Posts Tagged ‘TechEd’

TechEd India 2013: SQL Server and Architecture March 13th, 2013

Vinod Kumar


This time of the year that I get heads-down to bring some cool demo for TechEd and the exploration never stops. This year TechEd India 2013 happens in two cities – Bangalore and Pune. This time next week the Bangalore event would have got over and I am sure we will be in exhausted state to relive the past two days and staring at Pune to execute the same. There is always extra care, attention and preparation that goes behind for every TechEd. This year is no different. I am also excited because this will mark my 10th Year of TechEd on stage. The memories of doing this in 2003 is still fresh and the excitement never dies every single year.

The twitter hashtag to follow for this year TechEd is: #TechEdIn.

What is special about TechEd?

If you ask me there are a number of reasons to be at TechEd personally. My drivers for you will be:

  1. It is a place to socialize and at the same time feel alone. If you attend the tech sessions, you might feel there is so much more to learn and this sometimes alienates people in a good way. Get motivated and get to see what the future of technology is.
  2. Two days of pure learning and no work is something we will never get :). I know it is not a nice thing to say but I couldn’t resist from mentioning. Let me reiterate, it is not vacation time but learning time.
  3. It is a hub for networking. This is one of the key and most important reason to attend. Meet peers, speakers from Redmond, local speakers and many more.
  4. With close to 6+ tracks, HOLs – the choice of sessions are too many. It is always fun !!!
  5. It is also a place to make business contacts, find mentors, make new friends and all these will help you to make your future.

SQL Server – Security Session

For the past two years I have talked around Security in SQL Server. Each year I try to bring some unique perspective and what I find useful from a security point of view. This year it will be new additions to Security with SQL Server 2012. You will get to see:

  1. What has changed in Security
  2. How to use User Defined Roles and Default schema
  3. How to keep DBA out of database (access)
  4. Enhancements to Auditing
  5. Audit filtering and Audit resilience
  6. Contained Databases basics
  7. Using Logon Triggers with Contained Databases
  8. SQL Server 2012 – Service account changes
  9. and if time permits few more demo’s are available …

So don’t miss the action. I have infact given away what to expect out of my 1 hour session. Lots of demo and lots of detailing on how to use SQL Server security effectively.

SQL Server – Transaction Logs Session

Going back to the basics is important. So every TechEd there is one topic that I talk about which is about going back to basics. One question that I get back from customers almost every other session is around Transaction Logs functioning. I think it will be great to have a session around that.

  1. What is Transaction Logs? Why do we need them?
  2. Understanding what VLF’s are
  3. Creation of Logs and the basics
  4. Cyclic Logs and how they function
  5. What is written to Logs and how are they written
  6. What happens when Page Split happens with Logs
  7. How does minimal Logging work and what should we know
  8. Finally if time permits, how does recovery work …

This is just a teaser to what is in store for the session. We have many more interesting concepts to discuss and learn during the session – so don’t miss out.

Architecture Track – Evaluating Availability Options

This is going to be an interesting topic. As part of MTC I discuss about scale out to almost every single customer. Most of the times the discussion boils down to when to use what. We have solutions from Log shipping, Mirroring, Clustering, Replication and now with SQL Server 2012 – AlwaysOn. So the session is around:

  1. Why Scale out? Cant I just scale up?
  2. What changes do I need to do in my application?
  3. When to use what technology – Pre SQL 2012
  4. With SQL 2012 – What is AlwaysOn
  5. What are the 12+ different ways to deploy AlwaysOn for my environment?
  6. How do I decide and what will be the RPO and RTO for each?

This is a pure whiteboarding diagram based discussion. You will learn the theory and the possibilities when working with SQL Server 2012.


As I said, if you are in Bangalore or Pune – don’t forget to attend my session. Most importantly don’t forget to pass me a “Hi” after the session. I will be walking around and it will always great to make a new friend.

PS: If you are in Bangalore or Pune – the Usergroups have given some amazing discounts that you don’t want to miss. It is still not late, check out the Bangalore .NET and SQL Usergroup announcements.

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SQL Server 2012: Offline Logs viewing April 23rd, 2012

Vinod Kumar

As part of WMI events in SQL Server 2012, I saw these two new additions for offline error log files:



Suddenly this got my attention and this blog post gets inspired because of the above events. These WMI classes are used inside SSMS’s Log Viewer when SQL Server is offline or is not responding. If the Log Viewer determines that the connection to a SQL Server instance could not be established, it will fall back to using WMI to enumerate and read the SQL error logs.

Since WMI classes are used for log viewing, it requires the WMI Service be started and only privileged Windows users with access to SQL Server logs can view the log data. By default the privileges are given only to the Administrators group of the machine by the SQL Server setup. As a result, SSMS must be launched using the Run as administrator option.

