Free hands-on SQL 2008 training from Microsoft!

SQL
While the folks at Microsoft have offered these for a long time, I'm sure most people don't know about it. Technet Virtual Labs offers focuses 90 minute virtual labs so you can play with new features in the latest Microsoft technologies just using Internet Explorer. Check out the SQL Server 2008 section to learn about features that interest you... like the two clustering labs... before they release SQL 2012 :)
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Too busy to blog

Current Events
SO..... Despite my best intentions, I haven't kept up with blogging. The reason why is actually good news... I've been crazy busy. Since I've last blogged I have: Trained a few SQL classes (MOC 6232B and 2778A, 70-432 and 70-433 test prep.) Built my first WCF Restful web service prototype for a long time client. Built customized SQL reports for an ASP.NET web application. Entered a consulting engagement with a client who upgraded from SQL 2000 to 2008 R2 and needs to learn and apply new features to their 24/7 web application database. Joined a team of consultant developers on a new ASP.NET / Ajax custom project. Created a wordpress blog for a local business and trained the client how to maintain it on their own. Continued to work in…
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DIY Hyper-V, Active/Active Clustering and SQL Server – Demo and Step by Step Instructions

Clustering, Hyper-V, Presentations, Speaking, SQL
Recently spoke at South Florida IT Camp Saturday on using Hyper-V, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 Enterprise, Microsoft iSCSI Target 3.3, and SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1 to create an Active-Active SQL Cluster. I actually managed to cover all the cool parts in an hour, and got some great feedback. If you're interested in implementing this demo yourself, I've posted: Network Diagram (Overview of the virtual server components in the SQL Cluster) Step by Step Instructions (The steps I took to create the Active/Active SQL Cluster) Hyper-V SQL Clustering Worksheet (Planning the values in this worksheet in advance makes this process simple.) My Slide Deck (Because everyone loves PowerPoint) I need someone who's interested to volunteer as my 'technical editor'.. To walk through these steps, help me clarify or correct anything unclear. If you're…
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SQL cluster on the cheap with Hyper-V and iSCSI

Current Events, Presentations, Speaking, SQL
Speaking on how to set up SQL clustering in a virtual environment, for development and testing. Discuss options for production deployment. Now, how to compress 9 hours of setup into a session... Expect some smoke and mirrors along with some neat technology. Does anyone have some SSDs I can borrow? :) July 23rd http://itcampsaturday.com/southflorida/ Tentative outline: Setup Hyper-V Host Install two virtual networks (lan,iscsi) Create OS template Deploy and install 3 servers Configure iSCSI storage and targets Configure Windows Cluster Install SQL Node 1 Add SQL Node 2 Test Discuss production deployment options Q & A
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Catching up on blogging, new opportunities

Current Events
So today I'm catching up after a year of no posts. While I can see the value in blogging, I've just had too many distractions to count. Recent events have convinced me it's important to start up again. I recently attended the first PASS SQL Rally in Orlando, had a great time, met good people, and learned a TON. After learning so much from the fine folks that volunteered their time and knowledge to the SQL community (THANKS GUYS!), I think I'm finally starting to get it... blogging and speaking and participating in the community gives one back way more than it costs, in terms of learning, in recognition and connections, and in challenging opportunity. I've been invited to submit a topic for the South Florida IT Camp Saturday event in…
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