In case you missed the news a while back, I am presenting at the first SQL Excursions event this September. It will be held in Napa, CA and you can expect a lot of quality SQL learning paired with some quality California wines. Denny Cherry (blog | @mrdenny) is the owner of SQL Excursions and I was honored to have been asked to take part in the very first event. We had the prospective attendees vote on the sessions they would most like to learn more about and Denny and I split the ten topics right down the middle. Here are my five, in no particular order:

  1. Query Performance Tuning Made Easy
  2. SQL Server Memory Management
  3. Powershell
  4. Resource Governor
  5. Top Ten Favorite New Features in Denali

I am going to blog this week about each of my sessions, giving you an overview of what to expect. Those five sessions will cover about 8 hours of classroom time and some will be longer than others. I specifically mention the “classroom time” here because the biggest benefit to joining us in Napa is the learning that will happen outside the classroom, during dinner, or a wine tasting, or wherever we happen to be. Just think of it like being at PASS, except on a much smaller scale, with less rain and more wine, and very focused learning along with the ability to keep asking us questions even after the sessions have ended.

Today I am going to tell you a bit about the “Query Performance Tuning Made Easy” session. This session was accepted for a 1/2 day session at the PASS Summit as well, so you can expect there to be some overlap in content between the two events. However, the benefit of the session at SQL Excursions is that we won’t get kicked out of our room at a defined time. In other words, we can learn at our own pace, and have follow up discussions afterwards over lunch and/or dinner.


Performance tuning is hard, everyone knows that. Attend this session and learn how to define, measure, and analyze performance issues as well as implementing changes and also how to make sure those changes continue to have the desired effects. In short, I break down performance tuning into pieces that anyone can understand. Leave this session knowing what actions to take when you get back to work on Monday.

What this really means:

I am going to help you be more efficient when it comes to performance tuning and troubleshooting. There is no question in my mind that every DBA is judged by customers and clients by one thing and one thing only: time. They care very little about effort, and care very much about time. You hardly hear someone say “how difficult will it be to fix this query?”, but you often hear “how soon before you will be done?”. After this session you will learn how to minimize the amount of time you will spend on tuning queries.

Three things you will learn:

  1. How to best define problems (proactive and reactive DBA tuning techniques).
  2. How to best analyze query performance
  3. How to improve query performance using a repeatable process

That’s it for today, I will do one post for each topic for each day this week. See you in Napa.

It’s like going to camp. We’ll even tell scary stories around a campfire at night.