Joe Webb

Musing and observations about SQL Server, other technogies, and sometimes just life in general
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Carbonite's failures and the blog-o-sphere

Yesterday, I was catching up on some blogs that I regularly read and noticed one that got me to really thinking. It was written by fellow SQL Server enthusiast and blogger extrodenaire Brent Ozar. The blog posting, entitled Another backup failure: Carbonite, recounts and offers Brent's commentary on the relatively recent failures of online backup company Carbonite. The blog is interesting itself and well worth the read, but what I found most interesting was in the comments section. David Friend, Carbonite's CEO, found Brent's blog and responded to it by leaving a comment. Friend offered some additional insight...

posted @ Wednesday, March 25, 2009 11:55 AM | Feedback (20) | Filed Under [ Misc Current Events ]

SQLTeach Vancouver 2009 Sessions are online

Yesterday I posted a short blog about DevLink in the middle Tennessee area. Today, I'd like to make sure that you're aware of another great event in the great northwest - DevTeach/SQLTeach. DevTeach/SQLTeach is a wonderful event put on largely by volunteers led by Jean-Rene (JR) Roy. It's got a good combination of developer tracks and SQL Server tracks. So if you're a developer with a bent for database application, this event is right up your alley. Earlier this week, DevTeach/SQLTeach released their lineup of speakers and sessions. Have a look at them and I'm sure you'll...

posted @ Friday, February 27, 2009 11:25 AM | Feedback (3) | Filed Under [ Current Events Community ]

DevLink 2009 Call for Speakers

For those of you who are not familiar with DevLink, you should be. It's Middle Tennessee's premier developer and database conference. It attracts some of the best speakers from all over North America, yet it provides a comfortable and relaxed environment where attendees and speakers can have a fun time just hanging out and getting to know one another. Currently the call for speakers is open. If you're interested in speaking at the event, visit the DevLink site ,, to download the abstract submission form

posted @ Thursday, February 26, 2009 6:44 AM | Feedback (7) | Filed Under [ Current Events Community ]

Here's we go again - PASS Keynote Day 2

As I type this, I've just sat down at the Press/Bloggers table in the General Session are waiting for the keynote address. The lights have dimmed and the smoke machine has begun pumping fog onto the stage. Once again, "Born to be Wild" is blaring on the PA System. The curtain drops and Rushabh Mehta, PASS' current Executive Vice President of Finance and Technology is on a Vespa motor scooter! It's great to see PASS folks having fun! It's professional yet with humor. Rushabh is sharing the PASS financials. Although details really can't be provided in such a setting, it's good...

posted @ Thursday, November 20, 2008 12:36 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Current Events Community ]

Born to be Wild! - PASS Keynote Day 1

Wayne Snyder, the president of PASS, entered the stage on a Harley-Davidson Fat-Boy. "Welcome to the world's biggest conference for the world's biggest database!" he yells as "Born to be Wild" blares over the PA system. This is going to be an excited event; you can feel it in the air. "PASS is a live conference for a live community." said Wayne. As the member of the PASS Community, Wayne is a fantastic speaker. He's a passionate and enthusiastic champion for the SQL Server Community. PASS is in it's 10th year. And this is the most explosive year yet. Attendance increased...

posted @ Wednesday, November 19, 2008 12:13 PM | Feedback (5) | Filed Under [ Current Events Community ]

PASS Volunteer Training Day

Yesterday I attended the PASS Volunteer Training Day; a concept that started a couple of years ago. It's a day when all of the volunteers that make PASS work throughout the year come together for training, discussions, brainstorming, and education. There were chapter leaders from around the world, people that work tirelessly to create a program for the Summit and European events, and Special Interest Group leaders - to name but a few. This year's training day was marked by a first, and it's been a long time coming. (I'm not sitting on the outside pointing fingers either; I've been...

posted @ Wednesday, November 19, 2008 10:40 AM | Feedback (3) | Filed Under [ Current Events Community ]

