Archive for the ‘Musing’ Category

OT: Things Fashion Stores and Designers just don’t Get

February 15, 2014 9 comments

I have just returned from a trip to Milan, my lovely wife traveling with me. And after a full weekend there, I feel like ranting again. For my trusted readers, if you expect something technical from this, please stop reading now.

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Curious Partition Function Behaviour

January 15, 2014 10 comments

imageJust another short blog today describing a curious issue I found with a query plan this week and a “workaround”.

In our core system, we have a table with two partitions. One partition contains all the work that “has been done” (which has the column WorkItem set to –1) and the other the “work   in progress” (with WorkItem to different values, all > -1).

The reason we have created just two partitions for this table (which is a heap) is that the items that are “work in progress” are often scanned, yet the work that has been done (WorkItem = –1) is the vast majority of the table. This “mini partitioning” is a nice design pattern I often apply to skewed distribution like these. It provides a significant performance boost on table scans. But this week I saw an oddity I have not run into before.

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My Final SQL Server Presentations (until further Notice)

October 26, 2013 9 comments

imageAs my regular readers have noticed, activity on my blog has slowed down lately. My new job at Livedrive is keeping me very busy and excited. It’s the opportunity I have been looking for: right in the middle of the Open Source vs. Microsoft cloud battle (and in a hectic development environment). I am greatly enjoying myself in this space.

However, I have precious little time to blog about SQL Server. And quite frankly, by now I feel there isn’t much more left for me to say on this subject. The time has come for me to move on to other subject areas and master new skills.

How will this affect my public speaking appearances?

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The Curse of Self-Service

August 18, 2013 17 comments

These days, we seem to be high on data and data related trends. My opinion on Big Data should be well known to my readers: it is something that has to be carefully managed and largely a fad for all but a select few companies.

With data being the new black, similar trends grab the attention of modern managers. One of these is Self Service. It seems like such a logical consequence of our advanced data visualisation: democratise the data.

It’s worth noting that the notion of humans making better decisions when well served with information is rather old. Thomas Jefferson said: “whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government”. But what exactly does it mean to be well-informed? Another great statesman, Churchill, said: “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter”.

In this blog entry, I will argue that is does not follow that humans will make better decisions if we just give them access to more data. In fact, allowing people to self-service their data can be outright harmful.

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More Courses Available – in Sweden and UK!

January 11, 2013 Leave a comment

I am happy to announce that my tuning course and newly developed Data Warehousing course is now available.

Tuning/Scaling Course

imageThe tuning course will be hosted by CrossJoin Consulting in London, UK You can sign up for it here:

You can still make it for the early bird rates. This course is probably THE deepest level course about SQL Server out there. You will learn the nitty-gritty details of xperf profiling, spinlock detection and multi-threaded optimisation.

We are going to be digging deep below the surface of SQL Server here, be prepared for an intensive day.


Data Warehousing Course

imageThe next data warehousing course will be in Kista, Sweden. It will be hosted by SolidQ and you can sign up for it here:

This will be a very unique course with both Davide Mauri and myself teaching. Its a one day intensive training in my usual “no nonsense” style where you learn about data modeling from two of the leading experts in the field. The course extends the ideas I have blogged extensively about here.

There are still seats left, but they are going fast.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Sharing Slides on

October 9, 2012 1 comment

Hey everyone. Just a short post to let you know I am now sharing some of my slide decks from conferences at SlideShare. Here is the URL:

Some things I put there so far:

  • The Fusion Fireside talk I did at SQL Bits (which shows SQL based message queues in action)
  • My Big Data vs. DW deck (as seen at SQL PASS 2012 and other conferences)
  • A deck I created to introduce storage people to databases
    Feel free to use the material, I only ask that you let people know where you got it from.

My old slide decks belongs to MS as their IP, so I can’t share those slides with you. However, you will often find some of that material is available for download at the conference site where I presented it. For example, you can find a lot of my presentations on the SQL Bits website here:

Next week, I will be presenting at IP Expo about the Fusion-io SDK initiative. Exciting times.

First publicly available courses –in Aarhus, Denmark – 23-24 October

August 30, 2012 3 comments

I am pleased to announce that both my Tuning Course and the Data Warehouse Modeling course will be run in Aarhus Denmark. The courses will be held in English, even though they are hosted in the very city I was born.

The course will be hosted by Orangeman, who will be handling the logistics. There are still available spots and if you act fast, you can get the early bird price.

The relevant details:

See you there for some intense days of tuning and modeling.