PASS Summit 2015: Conference day 1

The first day of the actual conference was exciting. The Day 1 Keynote by Joseph Siroshi (Microsoft Corporate Vice President, Data Group) was something that I found especially interesting as the examples of data strategy were derived from the healthcare industry, which happens to be the same industry I’m involved with. The funny thing was that we were discussing how technology will shape the future of healthcare industry during the breakfast. And then, less than hour later we’re shown how analytics provided by the Microsoft Data Platform can analyze decoded human genome to provide list of possible health problems. How crazy is that?

Apparently not crazy at all as that is what Mr. Siroshi had done, having send a sample of his saliva to a company that decodes genome from it and then using the tools provided by Data Platform they had done the analysis. Going back ten years or so, decoding genome would have cost millions and taken years. Now you can get it done in less than a week for a thousand dollars. And this was just one example of how data can change how a whole industry works. Just think about the example, if hospitals, rather than fixing your problems when they appear would work proactively to prevent them in the first place just by analyzing the data that is in your genome. This is the kind of future I want to live on, just thinking about it sends chills up and down my spine.

I also attended to one of the Microsoft Foundation sessions on Business Intelligence to get a better grasp of what they’ve been working on. And I have to say it’s pretty impressive, not only they have a very solid BI solution they’re constantly working on improving and expanding it. Even the good old Reporting Services had a facelift and it doesn’t look like the 90’s anymore!

Besides that and few other sessions on various topics, such as enterprise auditing, one of the more important takeaways was the realization that the next version of SQL Server we should aim for is the 2016. Besides the hybrid cloud scenarios, the list of improvements in AlwaysOn technologies alone is as long as my arm (and not because I have sort arms) and they’ve taken a lot of feedback from the community to add new features or to expand how the existing ones work. Also the SQL Server product group has done lot of work together with the Windows product group to make these two products work as well as together as possible.

And it’s not just for these reasons I’m personally looking into moving to SQL Server 2016, it’s the fact that when the product comes out it’ll be thoroughly tested in Azure where it’s currently serving over 1 million databases in 16 different locations around the globe with 99,99% uptime. These are some impressive numbers.

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