SQL PASS Conference – Day 1: Highlights–CRESCENT, “Atlanta”, COLUMNSTORE in relational engine

·         CRESCENT is BIG thing!!   Great product, amazing demo, awesome!

·         Code Name “Atlanta” (www.microsoftatlanta.com) is another cool Cloud based services that is in beta 1 right now.  It’s  “Pro-active Assessment Services” – covering most of BPA

·         COLUMNSTORE (Vertipaq Technology) similar to what we have in PowerPivot that powers multi-billion rows data sorted and filtered in sub-seconds – is now going to be in Relational Database in DENALI.    In a demo querying multi-billion rows table with regular query vs. COLUMNSTORE index based query – highly optimized regular query ran for 40 seconds while other query finished in 4 milliseconds.   It’s amazing how superfast it was.

This is the biggest PASS ever.  Here are some the highlights that I captured from day 1.

Key Note by Ted Kummert was great.  Very good speech he gave with fantastic Demos.  Some notes from his Key Note:

PDW is now RTM

1.      Capable of loading 450 gb to 1.5 TB data in hr

2.      SSIS plug-in for PDW for loading massive amount of data which also offers UPSERT through GUI

3.      Query numbers – able to query 800 Billion rows of data in 19 secs

4.      PDW - Admin console - Real-time web based interface

5.      PowerPivot now has PDW as a Data source


1.      CTP’s schedule

a.       Web Admin – available in current CTP – Code name “Houston”

b.      Reporting - CTP by end of this year

c.       Data Sync – CTP2 of this feature is available

2.      Windows Azure - Marketplace, Data Market  - this is very awesome concept. There was a great response from community on this feature.

3.      Adam Wilson - Program Manager gave a great demo using ODATA data source adapter consuming URL based Marketplace data consumed in SQL Azure based Report


1.      1st CTP available Now - minus new BI capabilities - Crescent

2.      Three main focus

a.       Mission Critical Applications

b.      IT Productivity & Developers - Faster and Easier Development

c.       Expanded BI Reach

3.      Data Quality Service

4.      Crescent - new web based reporting tool

5.      COLUMSTORE index based on VertiPaq technology on relational engine similar to PowerPivot and future Analysis Service's capabilities

ATLANTA (www.microsoftatlanta.com):

·         Configuration Assessment Cloud Service

·         Beta 1 release is available today, V1 targeted for 2011

·         A Microsoft engineer "checklist"

·         Store configuration history in Cloud with CSS for pro-active and quick support

·         Three key objective

o   Proactively avoid configuration problem

o   Reduce downtime and improve performance

o   Resolve issues faster

·         No need to RAS into server or vpn - its available over the internet through cloud service – IT Productivity

·         Once a day periodic update of configuration data to Atlanta

·         Agent sends data to Gateway

·         Daily upload includes Alerts and Configuration information

·         Periodic Download to customer - Updated rules and new configuration points

·         Agents are Windows Services based agent similar to SCOM agent.

·         If SCOM agent is on the server it installs multi-home  collector  - that sends data to gateway

·         Life span of the data on local server - Files are kept for five days

·         Life span of data in the cloud - don't know.

·         It's not real-time monitoring solution

·         It leverages SCOM 2007 R2 agent and mgmt pack tech.

·         It doesn't require SCOM, but can work side-by-side with SCOM via multi-homing..

·         Data collection details  --very  small footprint

o   Agent cpu < 1%, occasional spikes

o   Agent memory < 75 MB

o   Gateway upload - ~75 KB/server/day

·         Server Mgmt data only

o   Diagnostic data (config settings, error logs)

o   Utilization (cpu, io, available memory, etc.)

o   Workload throughput  (transactions/day, gb served/day)

o   No customer data or custom workload data

·         Atlanta only has visibility into servers with agents deployed on them

·         Upload time is configurable; you can stop uploading at any time

o   Close account

o   Delete registry key

o   Disable upload

·         No other non-Microsoft party will have access to your data

·         MS will not use this data for Sales/Licensing validation

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