My Conversation with Ted Kummert at the PASS 2010 Summit

For some mysterious reason, I was selected as one of the “official” bloggers/tweeters during the PASS Keynotes last week. This meant that I got to sit at one of the three blogger’s tables in the back of the conference hall, just in front of the AV equipment. We had a little more room, and access to power outlets (which I did not really need, since I get very decent battery life from my little Toshiba Portege R705-P25). We were on the same rather dodgy 802.11b wireless network as everyone else at PASS, but it worked well enough to get the job done.

There were about 25 of us, spread across three tables, trying to pay attention to the keynote content as we were attempting to post relevant updates in the dark using TweetDeck, always using the #sqlpass hashtag.  Judging by the number of retweets, I think we did a decent job of helping to spread the word about the keynotes.

After the keynote address on Tuesday, I manned one of the Birds of a Feather tables in the lunch hall. My table was for database mirroring, and I ended up having about 25 people come through to ask questions and talk about database mirroring. After that, I had to rush off to an “Ice Cream Social with Ted Kummert, Donald Farmer and Amir Netz”, which was in a little roped off area in the Exposition Hall.

All of the “official” bloggers were invited, along with members of the press and a number of PR and Marketing types from Microsoft and PASS. Ted arrived a couple of minutes late, with a number of other people from Microsoft. He ended up standing right next to me, so I took the opportunity to chat him up. I had one serious question, and a number of trivial questions. I started off asking him what was the thinking behind using Windows Clustering as the basis for the SQL Server AlwaysOn features in SQL Server code-named “Denali”, which he had just announced in the morning keynote. His response was basically that  customers were going to get so much more HA/DR capability in Denali and that other Microsoft products were using the same Windows Clustering technology for their HA/DR features. I responded that there was a lot of concern and misconceptions about how this was going to be implemented in the SQL Server community, and that Microsoft would need to do a better job explaining and selling this decision.

Next, I asked him if he was going to dye his hair orange again if Denali made the scheduled final release date (like he did for SQL Server 2008, see below).

He laughed and said that he would pretty much do anything the product team wanted if that happened for Denali. You heard it here, so hopefully my friends on the SQL Server Product team will think of something interesting for Ted to do when Denali is finished!

All in all, I had a nice chat with Ted Kummert, who is certainly the most senior person I have ever talked to at Microsoft. It was a fun little event.

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3 Responses to My Conversation with Ted Kummert at the PASS 2010 Summit

  1. Jerry Foster says:

    Hi Barry. I was at the summit and saw the AlwaysOn demo, which I thought was quite impressive. Obviously, the devil is in the details. So, what exactly are the concerns about using Windows clustering as the technology behind the AlwaysOn capabilities? (Dumb follow-up question: Is Windows Clustering and SQL Server Clustering the same thing?)


    • Glenn Berry says:

      Well, actually my name is Glenn Berry, so I am not sure where you got Barry. At any rate, SQL Server Fail-over clustering uses Windows Clustering. The new AlwaysOn HA/DR features rely upon Windows Clustering, but does not have a dependency on shared storage (meaning a SAN in most cases).

      Many smaller companies don’t use SANs, and the initial perception was that you would need a SAN to use AlwaysOn.

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