Even though I didn't make it to TechEd this year, it didn't mean I was quiet last week. On Wednesday, I was in Colorado, giving a talk for the new Colorado PASS User Group, which is a joint venture between 3 different existing groups from Colorado Springs, Denver and Boulder. On Saturday, I spoke at SQL Saturday #43, in Redmond on the Microsoft campus. My presence there has already been mentioned on two other blogs here at SQLBlog: Merrill Aldrich and the infamous Buck Woody.
As Merrill mentioned, my session was on compression ("The Compression Session", isn't that catchy?). Right before lunch, I ran into an old friend, who asked what exactly my session would cover. I explained I would talk about the compression algorithms, and how exactly the data in your data files was compressed. He said… "Oh, you're going to talk about the Internals of Compression"… like he was surprised. I guess I'll have to send him a copy of my latest book… SQL Server 2008 Internals. I actually didn't cover the deepest internals that I could have; I did have some extra slides showing the details of the new row formats used if you choose to compress your data, but we didn't have any extra time. The details are in my book, if you're interested.
As mentioned, I discussed primarily the compression algorithms. I think my friend was asking what my specific topic was because he wanted to know if I was going to discuss performance and best practices at all. He then shared a tidbit that he had just heard from inside Microsoft (he used to work for Microsoft, for many long years) and that is that the consulting teams have pretty much discovered that the benefit of compression almost always outweighs the cost, and for most large systems they are recommending turning on page compression right out of the box. Remember that compression is a Enterprise Edition feature (and it's mainly the larger systems that are using Enterprise Edition). I'm just passing on this comment, I haven't done enough testing of my own to make a personal recommendation.
The demos have been posted for both the Denver PASS and the SQL Saturday sessions at: