World’s Biggest SQL Server Event is Coming in 6 Days!

This post is by Joseph Sirosh, Corporate Vice President of the Data Group at Microsoft.

SQL Server 2016

We are only 6 days away from PASS Summit 2016 (@sqlpass) which kicks off next Wednesday, October 26th, in Seattle. SQL PASS Summit (#SQLSummit, #sqlpass) is the world’s largest and most intensive technical training conference for Microsoft SQL Server (@SQLServer) and BI professionals. But more than that, it’s a conference – planned and presented by the SQL Server community for the SQL Server community (#sqlfamily). It has the most technical sessions, the largest number of attendees, the best networking, and the highest-rated sessions and speakers of any SQL Server event in the world. If you are in the Seattle area and would like to attend the Summit, you still have time to register to attend. If you cannot make it, the event will be live-streamed just like last year.

PASS Summit 2016

I am very excited to give a keynote again at PASS Summit this year. I have a lot of exciting things to share with you since last October. SQL Server 2016, an industry leader, and now packs an even bigger punch in the recent Gartner Magic Quadrant for Operational Database Management Systems. Microsoft is positioned as a leader, highest in execution and furthest in vision for 2 years in a row. SQL Server 2016 builds on this leadership, and is packed with powerful built-in features. As the least vulnerable database for six years in a row, SQL Server 2016 offers security that no other database can match. It also has the data warehouse (Data Warehouse Fast Track) with the highest price-performance, and offers end-to-end mobile BI solutions on any device at a fraction of the cost of other vendors. It provides tools to go beyond BI with in-database Advanced Analytics, integrating the R language and scalable analytics functions. The world around us – every business and nearly every industry – is being transformed by technology today, and SQL Server 2016 was built for this new world and to help businesses get ahead of today’s disruptions.

I am very excited to present at PASS our cutting-edge content around SQL Server 2016 to solve real-world problems, and I will have a number of top-notch speakers joining me on the stage.

Rohan Kumar

Rohan Kumar (@RohanKSQL), General Manager of Database Systems, will join me on the stage and talk about SQL Server 2016 and how customers around the world rely on SQL Server to build applications that deliver unmatched security and performance for their most demanding workloads.

Rohan Kumar Keynote

Rohan will also present a fascinating demo Machine Learning @ 1,000,000 predictions per second, in which he will show real-time predictive fraud detection and scoring in SQL Server 2016. This is made possible by combining the performance of SQL Server in-memory OLTP as well as in-memory columnstore with R and Machine Learning. Rohan will also talk about HTAP – how SQL Server 2016 enables you to analyze both historical data as well as real-time in-memory processing of both transactions and analytics with 100x faster in-memory analytics and 30x faster in-memory OLTP. Rohan will talk about our “better together” story – Windows Server 2016 and SQL Server 2016 working together. With the release of Windows Server 2016, SQL Server supports unparalleled scalability with a single SMP machine supporting today up to 24TB of memory and 640 cores.


Then joining Rohan on the stage will be one of our customers PROS (@PROS_Inc), and they will be talking about how SQL Server 2016 with R built-in enabled them to better serve their customers. One of their customers is an airline company that needed to respond to over 100 million unique, individualized price requests each day in under 200 milliseconds. It’s practically impossible for humans to do this – understanding the market economics using all available data and to do so in under 200 milliseconds. The combination of SQL Server 2016 and Azure cloud provided the unified platform and global footprint that made it a lot easier for PROS to accomplish this and they will tell you all about it.

By the way, I highly recommend this free ebook that just came out, Data Science with Microsoft SQL Server 2016, to learn how to install, configure, and use Microsoft’s SQL Server R Services in data science projects and do the scenarios similar to PROS.


