Live Blogging: Keynote at PASS, Day 3

Today is the 3rd and final day of keynotes at the PASS Summit. Following is highlights of the keynotes. During the keynote, refresh often for updates!

8:36 AM PST
Keynote kicks off with Don’t Stop Believing by Journey. Awesome.

8:38 AM PST
PASS VP of Marketing Bill Graziano just takes the stage. He promises the shortest keynote of the conference, and appears to deliver on it. First up are Board announcements.

Outgoing Board Members are:

If you these folks at Summit, make sure to thank them for their hard work!

PASS President Wayne Snyder comes out to honor and thank Kevin Kline for his 10 YEARS of service.  Yes, that’s right, 10 YEARS. Wayne doesn’t get far into his speech before he gets choked up.  Great quote from Wayne:  “Kevin (@kekline) is a man of honor and integrity. He’s… well, he’s full of it.”  Kevin then gets a well-deserved standing ovation from the entire audience.

New Directors-at-Large are also announced:

Next year’s PASS Summit is also announced.  It will be in Seattle from November 8th – 11th, 2010. The decision was made to have the conference in Seattle because it’s a launch year, so access to Microsoft employees will be invaluable.  The registration rate is $995 if you register soon. Details and registration can be found on the PASS site at

8:52 AM PST
Dell keynote just started with Patrick Ortiz, Solution Architect with Dell’s Infrastructure Consulting Services for SQL Server & BI.  The keynote is pretty uneventful.

9:17 AM PST
Woot! Dr. David DeWitt, Technical Fellow, Data & Storage Platform Division at Microsoft, takes the stage. His presentation is entitled, “From 1 to 1000 MIPS.” He promises a very technical talk, against Microsoft Marketing’s wishes. He’s not going to be announcing any products, but instead plans to discuss the changes in database technology and what’s in store for us in the next 10 years.

Highlights (or at least, the ones that my simple mind was able to grasp):

  • Basic RDMS design is essentially unchanged, but the hardware has changed dramatically.
  • Interesting statistics in disk trends last 30 years: 10,000x capacity, 65x transfer rate, 10x avg seek time… not balanced at all
  • “CPU’s and disks are totally out-of-whack in terms of performance.”
  • The benefits of 1,000x improvement in CPU is almost negated by lack of improvement in disk
  • Transfer bandwidth/byte trends: 1980 = 0.015, in 2009 = 0.0001… 150x slower today! “It’s like trying to provide drinking water for the town through a garden hose.”
  • “Can incur up to one L2 data cache miss per row processed if row size is greater than size of cache line.”
  • DBMS transfers the ENTIRE ROW from disk to memory even though the query required just 3 attributes.
  • “Takeaway: DBMS must avoid doing random disk I/O as much as possible.”

In short, DeWitt shows us the power of indexing and vertical partitioning in very technical terms. He also gives us a taste for column-oriented design, which we’ll catch a glimpse of in SQL Server 2008 R2.  Awesomeness.

The keynote wraps up with a promise to include DeWitt’s presentation on the Summit DVD.  If you missed the conference, then trust me, DeWitt’s presentation is worth the cost alone; all of the sessions are just a nice bonus on top of that.  🙂

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