr-high performance OLTP on FusionIO: easy setup even in hybrid environments, load balancing, fast failover on-site or to cloud, AGs on Standard Edition.
      • Remove the complexity of big data, like T-SQL over Hadoop (i.e. Polybase)
      • Real-time operational analytics ... in-memory is built-in. Real-time is the ability to learn and adjust as things are happening. It's not just for stock trading. (30x faster in-memory OLTP, become a data-driven organization)
      • In-database Advanced Analytics, centers on R (with over 5k packages already in the community) which runs in-line with SQL. No moving of data. Open source R with in-memory and massive scale via multi-threading and massively parallelism. (Rohan Kumar, discussing P Cubed and their Customer Engagement Map)
        • REQ: extreme performance and scale, needed real-time analytics, extremely secure, ability to query decades of data in massive quantities.
        • HP Superdome with 480 vCPUs and 12 Tbs of RAM.
        • The biggest innovation is that they don't have to extract real-time data to another system to run it through R analysis. That, by its very nature, means that it's not real-time.
        • Using open source algorithms, such as linear regression, right in there in the T-SQL scripts.


  • Monitor activity: Advanced Threat Analytics, (Stealing from the buffer pool), SQL Server auditing
  • Control access: Always Encrypted
  • Cut storage costs with Stretch Database! (Remote Query operator in SSMS / execution plan)
  • End-to-end mobile BI on any device
    • big refresh on SSAS and SSIS
    • big improvements on PowerBI.
  • Our industry doesn't respect tradition. It respects innovation. The age of the data professional is NOW." =Joseph Sirosh

On the Personal Side

The first day of the PASS Summit 2015 also happened to be my 49th birthday. (Along with other notables in the SQL Server community such as Kathi Kellenberger, Tim Radney, and Tim Edwards). The SQLFamily, as ever, went overboard to make me feel good about the day with lots of hugs and well-wishes.

The cherry on the Sundae was Rob Farley, who sang "Happy Birthday" to me EVERY time he saw me - even if that was far away across crowded rooms and busy city streets. Rob, thanks for: A) embarrassing the heck out of me, and B) actually making me feel pretty special. I tip my hat to you, sir. =^)

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Kevin (@kekline) serves as Principal Program Manager at SentryOne. He is a founder and former president of PASS and the author of popular IT books like SQL in a Nutshell. Kevin is a renowned database expert, software industry veteran, Microsoft SQL Server MVP, and long-time blogger at SentryOne. As a noted leader in the SQL Server community, Kevin blogs about Microsoft Data Platform features and best practices, SQL Server trends, and professional development for data professionals.


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