This week I was at PASS just like many other folks from here. Good times as always, although less partying than in the past. Since I am still in recovery and relying on Percoset to get me through the day, I was wiped every evening. Here are a few thoughts and observations:
- I salute PASS marketing for being able to keep the number of registrations as high as they did in this economy. On the other hand - if you are not going to give attendees a free drink or two during the Welcome Reception, then at least the price of the drinks in the cash bar should not compete with the high end bars in Seattle. I know times are tough but from what I heard around me, quite a few people were not happy about this. Enough said...
- Based on all the sessions, previews and announcements, SQL Server 2008 R2 doesn't have that much new stuff to get excited about by developers or even DBAs, compared to the long list of new features in 2005 and 2008 (the story is totally different for BI). And that's OK, I'll settle for a stabilized 2008. In the last few months I've seen enough strange issues in our 2008 deployments that I am seriously considering using 2005 until at least one more 2008 service pack.
- I really like PowerPivot and I think it has a lot of potential, but I really think this tool should be integrated with Reporting Services and not with SharePoint. Otherwise, a lot of folks will still use it but for delivery they will just go back to what Microsoft is trying to avoid here - distributing reports via network share or email.
- I really enjoyed finally meeting Buck Woody in person. Buck, aside from being a fellow motorcyclist and the most entertaining geek speaker I know (politically correct or not), always packs tons of good content into his sessions. I will definitelly be checking out the Management Data Warehouse feature.
- I am really glad I was able to tell the tools team that Activity Monitor needs to work ESPECIALLY when my server is pegged and otherwise not very responsive. GUI troubleshooting tools sometimes remind me of that saying about insurance - it's good until you need it.
- A lot of people waited 10 or more minutes to get Kevin Kline to sign a copy of his book. I don't think they would do the same if the other Kevin Kline was signing autographs there.
- After talking to a few people about virtualization, I am planning to try it again with Hyper-V. We've had not so good results with VMWare and SQL Server at my company, but it seems that since there is a lot of collaboration between SQL Server, Windows and Hyper-V teams, the penalty for disk I/O may not be so high as we have seen in VMWare.
- I still don't know why everyone was wearing kilts on Wednesday. Buck is still having nightmares from what he saw under one of them...