306: Peeking Under the Hood: Advanced SQL Profiler

I'm speaking at PASS on Wednesday at 3PM.  For some unknown reason, I can't link directly to my presentation (PASS???).  You can visit the search page and list the presentations by time.  That's the easiest way I've found to get to it.

My topic is Advanced SQL Server Profiler.  I'm going to cover a variety of topics related to Profiler.  I'll demo trace templates which are very handy if you do much tracing.  We'll cover some of the key events to monitor for performance.  These include CPU, locks and other events that can affect performance.  Next I'll discuss security related events that you might want to monitor. 

The bulk of the presentation will be spent on scripting and automating traces.  We'll look at ways to automatically start a trace when SQL Server starts.  I'll demo a way to programmatically extract trace data from a .trc file and import it into a table.  I'll cover “black box“ traces and how they can be usefull for troubleshooting server crashes.  I'll discuss creating user-configurable trace events and replaying traces.

I'll also try to cover the performance implications of running a trace.  This is a very difficult area to give hard numbers due to the number of variables.  I've got 8 demonstrations spread throughout the hour I've been given to speak.  I'd like to get a few more added this weekend to better illustrate points.  I think the best presentations are when you can read your PowerPoint handouts while just demonstrate key points.

So that's a nutshell of what I'm planning to cover.  Hopefully this will help you decide if you'd like to attend my presentation or not.  I'm scheduled against two Yukon presentations (BI and Security), Brian Knight's clustering presentation and a presentation on .NET's SqlClient performance.  And a few others but those looked most interesting.  I'll be posting the presentation and demo files after my talk.