Offline Log Viewer can read error logs from SQL Server 2005, SQL Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 R2 and SQL Server 2012 versions.

How to use SSMS

With Microsoft SQL Server 2012, you can view SQL Server log files from a local or remote instance of SQL Server when the target instance is offline or cannot start. Steps to get this is:

  1. Start by opening SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) as an Administrator.
  2. Register a SQL Server 2012 instance from Registered Servers (more about Registered Server on MSDN)
  3. Make sure the instance is stopped or offline.
  4. Once the SQL Server instance is registered, right-clicking on a registered SQL Server instance displays the following context menu to “View SQL Server Log
  5. The SQL Server ErrorLog is displayed like it normally would with an online instance.

Some of the things to consider before using the offline viewing capability are:

  1. The instance of SQL Server that you want to connect to should be registered in Registered Servers.
  2. The account that you use to connect must have the required permissions.

Final words

I found this feature quite helpful and for DBA’s this will be a great addition. You can access the offline log files from Registered Servers in SSMS (as in example above) or programmatically through WMI with WQL (WMI Query Language) queries. PowerShell can also leverage these WMI components to programmatically read the error log files. The other methods for access will be for a different blog post.

Feel free to drop your comments.

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Reliving #TechEdIn at Blr UG April 3rd, 2012

Vinod Kumar

Reliving TechEd 2012 with Vinod Kumar 1TechEd India 2012 has been an event to remember and we take great pride in bringing this event every year from Microsoft. As I posted before on my other blog post around recap it takes a lot of preparation and execution to do sessions at the TechEd. This time I was tweeting almost live at the event using the #TechEdIn tag and everyone following me will vouch for the same. Having said that, there are many out there who really want to relive the experience of TechEd again. So here we go again – I will be doing a session on April 1st (Saturday). and Brings you

The Bangalore Usergroups are a bunch of bubbling individuals who bring so much joy to the members by conducting regular Usergroup meets. If you are in Bangalore then I strongly urge you to join these groups to get an update on an constant basis.

  1. – Bangalore .NET Usergroup
  2. – Bangalore ITPro Usergroup
  3. SQLBangalore – Bangalore SQL User Group

Not strange, being in this city for close to 12 years, I have had the opportunity to talk and be part of both the UG’s since they started. Still nostalgic !!!

Reliving TechEd Sessions

TechEd2012Switching gears, yes – if you want to hear to my sessions delivered at #TechEdIn now in a much more relaxed manner. This is the chance again. For folks who are wondering when it will happen in their UG – don’t worry. If I travel to your town, I promise to do them for sure. This UG meeting we plan to have 2 sessions (back-to-back) on Internals.

1. Understanding Windows with SysInternals Tools
2. Peeling the Onion: SQL Server Internals Demystified

I can assure you one thing for sure – it will be a learning and sharing experience for me in a free flow format :).

Feel free to comment if you want any specific area to be covered as part of the UG event. I will be more than happy to expand the scope to include them :). For it is reliving the experience and get great content – right?

Venue: Microsoft Corporation, Krishna Hall, Embassy Building, 3rd Floor, Domlur.

Register at our FB page :!/events/139444029517882/

PS: Feel free to walk in too – it is your group and the session is completely FREE. Entry on a first-come-first-serve basis only.

Community talk: Manas Blogged on this event. Wonderful Community Networking opportunity. Track us via #ReLiveTechEdIn over twitter.

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#TechEdIn 2012: Vinodk_SQL Recap March 30th, 2012

Vinod Kumar

With exactly one week gone past, I am yet to recover from the mega event TechEd India 2012. Same time last week, we were partying after a successful event and the very thought we pulled it off yet another year is so refreshing. My TechEd journey started in the Year 2003 and there has been no turning back since then. The fact remains, the way TechEd is run has changed quite a bit and the content selection process is also more stringent when compared to what we had 8 years back. Just the availability of the resources on the internet makes speakers run for the money. Personally, it is close to 2+ months for nailing the session content – not to forget the reviews, rehearsals and more.

These are my perspectives – For me Microsoft TechEd is such a premier event and privilege that I want to give my best and prepare something nice and interesting that is so difficult to get via any search engines. Doing so, we add value to the event and in the process learn a lot. This year has been no different and I think people who attended my session will vouch for the same.

SQL Server Misconceptions and Resolutions

Pinal Dave has been pushing me hard every year to have this kind of session and I have resisted personally. Any two-speaker session requires tons of preparation and that has to land perfectly. The content for this session went to-and-fro for close to 20 days between us. We add a demo and scrap it immediately. We had to balance out simple concepts with compelling demo’s to our Misconceptions sessions. I think it landed well finally. We still await the final verdict (via feedbacks) from the audience but were confident we pulled this off with all the preparations behind us.

