Apr 24

INSIDE-SQL – Why run a conference


Most will know that I have been running Usergroup events on SQL Server / Data Platform for a few years now, the last couple of them as the leader of the PASS London Chapter http://sqllondon.sqlpass.org/  these events are held in the evening’s and usually consist of 1 or 2 presentations from different presenters across the spectrum of Data Platform topics.

We now run these evening events in the awesome Skillsmatter CodeNode venue and even provide recordings of the previous ones that have been recorded Past Recordings
Plus find out when the next one happening @ London SQL UserGroup MEETUP

You may have noticed we have an full-day event on 14th June (@ Codenode Venue)
so YES we are attempting something a little different, I wanted to explain a little about that and what it is about. We call it “INSIDE-SQL” and created a dedicated website for it
INSIDE-SQL Event Website to bring you all the details you’ll want to learn about it
Agenda, Presenters, Tracks, Location, Tickets, Sponsors etc..

Why are we charging for this… Good Question and it comes down to costs involved in running the event, so while we do have a few sponsors their contributions only covers a percentage of the costs involved, for the rest we need to obtain via low-cost tickets.

We have been able to keep the ticket costs down to those of a price similair to attending a Pre-con @ a SQL Saturday [So this really will be excellent value for the £’s we charge]

What do YOU get for this… We have lined up 15 Deep Dives Sessions, each one being 90 minutes in duration and between 300 – 500 level across a range of topics, these are delivered by experienced presenters, most of them MVP’s and some also MCM’s

Here is a sample extract of the Conference Schedule


Now we know you might wish to attend more than 1 session that is on the same time, sadly without time-travelling ability you’ll have to choose to attend just 1 of them
However fear not, we are recording ALL of the 15 session’s and providing these on our conference USB, so you can watch them later or watch it for 100th time.

Why do a conference
We felt there was perhaps a gap in the market for a focused DEEP DIVE conference which skips that beginner content and tackles the more challenging content
Yet still within the price range for everyone and delivered by some of the top names you’ll find at the bigger conferences, like SQLBits, PASS Summit & many SQLSaturdays.

It can also help US (PASS London Chapter) to continue to grow and due to sponsorship becoming more challenging to find, we wanted to attempt to raise a few £’s for the running costs.
[Well the Pizza’s have to be be paid for somehow]

So we ask you to support us and perhaps have yourself or one of your team attend it, we even have companies sending groups to this, all for a very low overall cost
Group of 3 only @ £500 & Group of 4 only @ £650 until April 30th 2016

Tickets available @ TicketTailor [No Processing fee] or EventBrite [Has a Processing fee]

If you like me, your love a bit of a discount
So use our (single tickets) discount code: ‘SQLFamily30’ for a wooping £30 discount
(There will be a limited supply of these, so get them while you can)

Well thanks for reading this far, and if you feel so inclined perhaps share the news of our event, we will be most grateful for your help..
Perhaps we will even see you at the INSIDE-SQL conference, remember all the information you’ll need is available on our INSIDE-SQL event website http://insidesql.co.uk
Why not follow the latest news on #INSIDESQL

See you soon at an event somewhere in the world



Aug 18


SQL_XOne of my favourite features I’ve been recently presenting on covers the practical usage of partitioning

“Effective Index Partitioning & Compression Strategies”

We all know that ‘Indexing’ is KING when it comes to achieving high levels of performance in SQL Server. When Indexing also combines 2 of the Enterprise features: Partitioning & Compression, we can often see substantial gains. Learn how to identify those objects that benefit greatly from being Partitioned or Compressed, OR combining both of these features to even greater effect. Using Demos to illustrate the performance gains with real-world examples, Take away advanced scripts for use in your own environments.

SQLBits XII Telford  (Jul 2014)







Video {Stream | Download} Video Effective Index Partitioning Compression Strategy

PDF Presentation Effective Index Partitioning & Compression Strategies PDF (Telford SQLBits 12)

I’ve also presented this partitioning-compression session @ these other events

  • SQLSaturday #269 Exeter (Mar 2014)
  • SQLSaturday #208 Madison (Apr 2013)

This session was originally 2 separate sessions on partitioning & compression

“Effective Data Management Using Data Compression”

  • SQL-in-the-City London (Jul 2011)
  • SQLSaturday #105 Dublin (Mar 2013)
  • SQLSaturday #115 Portugal (Mar 2013)









Aug 17

BA Conference

MDS and DQS – Beyond the TLAs to Data Quality

Many three-letter acronyms (TLAs) adorn our database world. This session focuses on two recent additions – MDS (Master Data Services) and DQS (Data Quality Services) – explaining what the new features are and exploring how to leverage them to improve your data quality. High data quality is fundamental to any business analytics system. In this session, we’ll begin with an overview of data quality and the latest Microsoft tools available, and then demonstrate MDS and DQS and how to use them together for continuously improving data quality. We’ll also look at how to integrate them into your existing data-quality strategies. Data quality is everyone’s responsibility – but we can still lead the way forward. Join this session to see how.

PASS BA Conference Chicago (Apr 2013)


Aside from the Summit I have presented this MDS/DQS intro session @ these other events

  • SQLSaturday #281 Edinburgh (Jun 2014)
  • SQLSaturday #237 Charlotte (Oct 2013)
Aug 17

Summit 2013

Load Testing with SQL Server Tools

It’s often difficult to know how your SQL Servers will perform under different loads. By performing load testing, we can gain these key insights, perform modifications to existing configurations, and understand the impact on performance levels.

