Archive for March, 2012

A look back to Day 3 of TechEd India 2012

March 24th, 2012 10 comments


Day¬†3 started with Keynote by Mr. Chakrapani¬†Gollapali, GM – Consumer Channels Group, Microsoft India. Yes, i liked that bold words on that first slide.¬† The bottom line was make India an “App Powered”. ¬†The idea was supported with the facts that Windows 8 Consumer Preview download reached more than 1 Million within 24 hours of release.¬† In Windows Phone area 100,000+ Registered Developers, 500+ New features, and already 65,000+ Apps out there. He continued to explain the audience about Consumer Channel Groups areas of:

  • ¬†4 Products¬†(Win8, WP, Office365, and XBOX)
  • 4 Channels (Retailers, Operators, OEMs, and Direct)
  • 4 Strategies ( Devices and Services, Partnership that differentiate, Marketing that connects and creates Demand, and Executing & Moments of Truth)

All of them were connected to current IT Trend of Connected Devices and Continues Services. Did you know that Kinect is the number one selling console now.¬† The second keynote was by Gerard Rego, Director, Nokia India. for me it was a connected keynote to the previous keynote on the Phone part. Some facts on Nokia store: It attracts 13 million downloads every day, 350 Developers has Apps with more than 1 million downloads…

On Day 3, morning we (Myself, ATskganguly ATsimplymanas) did have the company of BITPro UG Leads Kalyan and Ravi Рwe had a quick chat with Kalyan.

Technical Tracks:

Peeling SQL Server like an Onion: Internals Debunked  [ Vinod Kumar M ( vinod_sql)  ]

Vinod did start with setting the stage clear on whats going to be discussed (yes, it was not one way explanation but a full band two-way discussion) . It was totally about how SQL works in the Inside and not how it looks outside. Main Agenda:

  1. Design Changes in SQL Server 2012
  2. Core Engine Architecture for Performance

Disk Format Advancement (my top most take away from this session):  As this was not only related to SQL expert, i got so much attention to this topic of discussion. The discussion went on What are sector and cluster alignment, 512 and 512E. Issue with 512E, Transaction Logs depend on this as its sequential io, hence Data Loss and Performance degrade. so now SQL 2012 supports 512E Natively Р512E is about representing 4KB Disk Sector to Operating System as if its a 512 Bytes. How do you check if a disk is in 512E Mode:

FSUTIL¬†fsinfo¬†ntfsinfo c:¬†¬† – ( Check for “Bytes per sector”[how it's presented to the OS] and “Bytes per Physical sector”[What is the actual¬†sector size used]¬†)
The benefit of this is, SQL or any other application, can now look at the actual physical sector size and send the commits of aggregated changes of minimum 4k , thus improving performance and remediating data corruption due to disk+power failure errors [such issue happened in previous case, because even if the required change is only 512Bytes, it was required to read 4K, update the particular 512Bytes of it, and owerrite the 4K  - if there was a failure the other three 512Bytes will also get corrupted or lost).
This feature needs KB982018
Some References on this Disk Changes and application behaviour:
Here is how I see it on my Win7 PC:
you can see that after the hot fix the property “Byter Per Physical Sector” is Exposed.
on my PC its not using Advanced Format as you see.
Since i am an Exchange Admin, I did have a look this on Exchange Storage Best Practices, and this content was added, Advanced Disk Formats are now supported with Windows 2008 R2 SP1 and Exchange 2010 SP1. The impact or benefit of this needs to be understood, that would be another post.
Security Enhancements: The Admins “Local System (NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM)”, and “BUILTIN\Admins” are now Not part of SysAdmin role. The concept of “Virtual Accounts” were discussed. And SQL Writer (VSS) uses ¬†”Local System” Account.

Indirect Checkpoint: In plain language this is what i got, pre 2012 did not know to commit dirtied pages in sequence on a recovery scenario while in 2012, it keeps track of the order in which buffers are dirtied. So at recovery the dirtied pages are now committed in order.

