Jun 08
AlaskaSQL is going on Hiatus in July 2016

​Hi All, 

Greg Burns here.  After the meeting on 6/23/16, we are going to take a break for a while.  The reason is that I am moving to Washington state in July.  My mother is ill, and I'd like to be close to her.  My employer is being cool about it, so I will be relocating to the Seattle office near the beginning of July.

No, this doesn't mean the end of AlaskaSQL; I'm perfectly capable of running the group from there (and I'll hopefully be traveling back and forth to Alaska whenever needed).  I'll continue to help organize; I can record meetings and post to YouTube, write blog posts, give help to whoever asks, and help people get in touch with each other.  

But it does mean we might be transitioning to a virtual group, unless someone else is interested in hosting meetings.  We will get it figured out, one way or another, within a few months.  In the meantime, enjoy the summer!

Make no mistake, my passion is still with the Alaska SQL Server community.  There are over 75 AlaskaSQL members from all walks of life, from casual users to admins and developers.  And we will continue to bring you news, learning, support, and community events for as long as I have anything to say about it.  


Greg Burns,

Chapter Leader, Alaska SQL User Group

Jun 08
6-23-16: A Database Designer's Favorite Features in 2016, with Karen Lopez

Topic for the June 2016 Meeting: 

A Database Designer's Favorite Features in 2016, with Karen Lopez

The launch of SQL Server 2016 means will be a lot of blog posts and Webinars of people talking about all the great features that come with this new release. But in our webinar Karen Lopez will be sharing the best features from a database designers point of view -- from Always Encrypted to Zombie Datatypes.  

Register Now (It's Free!)

About Karen Lopez, SQL Server MVP
Sr. Project Manager / Architect, InfoAdvisors 

Karen LopezKaren has 20+ years of experience in project and data management on large, multi-project programs. Karen specializes in the practical application of data management principles. She is a frequent speaker, blogger and panelist on data quality, data governance, logical and physical modeling, data compliance, development methodologies and social issues in computing. Karen is an active user on social media and has been named one of the top 3 technology influencers by IBM Canada and one of the top 17 women in information management by Information Management Magazine. She is a Microsoft SQL Server MVP, specializing in data modeling and database design. She’s an advisor to the DAMA, International Board and a member of the Advisory Board of Zachman, International.

Karen will be presenting remotely via WebEx; this session will also be recorded and posted to the AlaskaSQL YouTube Channel.

Register Now (It's Free!)

WebEx Info:

GCI / NBS Conference Room - 3000 A Street Suite 210, Anchorage, AK 99503 - View Map
Apr 11
4-26-16: Brent Ozar talks about Career Planning for DBAs

​Just passing this along.  If you're starting a career as a DBA (or want to get yours back on track) this free webinar might be worth your time: 

You’ve got a job working with databases, and you like it, but you’re not sure what to do next. How do you become a senior DBA, a consultant, or just be more technical? Brent Ozar grew his career from sysadmin to developer to DBA to self-employed consultant, and he’ll share tips on how to grow your career as quickly as possible.

You’ll learn how to:

    • Decide what to specialize in
    • Assess your current skills
    • Build a learning plan
    • Market yourself as a full time employee or a consultant​

Feb 17
3-10-16: Tuning Indexes with SQLDMO and System Views

Topic for the March 2016 Meeting:


Tuning Indexes using SQLDMO and System Views

Like Frankenstein's Monster (or our teenagers) things get released into the wild and behave differently than planned - database usage patterns are no different. Join Tim as he reviews what to look for when tweaking your index strategy using the SQL Server Dynamic Management Objects and system views as well. Tim will spend a fair amount of time initially reviewing these constructs so a very basic idea of what DMOs and system views is all you need to get you right into the conversation.  We will cover:

  • Analyzing Fragmentation
  • Identifying Index/Heap Use/Non-Use
  • Discovering Page Splits
  • Returning Information on What Indexes Exist on a Specific Table
  • Presenting Your Largest Indexes by Size and Rows

