The PASS Data Architecture Virtual Chapter focuses on data architecture concerns as they impact users, developers and DBAs on the Microsoft SQL Server platform.


2015 Presentations

Jan 2015

Performance Troubleshooting Using Wait Statistics

youtube link

One of the first things you should check when investigating performance issues are wait statistics - as these can often point you in the direction for further ana5ysis. Unfortunately many people misinterpret what SQL Server is telling them and jump to conclusions about how to solve the problem - what is often called 'knee-jerk performance tuning'. In this session, you will learn what waits are, how to analyze them, and potential solutions to common problem patterns.

Speaker Bio:


CEO / Owner

Paul is a Microsoft SQL Server MVP and a Microsoft Regional Director. He spent 9 years working on the SQL Server team, writing DBCC CHECKDB, and ultimately responsible for the entire Storage Engine. In 2007 Paul left Microsoft to co-own and run, and is a world-renowned author, consultant, and top-rated speaker on SQL Server performance tuning, administration, internals, and HA/DR. When he's not tweeting, blogging, or helping someone recover from a disaster, he's likely to be underwater somewhere in the world with his wife, Kimberly L. Tripp. 



Full Bio:



SQL Server MVP since 2008



2014 Presentations

Steve LeRoy - Oct 8, 2014 Noon CST


Understanding your SQL Server IO Bottlenecks

and how Flash can solve them


Speaker Bio:

Steve has been a production DBA for 25+ years for both Sybase and SQL Server, working as a contractor in the DC and Atlanta areas for most of the 3-letter government agencies and in the private sector.  He has worked on small databases and very large (peta-byte +) from SQL 2000 to 2012.  For the last 2 years Steve has been working for Violin memory evangelizing Flash and how it can accelerate your database performance up to 10x.

Presentation Summary:

Understanding bottlenecks and resolving them within your SQL Server eco-system has always been a challenge for DBAs.  For years if the bottleneck is IO there was only a few things we could do because we were limited by disk architecture, now with the emergence of Flash we have new opportunities to elevate or remove IO bottlenecks and increase your application performance up to 10x. In this presentation we will show you how to identify the IO bottlenecks, give an overview of the different type of Flash and how Flash can accelerate your applications.


Recorded Webinar is at



Jeremiah Peschka - Sept 5, 2014 Noon CST


Designing a Data Strategy

Speaker Bio:

Jeremiah (Blog | LinkedIn | Twitter) solves data problems using SQL Server, Riak, Hadoop, and other database tools. He has over a decade of experience with performance tuning and scalability database. Jeremiah is a Microsoft MVP; MCITP for SQL Server 2005 – 2012; develops the .NET Riak client; and is a Cloudera Certified Developer for Apache Hadoop. He’s also a big fan of coffee.

Presentation Summary:

If you’ve worried about outgrowing your current database or wasting countless hours moving to the wrong data platform, listen up. There is an overwhelming array of database options on the market, knowing which to pick is difficult. Before jumping in, it’s important to have a list of questions to make your decision easier. In this session, we’ll cover a set of questions to get your team started in the decision making process. This session is for senior developers and software architects looking to expand their horizons.



Ryan Adams – August 15, 2014

Manage Your Shop with CMS and Policy Based Management

Presentation Summary:

In this SQLRally #3 rated session I will talk about Central Management Server and how it can help you manage a disperse environment. I will also cover what Policy Based Management is and how you can leverage its power to better manage your environment. With PBM we'll see what it can and cannot do to help you enforce standards in your enterprise. I will demonstrate PBM from creating and evaluating policies to receiving alerts on policy violations.

Speaker Bio:

Ryan Adams has worked for Verizon for 16 years. His primary focus is the SQL Server Engine, high availability, and disaster recovery. Previously he was a Senior Active Directory Architect and designed the company's worldwide Active Directory infrastructure. He serves on the Board of Directors for the North Texas SQL Server User Group and is President of the PASS Performance Virtual Chapter. He is also a PASS Regional Mentor and holds the following certifications: MCP MCSA MCSE MCDBA MCTS MCITP.

