Elite SQL Server Database Virtualization Workshop Day 1-3


Elite SQL Server Workshop from VMware and PureStorage

VMware and PureStorage together sponsored a workshop that took place at VMware corporate headquarters where they took a roomful of SQL Server experts many of whom are Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals (MVP?s) and spent three days sharing with them VMware coupled with PureStorage as a platform for SQL Server database virtualization.

SQL Server Workshop Classroom

Picture Above: Classroom Where Elite SQL Server Database Virtualization Workshop Was Held

All attendees were required to sign an NDA.? Beyond the future product direction we were all free to share our opinions. This was a very gutsy move for VMware and PureStorage to make. This group of SQL Server experts is very vocal and not shy of sharing their opinions good and bad on social media with the technology community. If there was a flaw in this technology, this group would be sure to find it and more importantly share it with the technology community at large.

The event was amazing. Don’t take just my word for it take the word of the many other SQL Server experts who attended:

SQLRockstar Twitter comment

@SQLRockstar “Best. Training. Class. Ever #vmware”

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@mrdenny Agreed RT @sqlRockstar So far #vmware has set a VERY high bar for any future training class I attend.

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@Kleegeek Thank you #vmware for an absolutely amazing week wth #sqlserver crew. I had high expectations and you guys delivered and then some!

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@GFritchey Pretty amazing event. Thanks #VMware for all of it

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@CBellDBA Amazing week with @vmware & @purestorage , but happy to be heading home. Thanks for a great week guys! Lots of amazing info!
At Ntirety we were fortunate to have 3 people attend the Elite SQL Server database virtualization workshop. Here are our thoughts on the event:

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@SQLBeat Headed home to Orlando today from #vmware SQL workshop. Fantastic event. Thanks to all who put this together.

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@DBA_ANDY Definitely +1 >> RT @SQLRockstar: Best. Training. Class Ever. #vmware

Michael Corey twitter resized 600

@michael_corey The #sqlserver database virtualization workshop held at #vmware exceeded all my expectations – outstanding thank you #vsphere #vmware

As the many conversations happened over the three days, the conversation came up a few timeson how this compared to an Microsoft MVP summit. A Microsoft MVP Summit, I have always heard is suppose to be excellent, that it is a real treat to be able to attend a Microsoft MVP Summit. The first Microsoft MVP Summit I am able to attend is coming up this year and I am really excited at attending.

What I heard from quite a few of the more seasoned SQL Server MVP’s at this Elite SQL Server Database virtualization workshop that VMware and PureStorage put on was much better than a Microsoft MVP Summit. That Microsoft could learn a few things from this event. That indeed is a very high standard. A tribute to the fine Job Don Sullivan, Deji Akomolafe of VMware for putting this event together. Special thanks to Michael Adams of VMware and Avinash Nayak of PureStorage for having the vision to support this event and enable Don and Deji to bring this event to the SQL Server Community.

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Pictured Above @mrdenney @gfritchey @gunneyk talking at break

No Marketing – Just Solid Technical Information & Collaboration

What I think really set this Elite SQL Server Database Virtualization workshop apart was two-fold. The Attendees. A room full of SQL Server experts many of whom are Microsoft SQL Server MVPS.? The second major reason that set this workshop apart both VMware and PureStorage did not waste our time with Marketing Fluff. Both Companies brought their A-Team of speakers who really knew their products. Allowed us to ask any questions we had and more importantly listened to any feedback we had. This commitment to listening to the feedback is long term. Both VMware and PureStorage seemed to genuinely care about what we had to say and take it into account in helping to determine product direction.

Long Term Special Conduit to VMware Office of CTO

VMware has committed to the SQL Servr experts that they will have a long term special communication conduit to the VMware Office of the CTO. To quote Don Sullivan from who is an ambassador of the VMware Office of the CTO “The feedback that we have collected from the Engineers and Tech Marketing specialists was that they are all thrilled to have had the opportunity to interact with a group such as yourselves on both a technical professional level as well as a personal level

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Picture Above Don Sullivan an ambassador of the VMware Office of the CTO

Based upon the very engaged dialouge we had at this event from all the particpants, I think this direct line of communcation with the VMware office of the CTO is something that will be very beneficial to the SQL Server community now and over time.

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Picture Above: Very Engaged Speakers

PureStorage SQL Server Advisory Councl

In the words of Avinash Nayak “1) Establish SQL Server advisory council ? I would like to invite you all to be part of a new advisory council that I am setting up. Your feedback on product direction, messaging etc. will be invaluable to us as we look to grow our SQL Server solution. We would love for you to participate in this program as much as your time will permit (I will follow up with more details). This is one of many steps that PureStorage has commited too as a result of this Elite SQL Server Database Virtualization workshop.

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Pictured Above Avinash Nayak at SQL Server Database Virtualization Workshop

What is clear both the attendees and speakers from VMware and PureStorage benefited from the collaboration that took place this week. It was great to be part of something so special.

Commitment From The Very Top at VMware

Its no wonder so much goodness came out of this workshop with such strong commitment from VMware. The opening speaker from VMware was the CEO of VMware Pat Gelsinger. It was refreshing to have a CEO who could really talk Technical. The SQL Server experts did not hold back, it was a very engaging conversation.