I will not try to rehash the content here. But Dhananjay Kumar did a live blogging of this session here. That gives you a quick list of what we discussed.

Peeling SQL Server like an Onion: Internals Demystified

Personally, this was the toughest session for me to prepare – trust me. I wrote a teaser on what to expect from the session before. As the name suggests it is tough to talk about the internals (as theory) with almost no demo’s around the concepts. The audiences were surely in for a surprise and the hall started to fill in from 10:30AM while the keynote was still going on – and the session scheduled for 11:15. I talked about Advanced Disk formats, SQL Server 2012 Security changes, Memory changes, Indirect CheckPoint and more.

Again the community notes were awesome, atleast it is saving me time to write all of them :). Sahal did a great job on his blog in summary.

Again, I look forward for some serious feedbacks if you want these kinda session in the future TechEd’s too? Or you don’t want these internals session and more practical sessions? Based on your shout I will plan accordingly for next year. Each and every vote count :).

Tools to manage, troubleshoot and diagnose your Windows systems

This was an unconventional session for me. I generally have a tendency to play around with OS, Office, IIS, Azure and other tools and learn some of the fundamentals. So in this session my task was simple – show people how you can use SysInternals tools and learn Windows better. From usage of Memory, x86 architecture, x64, WOW mode, Page faults, Virtual Memory mapping, OOM scenario, Perf Tool, PAL tool, Logman and more. About 10 mins into the talk, realized the session had so much of theory that it is better to showcase the same via tools rather than talk in an abstract manner. This was my first time at TechEd to talk on a topic other than SQL Server.

If you have feedbacks to give me on this very session, I will be more than happy to get them. I would love to bring more of these maybe for next year too. Keep those comments flowing.

Apart from these, there were couple of other sessions in which I had my participation. But that was under the Architect Track. Will write on it separately some other time. The full roster of sessions we had in that track is available on my previous blog post.

There is also an event on April 7th in Bangalore which the Bangalore .NET Usergroup and the Bangalore ITPro Usergroup are hosting where I will talk two of the above sessions. Here is the Facebook page which you can use to come to the event.

If you did attend any of my sessions at TechEd, please take a moment to comment on your feedbacks.

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TechEd 2012: MTC India @ TechEd March 19th, 2012

Vinod Kumar

I have been posting like mad about TechEd India 2012 over my FB and twitter (@vinodk_sql) accounts – and this blog space has been no exception. With just 2 days to go – the excitement, anticipation and the feeling is really overwhelming. I joined MTC more than a year back and with that new start, I also got this new space for blogging. To know more about the type of work we do, do visit the global MTC homepage to know more about the work that we do.

MTC @ TechEd – Architecture Track

One of the primary motto around which MTC operates is to be a trusted advisors to our customers and partners. And we give them solution with choices in making the right direction in their organizations as far as technology. At TechEd we have not shied away from keeping the same mantra for our audience too.

Look at the Architecture Track, we have tried to bring the best and the right content from the right speakers in this whole track. I am highlighting them here for a quick reference, more about the speakers and the exact abstract can be got from the TechEd India 2012 site:

  1. Windows 8 Application Design – With the trend and the emphasis on the Windows 8 platform it is critical for architects to understand why, how, options, choices and most importantly what not to do while designing Win8 is critical.
  2. Beyond Scrum – The concept imported from Japan manufacturing, Kanban is an agile methodology and Stephen Forte (a great friend) comes all the way from Hong Kong to deliver this session for us.
  3. Windows Azure – Architecture Patterns – Taking off from the various Architecture patterns, there are critical aspects around data management, migration, scaleout, storage principles etc that the session will unleash. I have seem Ramkumar’s many sessions at TechEd and this one will be something not to be missed.
  4. Things that your Virtualization guys didn’t tell you – Coming from the house of MTC, Infra Architect MS Anand will be doing the honors here. I have had the opportunity to sit in many sessions of his with customers and end of the session, it will be such an information overload. And this session will be no less in that aspect with deep content.
  5. Next Generation IT Portfolio – From the heart of MCS (Microsoft Consulting Services) team. Srini and Vikas plan to share some of the roadmaps as organizations plan for their IT infrastructure and what are some of the trends to watch out for.

    On Day 2, it will be loaded with Data Centric content. This is my personal favorite and I spent quite sometime ironing out this with my team.

