Thoughts on SQL PASS 2011 SQL Rally

I attended the first ever SQL Rally in Orlando last week.  It was my first non-chapter SQL PASS function.  That seemed to be a common characteristic of the attendees.  I would estimate only about 15% to possibly 20% of the attendees have been out to Seattle for the SQL Summit.  This lower cost alternative to SQL Summit seemed to be more accessible to more people.  Having said that, I met a couple of attendees from overseas.  I think the Orlando location provided a nice opportunity to do a little vacation before or after the conference.

  • There was a great deal if interest in the BI stack with most presentations on SSRS, SSAS and SSIS filled to capacity.
  • There was Interest in SQL Azure but none of the attendees in the presentation had a production database in the cloud…yet.  I wonder how this will change next year.
  • There was also interest in SQL Parallel Data Warehouse though everyone I spoke to admitted they just didn’t need that kind of performance given today’s hardware.

One disappointment was the lack of 300+ level content.    That is one improvement I would like to see at future regional conferences. 

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