Bob Pusateri

May 112017
 

Thank you to all who attended my session on “Passive Security for Hostile Environments” back on the 3rd of this month. I consider it an honor to be part of such a wonderful lineup. I just received my evaluations and comments, and am very happy to report that the results were extremely positive. Thank you very much to the people who took the time to rate my presentation and offer feedback, which I will include below.

I was also very surprised to hear that my session had 193 attendees, which puts it in the top five in terms of attendance – wow!

If you weren’t able to attend but would like to check it out, a recording is now available.

My slide deck is available for download on the 24 Hours of PASS site.

Demo scripts and other resources are available here.

Feedback

Sessions were evaluated based on four questions, and I received 78 total responses.

  1. How would you rate this session overall?
    Excellent: 60    Good: 18     Average: 0     Fair: 0     Poor: 0
  2. How would you rate the speakers’ presentation skills?
    Excellent: 64     Good: 13     Average: 0     Fair: 0     Poor: 0
  3. How would you rate the speakers’ knowledge of the subject?
    Excellent: 71      Good: 6      Average: 0     Fair: 0     Poor: 0
  4. Did you learn what you expected to learn from this session?
    Agree: 67     Somewhat Agree: 7     Neutral: 3     Somewhat Disagree: 0     Disagree: 0

I also received the following comments:

  • excellent demos and real deep dive into the details of each area he covered.
  • Your demo scenarios were very effective in showing the strengths and weaknesses of each option. Well done.
  • great use of demos!
  • Thank you!
  • Great presentation. Good demos – be great to get a copy of the scripts.
  • I had a lot of familiarity with DDL/DML triggers and Event Notifications. There were some new aspects you showed that I had not considered. Impersonation, for instance. Policy based management is something I haven’t used, but have read about. The session helped reinforce what I’ve learned in the past. Slide decks are great. But I prefer live demos and the code. You had a good, complementary mix of both.
  • Wow, this was incredibly good! So well organized. You covered a lot of territory.
  • Great overview of the different tech
  • Very clear explanations and demos, great pace for a webinar. Packed full of useful examples for real projects. Thank you!

 

Apr 242017
 

I’m extremely proud to be speaking at the upcoming 24 Hours of PASS: Data Security and Data Quality webinar on May 3-4 2017. For years now I’ve been wanting to present for 24 Hours of PASS, and I’m very excited and grateful for the opportunity!

If you’re not familiar, 24 Hours of PASS is a series of 24 free webcasts delivered over 24 hours. My presentation, “Passive Security for Hostile Environments” is on May 3rd at 15:00 GMT!

Here’s the abstract:

Ideal database security settings usually exist in books, but rarely in reality. Is your CIO a member of the sysadmin role because they demanded it? Or maybe some users have rights for purely political reasons? Just because you can’t enforce security through typical means doesn’t mean you’re powerless. Attend this session to learn about the features SQL Server provides that will allow you to keep track of what your users are up to at all times and sleep a little easier. Through various scenarios and demos, see how technologies such as event notifications, auditing, and extended events can help ensure nothing happens on your system without you knowing about it. Even in optimally secured environments these techniques can still come in handy. The best security is often that which cannot be seen.

Sound interesting? Sign up today! Registration is open, and you can sign up for my session along with all of the others here.

 

Apr 062017
 

At last month’s SQL Saturday in Chicago, we had two great distinctions:

  • We were SQL Saturday #600, a milestone! (But weren’t SQL Saturday numbers going away?)
  • We also were the first SQL Saturday to use the new logo, which is just one part of the major rebranding project undertaken by PASS last year.

At PASS Summit 2016, PASS announced several new logos as part of it’s rebranding campaign. There were new logos for PASS as a whole, SQL Saturday, 24 Hours of PASS, PASS Summit, and Business Analytics. In general they’re not terrible. I actually really like the new PASS logo. The old one just never made sense to me. Was it a St. Andrew’s Cross spider on top of a storm warning flag? (Since Sharknado was a hit, a movie about a hurricane full of spiders is a guaranteed blockbuster, right?) If there was any symbolism behind that old PASS logo, I’ve never heard it.

Old (left) and new (right) PASS logos

The new PASS logo, on the other hand, has a nifty story behind it. It’s all the different facets that make up PASS coming together into one. I like that.

But then there’s the new SQL Saturday logo.

Old (top) and new (bottom) SQL Saturday Chicago logos

SQL Saturday’s new logo is much more refined than it’s predecessor, and it’s very evident that a lot of effort went into these new logos and this rebranding as a whole. That being said, I think the new logo falls short in a few key areas.