YouTube Link

Grant Fritchey – Microsoft MVP - July 23, 2014 Noon CST


How to Build a Database Deployment Pipeline.


The pace of business accelerates fairly continuously and application development moves right with it. But we’re still trying to deploy databases the same way we did 10 years ago. This session addresses the need for changes in organizational structure, process and technology necessary to arrive at a nimble, fast, automatable and continuous database deployment process. We’ll use actual customer case studies to illustrate both the common methods and the unique context that led to a continuous delivery process that is best described as a pipeline. You will learn how to customize common practices and tool sets to build a database deployment pipeline unique to your environment in order to speed your own database delivery while still protecting your organization’s most valuable asset, its data.


 Speaker Bio:

Grant Fritchey, SQL Server MVP, works for Red Gate Software as Product Evangelist. In his time as a DBA and developer, he has worked at three failed dot–coms, a major consulting company, a global bank and an international insurance & engineering company. Grant volunteers for the Professional Association of SQL Server Users (PASS). He is the author of the books SQL Server Execution Plans (Simple-Talk


YouTube Link

                                Brian Mitchell (MCS) - June 20, 2014 Presentation 12:00 CST

SQL 2014 Clustered Updatable Columnstore Indexes

Presentation Summary:

Have you experienced the blazingly fast query performance enabled by columnstore indexes and batch mode processing? Are you wondering what’s next for these revolutionary data warehouse features? In this session, we’ll examine new query processing enhancements to extend the benefits of batch mode processing, including updatable clustered columnstore indexes. More query types will benefit from batch mode, and larger proportions of your complex queries will be executed in batch mode. Come learn about these new capabilities for processing data from columnstore indexes and how to take advantage of the benefits.

Speaker Bio:

Brian Mitchell is the lead architect of the Microsoft Big Data Center of Expertise. Brian focuses exclusively on data warehouse/ business intelligence (DW/ BI) solutions, with the majority of his time focusing on SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW) and HDInsight. He has spent more than 15 years working with Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Business Intelligence . Brian is a Microsoft Certified Master–SQL Server 2008. You can find his blog on topics such as Big Data, SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse, and Microsoft Business Intelligence at http:// . Brian earned his Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Florida. When he is not tinkering with SQL Server or Hadoop, Brian enjoys spending time exploring his adopted home state of Florida with his wife, Shannon, and their kids.

Youtube Link



May 6, 2014 Presentation 12:00 CST

Glenda Gable: What the point of a Data Warehouse?

Presentation Summary:

A data warehouse environment is used differently than a transactional environment, so architecture and indexing strategies should also be different. In this presentation, we review what the ultimate goal of an index really is, what the point of a data warehouse is, and how they relate to each other. You will also learn common practices for indexing the different types of warehouse tables, specifically dimension tables, fact tables, and staging tables. We will review cases when it is useful to have summary level fact tables, in addition to detail level fact tables. Then, lastly, we will look at the benefits, and gotchas, of using columnstore indexes.

Glenda Gable has worked with databases in some form or another for 13 years, and loves working with data. She has worked in the healthcare, state park, construction licensing, and not-for-profit industries. She currently works for LHC Group in Lafayette, LA in the Business Intelligence department, handling the servers and software maintenance to report development and all the ETL transactions in between. Her main focus is on planning and optimizing the full ETL process, and learning more about database administration. Glenda is becoming more involved in the SQL community, she is co-founder of the Acadiana SQL User Group in Lafayette and speaks at local events.

Webinar Link

April 4, 2014 Presentation 12:00 CST

Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Countdown: The Modern Data Warehouse


With data volumes exploding by 10x every five years and 85% of this growth coming from new data types, the data warehousing market has reached its most significant tipping point since its inception. In this session, you’ll learn about Microsoft’s unique approach to evolving your existing data warehouse infrastructure to support this hyper growth in variety, volume and velocity of data.