Audience: DBA / IT Pro, Level 200-300

GlennBerry.jpgAbout Tim Ford,
Tim Ford is an Author and Community Leader whose technical passions lie in creative solutions for managing and presenting data.  He spent 16 years in the healthcare sector as a Developer, Database Administrator, Team Leader and (hands-on) Manager where he created the entire SQL Server environment of eventually hundreds of instances and thousands of databases from the ground-up.  He recently traded all that in for a position at SurveyMonkey that adds the intricacies of administering an environment requiring single-digit-millisecond response times and also brings him into working in a developer-centric environment.  Tim also leads SQL Agent Man Consultancy and SQL Cruise Events where he takes 25-30 students and Technical Leaders in the SQL Community and places them on cruise ships for technical and professional development training without the distractions of the office and internet twice a year on SQL Cruises (  2017 will bring SQL Cruise back to Alaska for the first time since 2013 (and to the Caribbean of course.)

Tim and Louis Davidson wrote the book on DMOs and loves to discuss them with anyone willing to listen. He's thrilled to be able to speak to the Alaska SQL Server Users Group this March.

Watch Now on YouTube!


Feb 16
4-14-16: Hardware 201 - Sizing Database Hardware with Glenn Berry

Topic for the April 2016 Meeting:


Hardware 201: Selecting and Sizing Database Hardware for OLTP Performance

The foundation of database performance is the underlying server hardware and storage subsystem. Even the best designed and optimized database application can be crippled by an inadequate hardware and storage infrastructure. Recent advances in new processors and chipsets, along with improvements in magnetic and SSD storage have dramatically changed the evaluation and selection process compared to the past. Many database professionals struggle to keep up with new technology and often simply let someone else make their hardware selection and sizing decisions. Unfortunately, the DBA usually gets the blame for any performance issues that crop up later. Don't let this happen to you! This session covers current and upcoming hardware from Intel and gives you the tools and resources to make better hardware selection decisions to support SQL Server OLTP workloads.

Audience: DBA / IT Pro, Level 100-200

Note: this is a 90-minute session, including Q&A, so be sure to make arrangements for a long lunch!

GlennBerry.jpgAbout Glenn Berry:
Principal Consultant,
Glenn is a Microsoft SQL Server MVP. He has worked as a SQL Server professional for many years in a variety of roles, including stints with NewsGator and Avalara. His expertise includes DMVs, high availability, hardware selection and configuration, and performance tuning. He is also an Adjunct Faculty member at University College – University of Denver, where has been teaching since 2000. Glenn is heavily involved in the SQL Server community, and is a frequent speaker at user groups, SQL Saturdays, SQLintersection, and the PASS Community Summit. He is the author of the book SQL Server Hardware, and he wrote chapters for SQL Server MVP Deep Dives and SQL Server MVP Deep Dives Volume 2 books.

Download Glenn's slides

Watch now on YouTube!

Feb 11
Attend a SQL Server 2016 webcast - Win a Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro

​Passing this on!  Microsoft is presenting a webcast to cover some cool new stuff in SQL Server 2016.  Even if you don't win a free computer, you still get to hear about SQL 2016, which doesn't suck.

In this webcast you will learn how:

  • SQL Server 2016's blazing fast performance is the biggest leap forward in Microsoft's data platform history with real-time operational analytics
  • Advanced Analytics provides deeper insights for better sales forecasting, fraud detection, and other data-driven business decisions
  • Enhanced AlwaysOn Availability makes lost data recovery a breeze
  • Always Encrypted technology protects your most valuable asset – your data – at rest or in motion.

SQL Server 2005 Support ends in just a few months, which means it's probably a good time to educate yourself on SQL Server 2016's exciting capabilities and get ready to migrate in order to protect your data.



