Join community experts and Microsoft leaders October 15-18th at 2013 PASS Summit  in Charlotte!   Quentin Clark, VP of Microsoft's Data Platform Group, is returning to kick off the event with Wednesday's keynote talking about innovations behind Microsoft's database platform and business intelligence solutions - on premise and in the cloud.  Microsoft Technical Fellow Gray Systems Lab, David DeWitt, will share deep insights on In-Memory OLTP's ability to provide performance improvements and transactional workloads.

Microsoft has an excellent line up of speakers with deep technical sessions on In-Memory OLTP, Power BI, Windows Azure security, and much, much more. You also won't want to miss the new interactive workshops, chalk talks from experts from Microsoft's  Data Platforms Group, and everyone's favorite SQL Clinic with architecture advice from the Azure CAT team and tech support from CSS. 

Here are a few examples:

AlwaysOn in SQL Server 2014 [DBA-301-M] - In this session, we’ll discuss the AlwaysOn (Availability Groups and Failover Cluster Instances) enhancements in SQL Server 2014, from increasing the number of secondary replicas and keeping them available for reads at all times to deploying them easily to Windows Azure. You’ll also learn how SQL Server failover clustering has been enhanced with support for cluster shared volumes and how we improved supportability for AlwaysOn by adding better debugging and logging information. You’ll see these enhancements in action and walk away understanding their business value in your organization.

CAT: From Question to Insight with HDInsight and BI [AD-401-M] - Join this session for the end-to-end story of how to implement a system to answer new questions and gain business insights. You’ll get a deep understanding of the cloud and on-premise options for HDInsight, how to load data to the Azure blob store, creating an HDInsight Service cluster, adding additional storage locations, and adding structure with Hive objects. Then, we’ll look at how to analyze and visualize the data using the Microsoft BI tools to gain insights that can change your business.

CAT: SQL Server on Azure VM – Performance and Best Practices [DBA-305-M] - Learn the performance characteristics of running SQL Server on Windows Azure Virtual Machine (Infrastructure Services). What level of performance you can expect from the infrastructure? What can you do to mitigate, tune, and improve performance to meet application needs? We’ll share the various performance metrics we’ve observed during internal tests in the Engineering team, as well as in early customer deployments.

See the full list of sessions at http://www.sqlpass.org/summit/2013/Sessions.aspx

Return of Microsoft Certification testing onsite:  Microsoft Learning will be next-door from the convention center at the Charlotte Westin hotel sitting Microsoft certification exams, free group exam crams, and free practice tests in the self-study room. Take advantage of the 50% discount for all MSCA and MSCE exams - only $75 per exam!  Look out for the official registration link later this week.

Want to learn more about the testing? See the post “Training Opportunities at PASS Summit 2013 - Register Now!” from Thomas LaRock to answer some of the questions you may have around the certification and training.

Looking forward to seeing everyone in Charlotte!