Thoughts from the SQLPASS Summit Wednesday Keynote, 2016


We made it through the Keynote without being ejected from the auditorium

It’s the week of the largest SQL Server conference, the SQLPASS Summit. I’m in Seattle with more than 6,000 other SQL Server professionals. I made it to the Keynote this morning, only to find Rob Farley sitting next to me.

I’ve got a cold and I was waiting for the DayQuil to kick in when the Keynote began. If you’ve ever met Rob, you know I was in no danger of falling asleep.

Here are my thoughts on the topics covered in today’s keynote. If you’re not at the conference, you can watch some sessions live today, plus tomorrow’s keynote, too — check out PASStv.

Intelligence in the database: burn those CPU cores

We started out with an emphasis on moving application logic and intelligent prediction deeper into the database layer. The general gist seemed to be building more predictive and analytic functions into the SQL Server database itself for fast analysis and performance.

For us SQL Server folks, it’s interesting and exciting to hear about SQL Server becoming even more relevant to application processing. That sounds like job security.

But on the other hand, SQL Server is one of the more expensive places to do a lot of calculations because of the cost per CPU. This immediately struck me as an expensive proposition for customers.

Love for Linux, Demos Querying Hadoop and MongoDB, Friendly use of the word “iPhone”

I was impressed by the openness to other technologies and companies shown throughout the keynote. We saw a demo of a PolyBase query that touched five different platforms, including Oracle and MongoDB. I heard the word “iPhone” and a reference to the Apple App Store from the stage without any competitiveness or growling. We saw a live demo of installing SQL Server on Linux.

Microsoft has really changed their tone these days. It’s exciting.

Cloud, lots of stories of cool stuff in cloud

In previous years, lots of discussion of cloud technology has felt a bit heavy handed. Not everyone was ready for it. This year, it feels different.

Microsoft brought customers to the stage who have been using cloud services to scale up airline pricing, game interaction (complete with “zombie matching”, and data analysis. Some of the speakers were analysts and engineers. This made it easier to relate to the theme of the day, of cloud + data + intelligence.

In chatting with attendees this week as well, lots of people are talking about projects that are doing, or are planning to do, which involve the cloud. The mood at the PASS Summit is definitely shifting to be more open and exciting.

On-prem gets some love, too

It wasn’t all cloud in the Keynote this morning. And it’s not all cloud in the sessions, either. One of the sessions that I’m excited to attend today is from Microsoft Program Manager Kevin Farlee, “Operational Analytics in SQL Server 2016 and Azure SQL Database.” I like this new world where we can talk about on-prem SQL Server, and cloud, too. Sometimes we can have both.

And now, on to the learning!

2 Responses to Thoughts from the SQLPASS Summit Wednesday Keynote, 2016

  1. Jonathan Cogan October 27, 2016 at 1:29 pm #

    Can you share the URL’s of the items you mentioned in your “Great Performance Robbery” talk? 🙂

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