Dec 04
5-12-16: Advanced Restore Techniques with Jes Borland

Topic for the May 2016 Meeting:


Minimize Data Loss with Advanced Restore Techniques

Data loss can strike any server at any time. Are you prepared for the inevitable? A good DBA takes regular backups and practices regular restores; a great DBA has advanced restore techniques planned and tested. In this session, I will demonstrate three advanced restore methods that can make you a great DBA - point-in-time restores, page restores, and piecemeal restores, and will discuss the appropriate situations when each should be considered. Attend this session to better protect your business and your job.

Click here to register (Free!)

About Jes Borland:
JesBorland.jpgJes Borland is a Senior SQL Server Engineer with Concurrency and a Microsoft SQL Server MVP. She holds an AAS – Programmer/Analyst degree, is a Microsoft Certified Professional in SQL Server 2012, and has worked with SQL Server as a developer, report writer, DBA, and consultant. Her favorite topics are administration, automation, and performance. Her credits including founding three user groups, blogging at, and frequently presenting at user groups, SQL Saturdays, and other community events. She is also an avid runner and chef.

Download Jes' slides and demos

​Watch Now on YouTube!​​


Dec 02
9-8-16: Performance Troubleshooting Using Wait Stats with Paul Randal

​Topic for the September 2016 Meeting:

Performance Troubleshooting Using Wait Statistics

One of the first things you should check when investigating performance issues are wait statistics - as these can often point you in the direction for further analysis. Unfortunately many people misinterpret what SQL Server is telling them and jump to conclusions about how to solve the problem - what is often called 'knee-jerk performance tuning'. In this session, you will learn what waits are, how to analyze them, and potential solutions to common problem patterns.

Click here to register (free)!

Note: this is a 90-minute session, including Q&A, so be sure to make arrangements for a long lunch!

About Paul S. Randal (CEO / Owner of

PaulRandal.jpgPaul is a Microsoft SQL Server MVP and a Microsoft Regional Director. He spent 9 years working on the SQL Server team, writing DBCC CHECKDB, and ultimately responsible for the entire Storage Engine. In 2007 Paul left Microsoft to co-own and run, and is a world-renowned author, consultant, and top-rated speaker on SQL Server performance tuning, administration, internals, and HA/DR. When he's not tweeting, blogging, or helping someone recover from a disaster, he's likely to be underwater somewhere in the world with his wife, Kimberly L. Tripp. 


Full Bio:
SQL Server MVP since 2008

Update: 9-8-2016:

This event has concluded.  Watch now on YouTube! 

Dec 02
2-11-16: Stored Procedure Optimization with Kimberly Tripp

Topic for the February 2016 Meeting:


Stored Procedure Optimization Techniques

Kimberly Tripp will discuss stored procedure caching and the potential for performance problems due to a problem known as parameter sniffing. There are some common solutions and while they can drastically improve performance, they can also cause other problems. Sometimes a hybrid solution is needs, from this session, you'll know the best way to write procedures so that stable requests are cached and unstable requests are not (giving you the most optimal performance without wasting resources).

This event has ended.  See below for slides, code download, and on demand recording.


About Kimberly Tripp (President and Founder of
KimberlyTripp.jpgKimberly has been a Microsoft SQL Server MVP and a Microsoft Regional Director for over 10 years; she's an author, consultant, and top-rated speaker having spoken at PASS, TechEd, SQLintersection, and numerous other events around the world. She has over 20 years of experience designing and tuning SQL Server solutions with a focus on optimizing procedural code, indexing strategies, statistics, and partitioning. When she's not tuning SQL servers, she's diving and photographing all sorts of underwater critters such as frogfish with her husband, Paul S. Randal.


Full Bio:
SQL Server MVP since 2002

 Click here to download Kimberly's slides and code samples:

Watch now on YouTube!


Dec 02
12-10-15: SQL Lunch

​Join us at the NBS office for an informal get-together to have lunch, talk about SQL Server, and watch videos from the SQL PASS Summit!  Food will be available from the Bethel Cafe.  This is an in-person event only. 


3000 C Street, Suite 210, Anchorage, AK  99503    


  • December 10th, 2015 at noon Alaska time.
  • Recurrence: The 2nd Thursday of every month, (Add to Calendar)



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