So much enthusiasm for SQL Server at TechEd!! (and a teaser for something I'm working on...)

TechEd in Barcelona is going really well. All the DAT sessions last week at the Developers conference were packed - I was particularly pleased that the chalk-talk I did on the internals of query execution in the Storage Engine was so popular that I had to repeat it. That's a great motivator for me to continue posting all these internal details here.

Now it's ITForum week - I'm sitting here in Kimberly's session on Upgrading to SQL 2005 and there's standing room only. From various polls in sessions this week and last, it seems about 10% of people are on SQL 2005 only, 10% on SQL 2000 only and the remainder on a mixture of the two. Some of the new features that people have enthused to me about:

  • database mirroring
  • partial database availability
  • instant file initialization
  • peer-to-peer replication
  • partitioning
  • piecemeal restore
  • page checksums
  • online operations
  • database snapshots
  • snapshot isolation

Wow - what a cool list of stuff.

And now the teaser. One interesting thing that I've been pondering this week - when you turn on page checksums, nothing happens to any pages until a page is read in, dirtied (written to), and then written out to disk again. There's also no tool to go through the database and 'touch' every page with a checksum, short of doing a bunch of index rebuilds or a no-op update of all rows. Well, while lying awake early Monday morning with jet-lag (still! after a week!) I think I figured out a way to produce a tool that does just that, without generating any log space and at media-speed. I'm currently doing a bunch of testing on my code and hope to have proven whether its safe or not within a week or so.

To finish off, as usual my favorite part of TechEds is meeting to people and answering questions. I just met one of the SQL MVPs I've been looking forward to meeting for a long time - Tony Rogerson. He has a great blog here. One of the most enthusiastic people we met was Jeff Wharton - below is a picture of us with him (in centre) from last week. The Storage Engine people here are me, Don Vilen, and Kimberly Tripp and we're all hanging out in each other's sessions - stop by and say hi!