Some Questions thrown at the Audience:

  • How many new permissions are added in SQL 2012?
  • How many administrators inside a SQL Server instance?
  • When does a ¬†CHECKPOINT occur inside SQL Server?, and Do you control it?
  • Dirty Page – Algorithm?
  • Can you have more than 8 KB in buffer pool?
  • Memory Management?

NB:- I am not a SQL Guy, if there are mistakes in above understanding please do give feedback.

¬†Reference to Author’s Post on the topic:

From this session, i did get a goodie РSQL Server Interview QnA Book by Pinal and Vinod, i did get it signed by both of the geniuses Рcool.


Speed Up! РParallel Processes and Unparalleled Performance  [ Pinal Dave ]

This was a great session, audience were so much alert  and participating with the speaker, Mr. Pinal did explain the below shown two topics in a very understandable way [yes, Jokes :-) + Amdahl's Law, that was all in the session]:

Courtesy pictures: Wikipedia for Amdahl’s Law and for the joke

In this session we went through discussing what is parallelism, starting with real life examples. In SQL Parallelism has got three phases: distribute РRepartition РGather. We saw how to configure the settings for Parallelism, and Pinal showed us how to see the effectiveness of parallelism on Queries by looking at Execution Plans. All purpose of using this technology is to make your Queries faster, but there are cases were parallelism may cause delays.

But, To Use or Not Use Parallelism?: Decide based on is the work load, and apply best practices, the speaker did show some best practices for using MAXDOP Values for OLTP, OLAP, Mix of Both work loads.


Parallelism in SQl Explained by the speaker

Parallel Performance Session in TechEd - SQLAuthoriy

Video by the speaker on MAXDOP with Single Processor Query


Keeping Your Database Available – ‘AlwaysON’¬† [ Balmukund¬†Lakhani]

For me this session was all about Exchange 2010 Database Availability Group Concepts implemented in SQL 2012. This is not mirroring, but keeping multiple copies of the database instance. The key features of Availability Groups are : Flexible (any copy can be made primary(active), Integrated (such as no need to go to Failover cluster manager to set up things), Efficient (Backup from Secondary, and Configurable).

Note: You cannot snapshot from the passive/standby copy unless the current primary is available (same as Exchange 2010 i guess, you need to have Primary available for various reasons, such as status update, log truncate etc). You can use readable secondary copies only for backup and recovery purpose.

New Unified Dashboard and Recovery Advisor was also included in the Demo, it was full of Demos, one thing interesting was new error logs and error dialogs are so user-friendly, it even says right-click or double-click to be done on a setting to avoid the error happening. Isnt it cool!

Speaker’s Notes:¬†and MSDN SQL FAQ


 Tools to manage, troubleshoot and diagnose your Windows systems [ Vinod_sql ]

Yes, you are right¬†- This¬†session¬†was taken by Vinod Kumar, the whole idea of this session looked like sharing his experience on Tools for troubleshooting issues on Windows, Such as Disk, Memory, Processor etc.¬† Most of the SysInternals¬†tools were Demoed and discussed. He did explain what is Free Memory, StandBy Memory, and so on. It was a very good session on understanding the basics. Here i¬†did realise, that we used to say “when we work longer with a product we can’t answer to questions on basic concepts¬†or theories” – i¬†guess now if you are really passionate about the product you work on – then your Basics should be on top AlwasyON, otherwise you cannot make sure the Advanced concepts are really working well and how its working behind the scene.

Did you know how to figure out the type and state of processes based on the color from Process Explorer, one tip – the color Yellow¬†means it’s a¬†DotNet¬†Process. It was nice to know these features, this session made me decide to explore more about SysInternals¬†Tools and to have a look at the latest Windows SysInternals Book.