Make your voice heard in the SQL Community

I just voted in the PASS 2008 Board of Directors elections. I can tell you the decision was not an easy one. And I'm glad! The SQL Server community is a rather close knit group of people. By that I don't mean that it's some kind of "old boy" network. I'm not even talking about an organization like PASS that attempts to represent or to serve the community. No, I'm talking about the community as a whole. Although the installations of SQL Server are vast and its use is broad, the community of professionals that actively seek out to...

posted @ Monday, November 17, 2008 8:00 AM | Feedback (1) | Filed Under [ Current Events Community ]

Blogging PASS

The 2008 PASS Community Summit begins next week. It's probably one of the best weeks of my professional year. There is, of course, lots and lots and lots of great technical training. Multiple sessions (usually 9 or 10) happening simultaneously so I can choose from hearing one of the product managers from Microsoft explain where the product is going in the future. Or if I prefer I can sit in on one of the PSS (Premier Services and Support) sessions to learn how to troubleshoot my instances better. Of course there's the CAT (Customer Advisory Team) sessions that are always...

posted @ Saturday, November 15, 2008 9:41 AM | Feedback (1) | Filed Under [ Current Events Community ]

Running SQL Server Notification Services in 2008!

Late yesterday afternoon, Microsoft posted to their download site a Release Candidate (RC1) for the Notification Services Components Package. This is essentially the same package that was released back in February 2007, with one really major exception - it supports SQL Server 2008! As one who has worked quite a bit with Notification Services (and still I received calls and emails from around the world regarding Notification Services), I'm very glad to see this. Not only because I'm glad to see a good feature persisted a bit longer, but because Microsoft stepped up and in my opinion made good on an...

posted @ Wednesday, September 10, 2008 6:24 AM | Feedback (14) | Filed Under [ Notification Services Current Events ]

The certification treadmill

Sometimes it seems that pursuing certification in a technology is tantamount to running on treadmill. On a treadmill you spend countless hours toiling away, working up a sweat and exerting yourself beyond what you thought you could do. At the end, you reap the benefits of your efforts; you're in better shape. The same could be said for preparing for a certification exam. You spend hour upon hour learning a new technology, expanding your knowledge much the same way you expand your lungs while running. And at the end, you've learn a great deal, passed a few exams, and you've...

posted @ Thursday, September 04, 2008 10:47 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Misc Current Events ]

Creating Technical Presentations

My latest article for Simple-Talk is online, Creating Technical Presentations. I'd love to hear what you think either in the comments below, or in the comments on the Simple-Talk web site. Thanks! Joe

posted @ Tuesday, September 02, 2008 10:50 AM | Feedback (2) | Filed Under [ Current Events Community ]

DevLink 2008 Presentation

Thanks to everyone who came to my Writing Better Queries session at DevLink this afternoon! I truly appreciate that you took time of your busy schedule to attend! I hope it was worth your while. As promised, here is a link to the presentation slide deck and demo scripts that I used today. In addition to the formal feedback that you may have provided to DevLink, I'd love to hear from you. So feel free to either drop me an email directly, or to add comments to the section below. Cheers! Joe

posted @ Saturday, August 23, 2008 2:58 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ T-SQL Current Events Community ]

SQL Server Virtualization

Next week at the Nashville SQL Server User Group, John Rives of Amniox is going to speak about using SQL Server with clustered virtualization. Unfortunately, I'm not going  to be able to attend due to a prior commitment, however I have spoken with John about his presentation and it definitely sounds promising. If you're in the area, I'd encourage you to come on out. I certainly wish I could be there. I don't have any SQL Servers in a virtualized environment. In fact, I have only worked with one company that does, and that is on a very underutilized server with...

posted @ Sunday, August 10, 2008 1:18 PM | Feedback (11) | Filed Under [ SQL Server Current Events Community ]

Download SQL Server 2008

As Geoff and Derek have already posted, SQL Server 2008 was released to manufacturing (RTM'd) yesterday. Eager to get the bits? They're available from the MSDN download site. Cheers! Joe

posted @ Thursday, August 07, 2008 8:22 AM | Feedback (133) | Filed Under [ SQL Server Current Events ]