Rohan will tell you how Microsoft and Intel (@Intel) engineering work closely together to tune and optimize our technologies for performance. This is an exciting year for both companies with the latest Intel Xeon processor E5 v4 family and introduction of SQL Server 2016. The performance increase in SQL Server 2016 has excelled when you refresh both hardware and software, with high double-digit performance gains. Furthermore, data is continually growing and this is another step Intel and Microsoft are taking together to enable scalable, cost effective, large data warehouses for advanced analytics. Intel and Microsoft engineering collaborated to enable a 100TB data warehouse within a single 4-socket Intel Xeon E7 v4 server, running Intel SATA SSD Storage. Intel will come and share these impressive performance results with PASS community.


Another fascinating customer that will join me at PASS is NextGames (@nxtgms). Kalle Hiitola (@kallehiitola) the CTO and Co-Founder of Next Games will tell their story. Next Games is a Finnish game developer and publisher based in Helsinki. They develop free to play games for iOS and Android. You might know some other big names coming from the same region like Supercell and Rovio. With the help of Azure they have been able to create globally scalable games that have close to 17 million downloads!

The Walking Dead No Man's Land

NextGames will talk about how Azure and our NoSQL service (Azure DocumentDB) and how it powers their games. Biggest of their titles is The Walking Dead No Man’s Land with millions of installs. For a modern player everything needs to happen instantly or they lose their attention and to prevent that they needed the most powerful database they could get – Azure DocumentDB (@DocumentDB).

Integral Analytics Inc

Another amazing customer that will join me on the stage is Integral Analytics. Integral Analytics is a data science and analytics software company that provides core operational, planning, and valuation applications for utilities and other participants in the electric-energy industry. Integral Analytics’ proprietary products help the largest energy companies in the United States and Canada navigate the “grid edge” reliably and cost-efficiently. To perform its mission successfully, Integral Analytics needed a cloud provider that supports batch processing, real-time processing, easy development, and integrated advanced-analytics services. Come and find out directly from Integral Analytics about Azure SQL Data Warehouse (#AzureSqlDW).

Julie Koesmarno

Another amazing presenter that I will have with me on the stage will be Julie Koesmarno. Many of you know Julie very well as @MsSQLGirl. Julie will present an incredible demo called the “Big Cognition”. Software thus far has been “sterile” and unable as it is to understand or use human emotions, or combine it with anything else. Using our cutting-edge technology, you can now extract emotional sentiments from images, videos, speech and text, and you can do it in bulk. You can now join emotions from image content with any other type of data you have and do incredibly powerful analytics and intelligence over it. This is what I mean by Big Cognition. It’s not just extracting one piece of cognitive information at a time, not just about understanding an emotion or whether there’s an object in an image, but rather it’s about joining all the extracted cognitive data with other types of data, so you can do some real magic with it. You really don’t want to miss this demo by Julie.

Another partner I will be talking about at the keynote is eSmart Systems (@eSmart_Systems). I will talk about their Connected Drone project.

eSmart Systems

The objective of Connected Drone is to support inspections of power lines which, today, is performed either by ground crews walking miles and miles of power lines, or through dangerous helicopter missions to aerially monitor these lines (if there is one place you don’t want humans to be in helicopters, it’s over high power lines). With Connected Drones, eSmart uses deep learning to automate as much of the inspection process as possible. As they fly over power lines, the drones stream live data through Azure for analytics. eSmart Systems uses different types of neural networks including deep neural networks (DNNs) to do this. They analyze both still images and videos from the drones and are able to recognize objects in real time. I will tell you how the combination of our powerful database engines with Deep Learning can enable previously unthought-of scenarios and products.

Jen Stirrup

In conclusion, I will have a SQL Server MVP, Jen Stirrup (@jenstirrup) join me on the stage. Jen is very well-known in the SQL PASS community and is also a PASS board member. Jen wanted me to keep her demo a surprise… You’ll just have to watch it. All I’ll say is just two things: it’s something that’s never been done at PASS Summit before and secondly I am really excited to have her present with me in the keynote. In the end, this demo might be all people will be talking about after the keynote.

SQL PASS is a must-watch, must-see, must do event! I look forward to see you all there next week.