 Desktop Security options: What apart from Antivirus? [ M S Anand ]

I was little late for this session, but when i¬†joined, i¬†could realise it was not Anand who is giving the session. i¬†dont¬†know why.¬†It was all about looking at security from a new perspective and using¬†Microsoft’s In the Box tools to manage common security threats¬†either it is¬†on corporate machine or a home pc. One¬†point clicked to me was “Socially Engineered Malware” – nowadays¬†attackers are studying and¬†even waiting¬†years to get in to their target. They can¬†use social networking sites to¬†first¬†get connected with the target’s supply chain (meaning friend¬†circle and so) then¬†through any loop holes from the Targets¬†supply chain¬†get to the¬†target and launch attacks.¬†So Am I¬†supposed make all my social presence accessibility¬†to private! whats the solution?. The speaker did show demo on setting up simple rules from AppLocker On Executable, Script, and Windows Installer Rules.


Closing KeyNote [

Hype Cycle: A hype cycle is a graphical representation of the maturity, adoption and social application of specific Technologies. The term was coined by Gartner, you can find the complete Document on this @ Gartner and some Details on it @ WikiPedia.

He did explain the future where the industry is looking at, and There is no barrier for any one to enter the market. You just need to have a Desire, a Dream, and a Vision. His Point was Seize the Opportunity!

Gifts were given to the winners of Bangalore Win8  Hackathone Coders and also for Hydarabad Win8 Hackathone Contest.

Finally, before i leave the venue Рi was one of the highest tweeters of the event and was called on stage to give a gift together with my new friends i met at the Event atBLAKHANI and atSIMPLYMANAS, Thanks to all who have retweeted my tweetes. Woooooh!


Categories: General Tags: ,

My take aways from Day 2 – TechEd India 2012

March 23rd, 2012 1 comment


The picture says it all, just after 1 minute of reaching the venue, as i said on twitter, with no further delays connected with the community Рand thats the fun of this kind of events, connecting with community people and having fruitful chats and discussions.

The Keynote:

The keynote was by Mr. Amith Chatterjee, MD – Microsoft¬†R&D India, did you try to read the details in above picture – Amazing Person.¬† The theme was about modern IT trends. It’s about being connected and alwaysOn services (Connected Devices, Continuous Services). He explained the¬†concepts of Key Consumer Trends as: Touch, Connected, Consumerization of IT, Social, Coud/Services. How can IT respond to these trends are by:

  • Immersive Applications¬†(Touch Enabled, Connected, Cross-Devices)
  • ¬†Continues Services (Always On, Always Evolving, Accessible Anywhere)
  • ¬†Flexible Infrastructure (Physical, Virtual, Cloud)

He further detailed types and attributes of Cloud computing, Public Cloud and Private Cloud, and they have below listed attributes:

  1. Public Cloud: Pooled Resources, Self Service, Elastic, and Usage Based.
  2. Add-Ons to Private Cloud: Control, Customizable, Dedicated.

 He did also cover new developer tools and trends including Agile Development Practices, i did leave before the session complete, it was over running the schedule, and i got to know my 1st Tech Session was already started.

Exchange 2010 Tips ‘n Tricks [Javed Mohammed]

 It was already started, and i could get below points being discussed:

  1. MX record with Round Robin or NLB for Inbound External messages
  2. Multiple Hub Servers in AD Site
  3. Mailbox and Hub does automatic load balancing and fault tolerances (its about mail submission service)
  4. Configure multiple Bridgeheads on Send Connectors
  5. How BCC works in exchange: There are two types of header P1 and P2, P1 is used for email routing (bcc address used here) and P2 is used for what you see in the client (from, to, cc etc).
  6. Use Recipient Filtering to avoid Reverse NDR attack on Edge Server
  7. Use SMTP Tarpitting to solve Directory Harvest issue due to recipient filtering and reverse NDR attack.
  8. SP2 OWA Mini – includes Tasks which was not there in previous versions.
  9. Use http to https redirection for using autodiscover for multiple domains without more investments.
  10. AD FS on Edge Server synchronizes only necessary recipient information from corporate AD, and its fully stored Encrypted.