DevTeach/SQLTeach wrap-up and review

Over the years, I've had the opportunity to attend, and even speak at, many technical conferences both here in the United States and abroad. Some of the conferences had only a couple of hundred attendees while others boasted of attendance figures in 5 digit range. For the two of the six years I spent on the PASS (Professional Association for SQL Server) Board of Directors, I served as Director of Logistics and Conference Operations. I arranged meeting space and selected food, contracted for wireless and bought conference bags. My final years of the Board was spent serving as the Executive...

posted @ Monday, May 19, 2008 9:34 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Current Events Community ]

SQLTeach - Writing better queries presentation

Here's a presentation that I gave yesterday afternoon at DevTeach/SQLTeach. It's called Tips & Tricks for Writing Better Queries. It's very similar to the presentation I gave a month or so ago at the Nashville SQL Server User Group meeting. To everyone who attended the session - thanks for spending a part of your day with me. I hope it was worth your while. Please feel free to email me if you have any additional questions or comments. And please remember to login to your SQLTeach account and submit your session evals. Cheers! Joe

posted @ Thursday, May 15, 2008 9:37 AM | Feedback (9) | Filed Under [ T-SQL Current Events Community ]

Identifying Performance Bottlenecks

Thanks to everyone who attended my "Identifying Performance Bottlenecks" session this morning at DevTeach/SQLTeach. As promised, here is the PowerPoint slide deck I used during the presentation. Regarding the question of on the performance of LINQ, Bob Beauchemin recently posted a series of blogs entries on the topic. Here's a link. And here's a link to series of posts on the Dynamic Management Views (DMVs) that Louis Davidson authored. Cheers! Joe

posted @ Wednesday, May 14, 2008 10:47 AM | Feedback (5) | Filed Under [ SQL Server Current Events Community ]

SQLExamples: A great new SQL Server resource

I hope that everyone that works with Microsoft SQL Server is aware of the MSDN SQL Server Forums. If not, you should really go check them out. They're a great resource when you're staring at a tough SQL Server-related problem. Now, some of the Moderators, Answerers, and MVPs have gotten together to create a new resource to supplement the Forums; it's called SQLExamples. We just started it a few weeks ago so it's still very much in its infancy and somewhat sparsely populated. But it's growing quickly. I think it'll be a boon for SQL Server professionals the world over...

posted @ Wednesday, April 23, 2008 8:36 AM | Feedback (1) | Filed Under [ SQL Server Current Events Community ]

SQL Server Security Vulnerabilities

At the 2007 PASS Community Summit in Denver, a keynote speaker made a passing comment about how there has not been a security bulletin released for SQL Server in over three years! I forget which speaker made the statement, but I found it utterly amazing. Not a single security bulletin released in over three years! Could this be true? If you've worked with SQL Server for a while, you'll undoubtedly remember SQL Slammer, the worm that hit thousands of SQL Servers around the world in 2003. It's effects were nothing short of devastating for many companies. I made a mental...

posted @ Tuesday, April 15, 2008 9:31 PM | Feedback (9) | Filed Under [ Other Technologies SQL Server Current Events ]

Tips & tricks for writing better queries presentation

Thanks to all 60+ people who braved the flood warnings in Nashville to attend the SQL Server User Group meeting earlier today. I hope you found it to be worth your while. Some of your questions and comments at the end gave some some great ideas for future presentations. Thanks! And thanks to Quest and RHT for sponsoring our meeting meeting today. If your in the Nashville areas, I'd encourage you to come on out for our next meeting, most likely sometime in May. As promised, here's a link to the presentation materials, both the PowerPoint presentation and the demonstration code. Cheers!...

posted @ Friday, April 04, 2008 2:30 PM | Feedback (5) | Filed Under [ T-SQL SQL Server Current Events ]

The SQL Server 2008 February CTP is here

After blogging yesterday that you can try the latest Microsoft SQL Server 2008 CTP online for free on the SqlServerBeta site, Microsoft has announced the release of a new CTP. The February CTP available! And it's feature complete. If you have the bandwidth, head on over to the download site and get it while it's hot. Note: at the time of this posting, the download page indicates that it was last updated in November, but it will take you to the February CTP download. Cheers! Joe

posted @ Wednesday, February 20, 2008 6:23 AM | Feedback (4) | Filed Under [ SQL Server Current Events ]