Come learn about the native tools at our disposal for performing these important load tests and how we can identify when performance levels begin to drop. Using demos of these native tools – including Distributed Replay Utility (DRU), Database Tuning Adviser (DTA), Perfmon, Extended Events, and Profiler – we’ll see how to plan and perform a load test project, gain an understanding of SQL Server’s performance under varying load scenarios, and discover which tell-tale indicators can help alert us to performance degradation.

PASS Summit Charlotte (Nov 2013)

This will be my 3rd consecutive year attending a PASS Summit, this one is a little different as we are in a different city, this year we are on the east coast in the lovely city of Charlotte (North Carolina) the home of NASCAR and we have some friends there as well, as it is also home to SQL Sentry


PDF Presentation PASS 2013_NeilHambly_LoadTestingSQLServer

Aside from the Summit I have presented this Load Testing with SQL Server Tools session @ these other events

  • SQL Relay 2013R2 Norwich (Nov 2013)
  • PASS DBA Virtual Chapter Virtual (Dec 2013)
Aug 17

Summit 2012

SQL Server 2012 Memory Management  

SQL Server 2012 brings a wide range of changes, including a key change in how SQL Server memory is managed. Earlier releases of SQL Server have two memory managers, which have now been merged into one. And that’s just the beginning of the changes for SQL Server memory. This session will dive into SQL Server 2012’s new memory architecture. We’ll see how to diagnose memory performance issues and gain insight into memory pressure issues. We’ll also cover the settings to adjust memory configuration levels and their impact.

PASS Summit  Seattle (Nov 2012)

This was my 2nd year @ the Summit as well as my 2nd time presenting a summit session, this time around it would be a regular 75 minute session on Memory Management with a special focus on the changes in how memory is managed with the SQL Server 2012 release

MemoryMgmt2012_title MemoryMgmt24HOP_title

Video link http://www.sqlpass.org/SessionResources/Stream.aspx?sid=3158  & Download Material

PDF Presentation  DBA-312 SQL Server 2012 Memory Management PDF

Aside from the Summit I have presented this Memory Management session @ these other events

I’ve was also able to present a special Deep-Dive 2-Hour version (Jan 2013) of this session at quite an unusual conference location, as this was aboard a Cruise ship  Really! YES, Really! I’m talking of course about the acclaimed SQL Cruise experience http://sqlcruise.com/ Sqlcruise_title

It was my 2nd SQL Cruise experience, having already been a ‘cruiser’ on the Alsaka SQLCruise in 2011, the term ‘Washy Washy’ will always be with me, maybe you should also ask Tim Ford about the Oreo challenge (it’s harder than it looks) This 2013 Miami SQL Cruise I was also fortunate enough to be chosen as one of their technical leads, I was indeed in good company as this listing shows http://sqlcruise.com/2013-trainers/


Aug 17

Summit 2011

Why are we Waiting..  

PASS Summit  Seattle (Oct 2011)

This was my 1st PASS Summit session and one I have presented it elsewhere as well, it is primarily focused on explaining performance issues via the analysis of the Wait Stats sys.dm_os_wait_stats DMV, we use the DMV to identify performance issues and discover WHY the queries are waiting and on what type of resource


Slides PDF  DBA_320_Why_are_we_Waiting_NeilHambly

Video link http://softconference.com/pass/sessionDetail.asp?SID=274928  sync’d with presentation. Duration: 75 minutes  – Think most should be able to access this now if your a PASS member and have logged in, this is of course just one of the sessions from the 2011 Summit, you have access to the others as well – which is just awesome

With 310 attendees (full double room) this was a quite a step up in # attendees from my previous largest audience so far with ~100 being the largest I had ever had presented before this, incidentally that was my 1st ever presentation (London March 2010) If I recall correctly

I’ve also presented this wait-stats session (or some variation of it) @ these other events

Aug 16

Summit 2014

In November for the 4th consecutive year I’ll be excitably flying across the pond to Seattle in order to attend the Summit, where I’m also lucky enough to be one of this years presenters, I’ll be delivering my 4th PASS Summit session, and this year I have the honour of delivering one of 8 longer 1/2 day (3 Hour) sessions, my session will be on focused on DMVs and how to use them to do performance troubleshooting

Performance Troubleshooting Using DMVs http://www.sqlpass.org/summit/2014/Sessions/Details.aspx?sid=6819

Performance troubleshooting is a complex subject with many factors under consideration when you find poorly performing SQL statements, using proven methodologies, and evaluating performance data available in the Dynamic Management Views and Functions. In this session, we’ll go over a foundation of how and which DMVs to use to identify those problematic statements for versions of SQL Server from 2005 – 2014.

We’ll be demonstrating using practical examples, including code that can be taken away and used on attendees’ own SQL Servers. We’ll also discuss how to identify common causes of performance issues, and learn how to quickly review and understand the wealth of performance data available.


So perhaps I might even see you in my audience for that or elsewhere @ the conference @ one of the watering holes we are known to frequent during that week, especially if you are a whisky lover like me

If we haven’t as yet meet and you’ll be @ this years summit, I have my profile link below which may be of some help, so you know a little about who I am and what I look like



I do look forward to meeting lots of new friends perhaps that includes you, alongside those I already know from past events http://www.sqlpass.org/summit/2014/Speakers/Details.aspx?spid=282


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Aug 15

Neil’s Presentations

I have been presenting for quite a while now and have not made all my presentations available for users to download PDF of the sessions and scripts, so it’s about time I did something about that and got myself organised and upload these for everyone to access

Over the coming few days I’m going to work on creating a page for each of the presentations available and where these have been presented in the flesh {or online}

Hope this helps anyone interested in the materials and feedback on these are always welcome, the 1st batch of these will be posted over the weekend