On Wednesday 19th January I held my first SQL Server in the Evening event at VMware’s UK headquarters in Frimley, Surrey and while the event opened my eyes as to the amount of work needed before and after the event it would not have been possible without four groups of people:
Those who attended – I think I counted around 18 of you, the event was for you so I’m glad you came and later said you’d all come again.
Those who hosted us – VMware– we were given the nicest facilities you could have asked for.
Those who presented – I was joined by Clive Wenman from VMware and Matt Mould (twitter) from EMC Consulting.
Those who supported us – Coeo (link) – who kindly paid for our mid-evening food and drink, but whose support also gave me that confidence boost that things were going well.
For those who have never been involved in organising such an event from scratch I’d estimate it took about 20 hours over the 6 weeks before the 3 hour event to organise it, and I’ve spent about 6 hours so far after the event following up with thank you mails and the feedback survey. Every minute was worth it though and will be repeated.
Some of those hours made me nervous and think I’d have to cancel it, but it happened, everyone went home happy, and more importantly since the event I’ve had 5 people offer to present at the next event and 2 people offer to source other locations for future events.
Finally, for those who couldn’t attend, here is an overview of the evening’s presentations:
Using SQL Server with VMware, Clive Wenman from VMware showed us some best practices from a whitepaper about using SQL Server with VMware’s virtualisation products. After that he told us about some of the new features in vSphere 4.1 such as network and storage I/O throttling, as well as about VMware’s CapacityIQ capacity manger tool. Clive’s presentation is available for download here.
I then presented an introduction to SQL Server’s Transparent Data Encryption feature, along with a demo and some background on common encryption terminology. For those previously un-familiar with the SQL Server feature I hopefully introduced the ability to protect our data from hard drive or backup tape theft using this SQL Server capability. Link and scripts available here and here.
What does the cloud really mean for me? Presented by Matt Mould of EMC Consulting. Matt demonstrated how as a strategic technology consultant he helps his clients understand how they can adopt cloud services, and how despite all the media attention the term cloud gets there’s still a lot of consideration to be made about when and where cloud services should be used. If anyone was expecting a simple answer then I think we clearly left knowing that while cloud has a time and place we need to think deep about what those are for us individually.
See you at the next event, probably at the end of March.