Realtime DAG Designs [Ismail Mohammed - MGSD]

 Key take aways:

Before technical design preparation, understand customer needs, What level of RTO and RPO is required , Whats there currently in place, Decide on Site Resiliency requirements and pre-requisite checks on customer environment, Then go to DAG design¬†- Single, Multiple, Stretched, or Lagged?. Based on DAG choice, analyse the storage architecture – JBOD or RAID, Now on to database layout¬†- how many copies,¬†how to do active and passive distributions, then on to DAG Failure domains¬†etc. Basically, understand that just by having a DAG in a Data Center with non-reduntant power supply doesn’t make any sence on the investment… Those were good refresh on planning insights.

Office 365 Technical Drilldown [Kevin Morera]

 Key take aways:

  1. Office 365 Administration options
  2. Office 365 Identity management with AD FS and DirSync
  3. Exchange Online administration tools
  4. Exchange Hybrid deployment with the new Hybrid Configuration Wizard (required Ex2010 SP2)
  5. PowerShell Module for Microsoft Online – a Great tool
  6. RBAC definitions in Office 365 and On-Premise are different.
  7. Single Sign on Experience and AD FS Federation
  8. DirSyc Tool to synchronize your AD with Office 365 - By Directional and Note that Passwords are not Synchronized


Migration to Office 365 - Are YOU ready for the Cloud? [Shazia Zahoor & Himankini Shah]

This session, did explain a kind of details on pre – decision making activities on whether to go for Cloud(Office365) or not. Some key discussions and reports will be generated by Microsoft, and based on that a Decision choice can be made by the customer.

  • Customer Decision Framework
  • Solution Alignment Workshop
  • Readiness Tools
  • Alignment Index Calculator
  • Office 365 resources and Administration Options

Dashboards and Scorecards without coding [Deepak Sharma]

Deepak did explain how to present data to management or decision making end users using easy go tools, requirement Data (Excel, SQL, ODBC or any other data source*), Sharepoint Visio Services, MS Visio. From visio its possible to connect with SCOM and get pictorial representation of dynamical nearly up-to-date state of service or servers. Tools used are PivotDiagram, Visio, and Sharepoint Services. Point to be noted it’s not a BI Tool.

 Demo Extravaganza

Few interesting demos were done, SQL Spacial Data was interesting to see by Pinal, VS11 and Windows Phone wast also cool and it was great to see the power of QualComm processor used inside windows phones. There is one new term stuck my mind today РSQL Clustered Index Рmaking a query which without this would have taken 30+ minutes to ~1 Sec (we are talking about 100s of Billions of Raws).  And those who wrote poems about Windows 8 did get cool goodies such as Win8 Slate.

Thats it for Day2… Tomorrow we will see –


Categories: General Tags: ,

TechEd India 2012 – Winding up Day 1

March 22nd, 2012 2 comments

Due to the excitement, last night the sleep was not sound, it was full of sounds from #TechEdIn. Got up early at 5:30am and first thing i checked was twitter, I couldn’t wait to see the happenings, and what did i realise was that how much the people behind the stage – organizers and speaker are putting their effort to make this event a success.

At even 3AM in the morning, above tweet was posted – i took the snapshot now at 23PM, this is amazing, awake at 3am and hist first session at 11am. Kudos to all the speakers and organizers.

So huge registration counter, i did register at counter for ORG Name “V” – for vMoksha Technologies.¬† They couldnt find my name in their database, so got my name wrote down on the TechEd Passport, that looks like below:

This passport contains all the session details, the sessions details of Win Srv 8 Track which was not mentioned in the web page, and all other details.

Since i was too early, i did walk around all the venues and took some snaps too. Got a view at the venues where i will be attending.

By 8:30 i guess, Sudeeptha and Manas did reach, we were talking and then i met with these guys Jacob Sebastian, i could remember his face from some of the sql sites. we did talk for quite a long time about “is SQL a Developer or Admin stuff?, Where is the seperation?”. Some insights from the experts.¬† Shared on what we each do at work day and some discussion about what is a PASS Chapter and Sebastian did share on what are the new progress in PASS and SQLSat area.