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Pictured Above right to left Pat Gelsinger, Michael Corey, Michael Adams as we present Pat a copy of my the book Virtualizing SQL Server with VMware co-authored with Jeff Szastak and Michael Webster

Commitment From The Very Top At PureStorage

Scott Dietzen the CEO of PureStorage also came to spend time with group. Once again we had a CEO who could talk Tech. Since this is my blog, I am going to take show you a picture of when we presented Scott a copy of my book Virtualizing SQL Server with VMware.

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Pictured Above RIght to Left Michael Adams, Michael Corey and Scott Dietzen as we presented a copy of Virtualizing SQL Server with VMware that I co-authored with Jeff Szastak and Michael Webster

What is clear both VMware and PureStorage made commitment to doing this event right. Letting their technology stand on its capabilites. We were not disapointed. At one point an observation was made that a room full of Microsoft MVP’s could not make the PureStorage array even break into a little sweat.

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Pictured above a PureStorage Array not even feeling the strain from a room of SQL Server MVP’

Now in the defence of the attendees of the SQL Server workshop, given enough time I am sure we could have brought anyones storage array to its knees. It was fun watching us put strain on the infastructure and see it handle it with ease.

Elite SQL Server Database Virtualiztion Speaker Line-Up was awesome

By holding the event at VMware headquarters in Pal Alto California made it very easy for both PureStorage and VMware to bring in the subject matter experts in each of the areas we covered. When that was not possible, we would do a webex. This meant that sometimes the speaker at the other end was up very late. It also once again demostrated a commitment from both these companies to getting? SQL Server experts in the workshop in front of the right subject matter experts.

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Picture above: Group of subject matter experts from VMware

As I attended the workshop I felt like I was drinking out of a fire-hose. So this list of speakers just does not do it Justice. So here is a partial list of who presented at the workshop.

  • Pat Gelsinger, CEO VMware
  • Sott Dietzen, CEO PureStorage
  • David Klee, Founder Heraflux Technologies (One of the SQL Server MVP’s in the room)
  • Don Sullivan Ambassador of the VMware CTO Office
  • Deji Akomolafe, VMware
  • Avinash Nayak, PureStorage
  • Richard Mcdougall, Principal Engineer, VMware

The Agenda included:

  • Storage Fundementals
  • Windows Clustering
  • vSphere Core Networking
  • NSX & VCNS
  • Future of IT and Storage
  • Management and Monitoring
  • Disaster Recovery in a vSphere Infastructure
  • Converged Storage
  • Vsan

This list of agenda items and speakers does not begin to do this workshop justice. It was hard to take notes as you are drinking out of a fire-hose.

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Pictured Above Jeff Buell, Performance Guru, VMware


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Pictured Above: Group of PureStorage Speakers at workshop

This was just so much good technical information passed back and forth. It was clear that the speakers learned as much as they taught at this Elite SQL Server Database virtualization workshop.

Favorite Quotes From The Elite SQL Server Database Virtualization Workshop

Kevin Kline “Sucktacular SQL it can thrash any amount of hardware”

“PureStorae has taken the complexity of managing the storage array away.”

PureStorage speaker “No nerd knobs to turn on our array”

Other Comments made worth mentioning.

@DBA_ANDY “That and the viability of considering flash storage arrays – I never had taken it seriously before other than as a single drive”

@DBArgenis “I’m thinking that disk (properly configured, of course) will not be a bottleneck for anyone in 3-5 years.”

PureStorage? “we have an all inclusive pricing model”

PureStorage “We will see these things get bigger, cheaper and faster over time”

?”If its on the internet it must be true, we combat that every day”

Two things we see when customers look at flash 1. Cost’s 2. Fear of change/FUD — Fix cost and DBA’s will get past

“PureStorage is fixing the mediocre crap we all have to do”

“Raid and spindles is designed for device failure. Raid with flash is very different”

“PureStorage has taken the complexity of managing the storage array away.”

“NSX – Before the traffic even leaves the hypervisor we can make decisions”

VMware is bringing same benefits to server consolation are now being brought to the network

#2 area where problems happen when attempting to virtualize SQL Server is the Network being done


@DBArgenis I just met PureStorage CEO, Scott Dietzen So refreshing to hear how they’re disrupting


OH: Spinning disk speed to memory speed is as an F-16 to a slug.

Richard Mcdougall VMware “99% of the problems with a database is a storage problem”

Scott Dietzen CEO of PureStorage “we have NPS scores in the 70’s & 80’s highest in the industry”

Scott Dietzen CEO of PureStorage “Microsoft continues to be a very close partner”

Scott Dietzen CEO of PureStorage “We focus much much more on software….”

Scott Dietzen CEO of PureStorage “IPOD was a great thing for the flash industry”

VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger “we’re going to virtualize every application – every single frickin’ one”

Pat Gelsinger at SQL Server Database Virtualization workshop quote “Most important application is the database”

Long 3-days Workshop Almost Over

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Pictured Above: Getting Ready to go to a Baseball Game



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Pictured Above: The VMware SQL Workshop on the Score Board at the baseball game.

It was a very productive week. We all leaned so much both the speakers and the attendess. We all made some new friends. We all gained more insight into what a powerful combination SQL Server sitting on a VMware virtualized platform with a storage array powered by Pure Storage is. It was great to be part of it.

Michael Corey

Ntirety – A Division of Hosting


My Personal Twitter Account:?Michael_Corey

Ntirety Corporate Twitter Account:?Ntirety

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