First of all, there’s the symbol itself. It definitely works well with the PASS logo, but look at it. If you’re thinking in SQL about it (and since it’s a logo for SQL Saturday, that’s not too hard to imagine) you’ll see that it’s literally “<>”, the T-SQL operator for “not equals”. I have to imagine that whoever designed this logo was a graphic designer with absolutely no clue what SQL is, or what the logo they designed meant to people familiar with it. And I think that’s okay to a degree, but very early-on in this process someone at PASS probably should have looked at that and said “ya know, that looks like a not equals operator. Is that really how we want to symbolize SQL Saturday?”

Second, the typeface used in the new logo is much more modern, and the letters are significantly thinner than the old one. It looks great on a computer screen or when printed on paper, but think about what SQL Saturday logos are used for. In a lot of cases they are embroidered on things like shirts or jackets. Did whoever designed this logo know that? Once again I’ll assume they didn’t, otherwise they probably would have accounted for that.

The smaller a detail is, the more difficult/expensive it becomes to embroider, and this logo definitely qualifies. Just look at the PASS logo located inside the SQL Saturday logo. It’s microscopic. We had to use a bolder typeface for the speaker jackets we gave out in Chicago this year; it just didn’t look good otherwise. We also had to make it single-color, and remove the gradients. But by making all those changes, we technically changed the logo, which has become a big no-no in recent years. The SQL Saturday Wiki states: “Per the SQL Saturday license, the event logos provided to you by PASS are not to be altered in any way.” So if changes are necessary to be able to embroider this logo, but it can’t be altered in any way, does that mean organizers will have to run afowl of the license agreement? Or just do away with speaker shirts altogether? I don’t know, and I’m not sure there’s any way to tell.

SQL Saturday Chicago embroidered on jacket

It really doesn’t have to be this difficult though. This logo is still quite new, relatively unused, and there seems to be quite a few members of the community (SQL Saturday organizers in particular) who think this logo could use some work. Why not change it now? I’m sure there’s a way to come up with something that fits in with PASS’ new branding, is easier to embroider, and has a better message than “not equals.”

Apr 042017
 

Spring is upon us! It’s slowly getting warmer outside (with a few final insults of snow and freezing temperatures mixed in) and that can only mean one thing: SQL Saturday in Madison, Wisconsin is fast approaching – it’s actually this Saturday! I’m very proud to once again be on the schedule to present at one of my favorite SQL Saturdays. Not only is it relatively close to home for me, but the University of Wisconsin-Madison makes for a wonderful venue!

My presentation is entitled “Supercharging Your Backups and Restores For Fun and Profit”, and covers the various methods that can be used to increase the speed of SQL Server database backups. You may be familiar with query tuning, but did you know that backups and restores can be tuned in a similar way? This demo-intensive session will discuss the different phases of the backup and restore processes, how to determine which of them are the slowest, and which are the easiest to speed up. Cutting backup and restore times by 75% or more is entirely possible by using the methods covered in this session.

I hope to see you there!

Jan 302017
 

SQL Saturday Chicago 2017SQL Saturday Chicago 2017 is fast approaching!

After receiving a total of 131 abstracts submitted by 64 speakers, we’re pleased to announce our schedule for the day. Thank you to all who submitted! Building a schedule like this is not easy, especially given the number and quality of abstracts received.

We hope to see you on Saturday, March 11, 2017 for this amazing day of free training, career development, and networking. (Lunch onsite is available for $15.)

Registration has been brisk, and at this point we are at capacity, but don’t worry, chances are very good you can still attend. Here’s how:

Join our waiting list for a chance at a spot. As the event nears, LOTS of people find they are unable to attend and cancel their registration. As this happens, we pull from our waiting list in the order that people signed up for it. REGISTER HERE for our waiting list – the sooner you do, the greater your chance of getting a spot!

Register for a pre-conference session and be guaranteed a spot. We are offering 2 wonderful full-day pre-conference sessions on Friday, March 10. These in-depth workshops are being conducted by experts Adam Machanic and David Klee. Your pre-conference registration fee includes light breakfast, coffee, and lunch. Additionally, pre-conference attendees can bypass the SQL Saturday waiting list and are guaranteed a spot. You can find out more information and register for pre-conference sessions at the links below:

David Klee: The Complete Primer to SQL Server Infrastructure and Cloud

Adam Machanic: Tuning Your Biggest Queries

I hope to see you all there!