Speaker Bio:

Please join our experts from engineering and technical marketing teams as they discuss new functionalities and enhancements in SQL Server 2014

 See the full Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Countdown Webinar Schedule at:



March 6, 2014 Presentation 12:00 CST

Erin Stellato - Making the Leap from Profiler to Extended Events


If you’re like me, you’ve been using SQL Trace and Profiler since you started using SQL Server. They’re like old friends, tried and true. You know how they work, you know what you can capture, and you know how to find the data you need. But now you’ve been told that your good friends have been deprecated in SQL Server 2012, and you need to become best friends with Extended Events. What is THAT all about?

It’s OK. Really. In this session, we’ll look at Profiler and Extended Events side by side to see how easy it is to transition to Extended Events. We’ll step through real-world examples using Extended Events to do what you’re used to doing with Trace, and more. If you’re not on SQL Server 2012 yet, that’s ok, this session will help you get prepared, and you'll walk out with a set of scripts to get you started. If you’ve been putting off learning Extended Events because you just don’t think you have the time (even if you’ve never used Profiler), this is the session for you.

 About Erin Stellato

 Erin Stellato is a Principal Consultant with SQLskills and lives in Cleveland, OH. She has over 13 years of technology experience and has worked with SQL Server since 2003. Her areas of interest include internals, performance tuning, and high availability and disaster recovery.  Erin is a SQL Server MVP and an active member of the SQL Server community. She is involved with the Ohio North SQL Server User Group and blogs at You can find her on Twitter at @ErinStellato.


William Assaf - Whiteboard Data Application Architecture


Description: Join us for a very high-level system architecture walkthrough of three common but complex custom app dev data architectures. We’ll discuss how the architecture of these real-life projects used the full stack of SQL Server’s offerings: database, integration services, analysis services and reporting services, and leave plenty of time for Q&A.

About William Assaf


William Assaf, MCSE, is a senior consultant, database architect and team lead at Sparkhound Inc. in Baton Rouge, LA. He started off as a .net developer and moved into database administration and architecture, and has been lead database designer on major application and data warehousing projects. An experienced DBA trainer and database developer, William blogs about SQL at, where his slidedeck and sample scripts will be posted. William heads up the SQL Saturday Baton Rouge conference that attracts 500+ people annually, is president of the Baton Rouge SQL Server User Group and the Baton Rouge User Groups Corporation.

Webinar Recording

January 2014

Ike Ellis - SQL Server Tips & Tricks

This is a SQL presentation for the YouTube generation.  Perfect for half-attentively listening in on your lunch break.  It's really twenty separate five minute lectures.  We'll cover tips and tricks on a range of topics, including data visualization, performance, architecture, and ETL processes.


About Ike Ellis:

Ike Ellis is a 17-year veteran with SQL Server.  He's written millions of lines of code, designed many databases, and troubleshot hundreds of performance problems (some of which he wasn't even the cause of.)  He's a SQL Server MVP, TechEd speaker, RedGate speaker, user group chairperson, and makes a mean guacamole.  Right now, he's neck-deep in several business intelligence projects.  He's designed dashboards, written ETL frameworks, created reports, and all that goes with it.  He doesn't know everything, but he loves to share and teach the things he does know.   Come join him at the SQL Pass Book Readers Virtual Chapter

Webinar Recording


2013 Presentations


December 2013

Nigel Sammy -  T-SQL: Tips and Tricks

Queries are running longer than expected? Your database server isn't performing as well as it should? There are many reason that this could be happening and one of them is the T-SQL being executed on the system. T-SQL offers various ways to get the information that you need but sometimes the option you choose might return the data that you want but may not be the best query structure or logic to use.

This session will share insight on how basic query structure and logic works so you can avoid wasting too much time on trial and error when writing queries. It will also show you some tips and tricks to avoid some bad T-SQL coding habits and help you write better queries. This session is for Developers and Database Administrators.

