Day 4 – Monitoring, availability and tough problems

I skipped the keynote on Thursday to spend some time in the SQL Lounge. One of the people there did a demo of a set of scripts, jobs and reports called DMVStat. It’s up on the net somewhere. I don’t have the link right now, but I’ll see if I can dig it up in a day or so.

The first session was on analysing the plan cache. It wasn’t a particularly deep session, just covering how to get execution plans in SQL 2005 (the plan cache DMVs).

The SQL CAT team did a presentation on high availability in the afternoon. Not as good as the session on MySpace, but that would be hard to top.

Bob Ward ran the only level 500 session of the conference, covering debugging difficult problems. The kind of problems that he sees as a senior escalation engineer at PSS. He discusses latch waits, slow IOs, corrupt databases, access violations, memory problems and unexpected shutdowns. It felt something like standing under a waterfall, but it was a brilliant session.

The afternoon wrapped up with a discussion on practical performance monitoring by Andrew Kelly. He went over perfmon, profiler, wait stats, disk stats and showed some techniques for managing the load of data.

All in all, that was a very successful day. One more day to go… 

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