SQLskills Immersion Training – Day 1, SQL I/O and SANs

Quick notes:

  • The food is excellent and more than you can possibly want.
  • The entire crew of SQLskills is here even though only Paul, Kimberly, Jonathan and Joe are teaching.
  • The group knows how to have fun.  I wouldn’t have paid to come here just to watch people have fun. I can go to the comedy club for that.  But if I can get quality instruction with or without fun I’ll choose fun.
  • Paul offered that once you take a class with SQLskills you have lifetime rights to email him about a problem.  Having taking a class with SQLskills I can attest that this is true.  I emailed Paul and Jonathan within the last year about two different problems and both were willing and able to help me.  Naturally, there will be a limit on how much they can do for free but they definitely pointed me in the right direction.
  • The dedication to your education is amazing.  They emphasized that if you have any question then you should definitely ask it.  And if the person you ask doesn’t know it then they will point you to someone on the crew who does.  Once again I have personal knowledge that this is true.  Last year I asked Paul a question about SQL Server memory.  He directed me to email Jonathan and within an hour Jonathan had replied with more information than I expected and 100% answered my question.

Here is the list of topics covered in this week’s training.  We covered modules 1, 2 and 3.

Last year in IE1 Paul did a brief lesson about SQL I/O.  I wanted more info about that and was disappointed I didn’t get it.  By mid-morning today I cried ‘uncle’.  I didn’t get all of the I/O information I wanted but I got more than I could absorb and links to whitepapers to read after my brain cache has been flushed.

Then Jonathan took over to talk about SSDs, RAID, SANS, storage, and related topics.  When I heard that it wasn’t just Paul and Kimberly teaching this year I was initially concerned that I wouldn’t be getting the best instruction.  That concern was misplaced.  Jonathan clearly had the knowledge to teach these topic and the impact of each on SQL Server.  I know now why they hired him.  Quote of the day from Jonathan about SQL Server performance on SANs, “SAN vendors are getting better about how they lie to you.”  It was funny. Maybe you had to be there. Maybe were all a bunch of geeks.

If you are already a SAN guy this would likely be basic info. If not this is a great introduction. An added benefit is getting to hear a bunch of SAN guys talking about SANs.  The class members already experienced with SANs engage Jonathan with questions and discussions. This adds to the education because it puts the information Jonathan is displaying on the screen into a real life scenario.  Very useful.

All-in-all a very good day.

Update 8/23/2012 – Here are links to each day:
Day 0
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5