About Nigel Sammy

Nigel Sammy is a Microsoft SQL Server MVP with over a decade of technical experience and over eight years database and SQL Server experience. He's progressed through several roles in his career including Lecturer, Developer, Analyst, Database Administrator/Developer, Project Manager, Architect, Team Lead and Manager. He's the founder and current chapter leader of the Trinidad and Tobago SQL Server User Group (TTSSUG) and is also the chapter leader of the PASS Azure Virtual Chapter.

WebCast Recording


November 2013

Steve Simon - Challenges to designing financial warehouses


In today’s rapidly changing financial world, designing robust and durable data warehouses can be a challenge that does not always stand the test of time. In this presentation, we shall look at some of the challenges and design issues that were encountered whilst designing two custom warehouses and the steps that were required to cope with ongoing requirement changes, indecision from management, and shrinking budgets; all of which affected the progress of moving these projects from the design board to a profitable production stage.


About Steve:

Steve Simon is a SQL Server MVP and a senior BI Development Engineer with Atrion Networking. He has been involved with database design and analysis for over 25 years. Steve has presented papers at eight PASS Summits and one at PASS Europe 2009 and 2010. He has just recently presented a Master Data Services presentation at the PASS Amsterdam Rally.  Steve has also presented 5 papers at the Information Builders' (IBI) International Summits. He is a PASS regional mentor & chair of the Oracle/SQL Server VC.

 WebCast Recording

 Presentation Material, Code, or further Contact with Steve -

September 2013


Louis Davidson - How to Recognize When Your Relational Database is "Good Enough"


Speaker: Louis Davidson, Data Architect,

Summary: In a computer project, no phrase irks me more than "better is the enemy of good enough." It is true of course, but you have to carefully guard the meaning of "good enough" or you will have a mess on your hands. What makes a great database? When queried, most database professionals would mention normalized as one of the most important characteristics that tell the difference between a good and bad database design. I won't disagree in the least, but there is so much more to be considered. Even if you did a great job of normalization, poor naming, poorly implemented keys, too many or too few indexes, and so on can derail your design. In this session I will present seven primary characteristics of a design that differentiates between an ugly design that will have your colleagues nitpicking you to death and one that will have them singing your praises. Characteristics such as comprehendible, documented, secure, well performing, and normalized (naturally) will be covered.

About Louis: Louis Davidson has worked in the IT industry for over 15 years as a corporate database developer and architect. He has been a Microsoft SQL Server MVP for 8 years and has written five books on database design. Louis is currently the data architect for the Christian Broadcasting Network, supporting offices in Virginia Beach, VA, and Nashville, TN. He has a bachelor's degree in Computer Science from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. You can read more about Louis at

WebCast Recording



June 2013

Steve Simon - Challenges to designing a Finacial DW

Speaker: Steve Simon SQL Server MVP

Summary: In today’s rapidly changing financial world, designing robust and durable data warehouses can be a challenge that does not always stand the test of time. In this presentation, we shall look at some of the challenges and design issues that were encountered whilst designing two custom warehouses and the steps that were required to cope with ongoing requirement changes, indecision from management, and shrinking budgets; all of which affected the progress of moving these projects from the design board to a profitable production stage.

About Steve: Steve Simon is a SQL Server MVP and a senior BI Development Engineer with Atrion Networking. He has been involved with database design and analysis for over 25 years. Steve has presented papers at eight PASS Summits and one at PASS Europe 2009 and 2010. He has just recently presented a Data Quality Services presentation at the PASS Nordic Rally in Copenhagen. Steve has also presented 5 papers at the Information Builders' (IBI) International Summits. He is a PASS regional mentor& chair of the Oracle/SQL Server VC

WebCast Recording

May 2013

Robert Davis - Designing a Global Scale-Out Architecture

Speaker: Robert Davis, SQL Server Master SQL DBA Master

Summary: How do you deliver a public-facing website on a global scale? To be truly competitive in a global market, you need to deliver a high performing website no matter what part of the world the user is in. Scaling out websites to multiple locations is easy, but it doesn’t really provide the performance required if the website has to get data from halfway around the world. This session will look at the challenges to scaling out the entire application to meet global performance requirements and how we addressed these challenges for an existing web application.