  6. Big Data and Elastic Cloud – We are getting Ram back for this session from Day 1 to introduce what is Big Data, where is the Microsoft investments and how to prepare Big Data on Azure. Architecture, patterns and pitfalls.
  7. Big Data Best practices applied to Market risk analysis usage – As much as the title makes one scary about the whole session, this is one session coming directly from the field. Session talks about Hadoop Map-Reduce architecture based best practices, Big Data patterns viz. Record Aggregation, Compact Object Serializations, Map-Sort-Reduce. Also Sunil and Abinasha plan to talk about configuration tuning of a typical Hadoop architecture such as Maximum Map Tasks, HDFS Block Size, Compression, Sort heap size, File system type, Disk mounting options, Disk Extent size.
  8. Infuse agility into your ERP – The Microsoft Surround Story –This comes from the house of MTC, Architect Abhisek will talk about how Enterprises have the problem of heterogeneous systems and how these data can come under one roof when it comes to BI practices. In a typical scenario of consuming SAP data from the various Microsoft BI tools and what are some of the best practices around the same.
  9. Performance, Scalability Patterns – Do we scale-out, scale-up or mix-match on Data Architecture?  – This session comes from our two senior MTC Directors with vast amount of real world architecture design knowledge. I plan to quiz them around a number of scenario from – Distributed Cache, Scaleout Biz layers, When not to think Cloud, Network Optimizations, Passing data across layers, Designing for mobile, Database scaleout etc. So don’t miss this action packed session.
  10. Designing secure enterprise application using on-premise SQL Server – Well, this session also comes from the MTC house from your’s truly :). What I plan to cover in this session is purely based on a practical Separation of duties understanding of SQL Server and various Security enhancements.

    Day 3 –is much more of a free flow Architecture track with topics ranging from technical to soft skills.

  11. Applying Concept Visual principles to designing mobile UX and aesthetics – For this session we are bringing exclusively Sanjay Vyas for the session to talk about the principle of visualization and how we can apply it to the UX and aesthetics of mobile apps such that user can interact with the application on the run.
  12. Using JavaScript in today’s world – This is a different session of a kind where as architects we are seeing a trend of using Java scripts as front-end across many devices and form factors. This session will demystify the frameworks and alternatives of frontend programming with JS and reasons to use Nodes.js at the backend.
  13. Architecting and Maintaining a Polyglot environment – We get the expert Dhananjay here to explain Polygot systems. Polyglotism also helps programmers better understand different paradigms and perspectives and be able to sometimes even simulate the idioms of another language when appropriate. Heterogeneous environments are not accident, but a choice enterprises make. This session explains the experiences and learnings from such systems.
  14. Architecting your life –This is a softskills part, where we bring Ranganathan S again into the Architect track. Consistently the highest rated speaker at TechEd in the past, this topic was something different and unique for everyone. You need to be in person to experience the thoughts that this session will unleash.
  15. Panel Discussion –There is so much to share and with just 60 mins, we don’t think we will be able to answer every single query. Hence we set aside some time for discussion on all the above topics and anything related to architecture.

Phew – that is quite a lineup of content to expect at TechEd Architecture Track. I know we missed some of the area’s but we have made the best attempt to give the best from the best people in the industry.

MTC – Architects @ TechEd

Apart from this, you will find MTC Architects doing other sessions too.

  1. Choosing non-relational data stores – We get Govind Kanshi our MTC – Technology Director doing this talk on Day 3. I had the opportunity to see the content and it is like – “NoSQL for the SQL guys”. Search store, Key store, Distributed store etc etc, the content is loaded with tons of best practices and simple yet compelling demo’s.
  2. Tools to manage, troubleshoot and diagnose your Windows systems – Under the Windows Client track, I will be doing this session. The session takes simple 3 tasks around monitoring CPU, Memory, Storage and Network on Windows systems. I will talk also about using some of the SysInternals tools to understand the concept.
  3. Peeling SQL Server like an Onion: Internals Demystified – I will be doing this session on Day 3 under the SQL Server Administration Track. Since I wrote a blog post around this before,I will refrain from rehashing the content again here.

Exclusive MTC @ TechEd Lounge (Get Solutions)

If you get to the Events Tab –> Other Events category, we have a tab called as MTC @ TechEd. This is an exclusive MTC area that we plan to have and you will have the MTC Architects hanging around to answer your critical architectural doubts. There will be a pattern to who will be around at what timings.

Keep track of activities from #TechEdIn (hashtag) or follow me on @vinodk_sql handle.

  1. This is invite ONLY engagement / time you get with the concerned MTC Architects.
  2. Your architecture problems can be around
  1. Front end systems design
  2. Business layer or Service layering
  3. Performance tuning or Scalability
  4. Data Architecture
  5. Network or Infrastructure Architecture
  • You will need to block our Architect’s time and meet them.
  • Write your current architecture and the problem statement (1 pg max) and send it to mtcbang [at]
  • You will be intimated of the appropriate time slot. Also send us your twitter handle so that we can keep you updated.
  • One of the important premise of MTC Architects will be to help you with your architectural problems when you are at the TechEd India 2012 Venue in the quickest possible way. This is your best time to block some exclusive time with the architects and get the best out of the event. We are here to help and solve real world problems.

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