The agenda for the SQLBits event in May was announced today and after a quick look earlier today, it looks like there is a great choice covering a wide range of topics both in and around SQL server. Understandably there are a number of sessions on Azure, about 5 or 6 I think, which shows one of the main themes at the moment happening in the real world. I'm a big fan of Azure and the cloud and have been embracing it for various things where I work. For myself I can only see bigger adoption of IaaS over the next few months as I move more stuff away from our hardware into the cloud. Even more so since the latest CU for SQL 2012 allows backups directly to the cloud. Finally I can start to relieve pressure on our storage and not continually fight 'low disk space issues'!!. Coupled with something like CloudBerry backup, I can offload a load of data straight into the cloud. Pretty cool!
Personally prior to the agenda coming out I was hoping for some sessions on extended events and Always On as these are two areas that I don't know much about (other than the odd blog that I've read) and something that I really want to get into, so I was quite pleased to see a couple of these on the Saturday. The other area that I am keen to go and learn more about is statistics and by the looks of things there are a couple of sessions on that topic back to back on the Friday morning after the keynote! What a way to start the day! Although this will be a tough one to choose between as I really would like to see Steve Jones's session on binary data searching straight after the keynote.
Some of the other sessions that jump out at me at the moment are Klaus Aschenbrenner's 'Troubleshooting the most difficult SQL server problems' and Jennifer Stirrup's 'Advanced data visualisation in SSRS 2012' both on the Friday deep dive day. Probably mainly because both of their Thursday pre conference sessions appealed to me immensely and found it tough to choose between them and the one I have ultimately decided to attend which is Kalen Delaney's session on index internals.
I don't know how many places are left across the event, and I believe the hotel is close to getting fully booked as well, but if you are still deciding whether or not to go and there is space, then I recommend that you try and get there. You just can't beat the value you get for the price of the event. Food, evening events and top notch training for just a few hundred pound. Plus the chance to network, talk to exhibitors and meet some of the biggest names in the SQL world all under one roof.
Come on May 2013!!!