About Robert: Robert is a SQL Server 2008 Certified Master and an experienced Database Administrator, SQL Server evangelist, speaker, writer, and trainer. He has worked with SQL Server for 13+ years, most recently as Chief SQL Server Evangelist for Idera Software. Previously he served as PM for the SQL Server Certified Master Program at Microsoft Learning, and as a production DBA at Microsoft. Robert helped found the PASS Data Architecture Virtual Chapter and was co-author of Pro SQL Server 2008 Mirroring

LiveMeeting recording 


March 2013

Steve hughes on Accounting on Windows Azure

Speaker: Steve Hughes, Practice Lead at Magenic

Summary: As Windows Azure becomes a more significant part of the IT landscape, data architects need to understand the data technologies at their disposal. Not all data can nor should be stored in the relational database in Azure. The discussion will include the various storage types available for data in Azure and how they may fit into an architecture. Learn which data storage techniques may work best for your next project with Azure and some of the nuances of using each type within a project

LiveMeeting recording & ReplayLink & Slide Deck


February 2013

Neil Hambly on Think You Have The Right Data-Type?

Speaker: Neil Hambly, Database Administrator Confio Software

Summary: Selecting the right Data-Type (DT) for data is key to efficient data storage, retrieval and processing, with over 30 different DT to choose from this isn’t as straight forward as you might think, have your also considered the usage pattern of the data in addition to its storage requirements This session explores the various data-types now available, we look at conversion’s between different DT’s as well as index sizes & effectiveness, compression and other factors can that influence these decisions, we finish off by discussing different approaches on ‘migrating’ a DT to a different DT, throughout the session we consider any performance considerations, such as when implicit conversions occur and more


LiveMeeting recording & ReplayLink


2012 Presentations

December 2012

Introduction to Microsoft’s Master Data Services (MDS)

Speaker: James Serra, BI/Data Warehouse/MDM Architect and Developer Serra Consulting Services

Summary: Companies struggle with consolidating the same set of data from multiple systems to accurately report on critical business information. For example, having customer lists in multiple systems that often have the same customer in more than one list, sometimes with a different spelling. Master Data Services is bundled with SQL Server 2012 to help resolve many of the Master Data Management issues that companies are faced with when integrating data. In this session, James will show an overview of Master Data Services 2012, including the out of the box Web UI, the highly developed Excel Add-in, and how to get started with loading MDS with your data.


LiveMeeting recording& ReplayLink



  Designing for Common Problems in SQL Server Part II by Louis Davidson

o Live Meeting Recording: October Presentation

o Download examples

· Designing for Common Problems in SQL Server by Louis Davidson

o Live Meeting Recording: August Presentation

o Download examples

· Where are my (Primary) Keys? by Ami Levin

o Live Meeting Recording: July Presentation

o Another zip of recording: ExampleFilesZip

o Link to GeoData backup:

· Improving Data Quality & Integrity using Constraints BY Neil Hambly

o Live Meeting Recording:

o Browser Based recording:

· Eating the Elephant: SQL Server Table Partitioning by Mike Fal

o Recording:

o Browser Based recording: DArchVC_MikeFal_TablePartition

· Datawarehouse Dimension Processing with Integration Services - Simple to Complex By Todd McDermid

o Live Meeting Recording: (21 MB)

· On Beyond Zebra AdventureWorks OR Where Did I Go Wrong? By Steve Simon

o Live Meeting Recording: (7 MB)

· Database Makeover: Renovate Your Data Model, January 19, 2012 by Audrey Hammonds

o Live Meeting Recording: (14.7 MB)

2011 Presentations

  • Agile Data Architecture With SQL Server, October 27, 2010 by Jeremy Huppatz