Try out SQL Server 2008 without downloading the CTP

Had a chance to play with Microsoft SQL Server 2008 yet? If so, you've probably downloaded the most recent Community Technology Preview (CTP). It's not small either. The DVD's can take almost an hour to download at T1 speeds. And the virtual machine version is over 2 gigabytes! For many, that's not an issue. But for the rest of us, downloads of that magnitude are a bit overwhelming. So what can we do? Well, three organizations (Dell, MaximumASP, and PASS) have gotten together to create an online, virtualized way for us to test-drive the next version of the RDMS. You can...

posted @ Tuesday, February 19, 2008 8:54 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ SQL Server Current Events ]

The Nashville SQL Server User Group

That's right! After a bit of a break, the Nashville SQL Server User Group is getting back together again. Our first meeting back will be this Friday, February 15th at 11:30am. Our own Kevin Kline is presenting a rather timely topic - "SQL Server 2008, Worth the Wait". Check out our new web site for further details, If you're in the Nashville area, come on by for a free lunch with friends from the SQL Server community. Cheers! Joe

posted @ Tuesday, February 12, 2008 1:20 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ SQL Server Current Events ]

PASSing the torch

As many of you may know, for the past six years I've volunteered my time and energy to an organization called PASS - the Professional Association for SQL Server. It's a wonderful organization of highly dedicated, talented, and personable SQL Server professionals from around the world. My time on the PASS board began in January of 2002 when I was appointed to fill a vacancy on the board created when a director resigned mid-term. I really enjoyed working with such a dedicated and enthusiastic group of people and I sought re-election at the end of my first year. Now, three elections and...

posted @ Monday, January 28, 2008 8:26 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Misc Current Events ]

SQLTeach in Toronto, May 12-16, 2008

If you've ever attended a DevTeach/SQLTeach event, you already know that it's a wonderful and intimate community-driven event designed to provide top-notch .NET and SQL Server developer education in an up close and personal environment. If you haven't attended and you use Microsoft developer tools, I highly recommend the event. The next event is in Toronto, 12 - 16 May, 2008. Make your plans now. And, if you're interested in sharing your knowledge by speaking at the event, the call for abstracts is open for one more week. Here's a link with more information. I hope to see you there! Joe

posted @ Saturday, January 12, 2008 10:32 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Current Events ]

Best of the PASS Community Summit 2007

Year in and year out, the week of the PASS Community Summit is one of the highlights of my professional life. There are a lot of good things about the Summit, far too many for me to enumerate here. Maybe I'll consider that as a topic for a future post. However, too much of a good thing can be bad, or at least inconvenient. As a member of the PASS Board of Directors, I am typically so busy at the Summit that I have little time to actually sit down and enjoy a presentation that someone else has worked so tirelessly...

posted @ Tuesday, December 04, 2007 10:26 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ SQL Server Current Events ]

Think holistically about securing your systems

A recent ZDNet article highlighted an event where two United Kingdom officials demonstrated just how vulnerable a new, but not updated, Microsoft Windows system can be. It took one official from the Serious Organized Crime Agency a mere 11 minutes to discover the target computer on a wireless network, crack into it using open source tools that are commonly available on the Internet, and steal password files. Why should a database professional care about such demonstrations, especially when its stated purpose was to edify consumers and small businesses on security practices? Well, consider this. Many organizations have...

posted @ Tuesday, November 13, 2007 2:42 PM | Feedback (1) | Filed Under [ SQL Server Current Events ]

DevLink Technical Conference presentation

Thanks to all of you who attended the DevLink Technical Conference in Nashville, Tennessee! It was great to see such a turnout for the event. Big kudos goes to all those who carried the load and championed this event. Putting on an event like this is no minor task and is definitely a labor of love. As promised in my session, here are the presentation materials I used - the slide deck and the demo scripts. I hope you found it worth your while. Cheers! Joe

posted @ Monday, October 15, 2007 8:19 AM | Feedback (1) | Filed Under [ Notification Services SQL Server Current Events ]

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