Then, i could see Pinal coming to the venue, in no time, full of SQL Experts and Speakers (I am just an enthusiast), It was a WoW when Pinal sir did say “Sahal Bhai” and i was like how do you remember my name, GetExchange? was the answer with – ¬†”Thode hi dhin pehle mile tha na” – i did have a chance to say hi to Vinod and Pinal at MTC while attending a training. Then it was time for the Key Note, as i mentioned in my previous post, there the talk happens on where the business is heading and industry is looking at. The first keynote was by Sanket Akerkar All changes from last one year to today and whats the plan for future was explained. Its all about consumerization of IT. “Provide Information, irrespective of where the end user is, irrespective of their device within the form they want and however big it is”.

After the second keynote, i did start my day with Aviraj’s session on Windows Server 8 “Technical Overview” – it was a stage setter for the Windows Server 8 Track, he did an overview of the new Server Release and a touch on what other sessions in the same track will cover. Followed by a session by Rohit Gulati on “Beyond Virtualization” – a sneek peak at Hyper-V 3.0 all new features were covered with cool Demos. The session went little ahead of the schedule, and it was 15 minutes late to lunch, so i did rush for lunch.

Lunch Time:

Lunch was arranged at pool side, nice place for a luch at such an event. you had veg and non-veg dishes, i couldnt spend much time there to be not late for the sessions so just had veg rice and some desert.

Win 8 Session on AD and Dynamic Access Control was my plan, but in an effort to get into the next planned session of Pinal and Vinod at sql tracks full packed hall, i  did leave half way of this session. I felt that the audience analysis and estimation was not done up to the mark, otherwise they could have chosen a bigger hall for SQL track. Next the SQL Server Misconception track by Vinod and Pinal together on stage, it was full of Puzzle and Fun, together with lots of misconceptions cleared Рi just could get some of them, its way ahead for an Exchange Admin.

The last Tech Session in MyAgenda was of “Identity in Private and Hybrid Cloud” – it was a stunning session by Siddarth Bhai, Program Manager for AD. He went on taking all the questions and answering them when ever audience rised their hands. it was with good technical drill down and a very little bit of demo. It was all about how identity and authentication work in a Cloud/Office365 setup with ADFS 2.0 and protocols such as SAML ans WS-Trust.

Now comes the Grant fun event of the day, “Demo Extravaganza” – the same guys as in my previous TechEd in 2010 – Nahas and Harish started with Demoing on Win8 [ it booted in 8 count downs ], followed by MS Anand on Live Migration of VM between two standalone Hyper-V 3.0 Boxes, it had only one Ping request drop, Then Aviraj on stage with the Demo-Powershell script showing some stuff around Hyper-V administration with shell, followed by Vinod – cool office tricks, i am an Exchange Admin but i didnt know the trick of sending calendar in an email, collecting feedback to an MS Access database from outlook – all cool tricks.

There were lots of goodies, and you know what? someone just gave back their Apple phone for a new Windows Phone goodie on the spot.

Time to go home and take rest… and i leave from the venue with lots of learnings, pleasure of meeting community members and leads out there.

Below are some snaps i captured in Day 1:

ROCKSTARs  РThe community contributers  РThis snap deserves to be on top of the list

Jacob Sebastian, My Self, and Manas – Before the key note at Siddarth 2

Seudeeptha, Manas, and Jacob – Before the key note at Siddarth 2

The SQL Speakers gang, i could tell Pinal, Jacob, BLakhani…

Teasers from Pinal Dave

The BITPro Community heros

Guru and Shishya at the back seat for the Keynote

Aviraj on Win Srv 8 Session 1 – Technical Overview

The picture says it all

Two speakers on stage trying to confuse audience :-) – Lots of misconceptions of SQL Guy’s cleared


Siddharth Bhai on Identity in Private and Hybrid Cloud


Thats from the Demo Extravaganza – Win8App