PASS was a whirlwind week between the three main conference days and the two MS Insider days on either end. I don’t ever remember being so busy at PASS, yet for the first time in … well … I don’t know how long I actually attended a handful of sessions. I highly recommend the HA customer panel led by two good friends on SQLCAT Prem Mehra and Sanjay Mishra. Besides hearing about real world implementations, I was SO glad the panel talked about people and process. You don’t get 12 seconds of downtime with technology alone! It wouldn’t be PASS if I didn’t say that it was good seeing everyone – friends new and old, including putting faces with people I had been talking to for quite awhile either over e-mail or on the phone. Oh, and Buck – stop trying to make friends with fire hydrants!

Despite all of the excitement I also managed to deliver my own, not without its own set of challenges. By the time I hit PASS, I realized that my session had been made 500 level. 500 level? I may be good, but 500 I think implies I must know a lot about SQL Server and failover clustering lol Now wanting to disappoint, my presentation and demos had major surgery before Thursday, and I hope I passed the audition (to paraphrase a famous rock band …). I’ll see when I get my scores in a few weeks. I only wish I had a two parter or more time, as it would have even been better. It was also fun sitting in for the afternoon on the failover clustering pre-con.

I did see that people posted Tweets about me on Twitter I’m not on Twitter and don’t plan on it (I am on Facebook, though). Someone pointed it out to me. Seeing it was a strange experience.

In other news, I saw that Ken Simmons took the time to read and blog with a brief review of my new consolidation whitepaper. It’s always nice to see people actually thinking what you do is worthwhile; sometimes it’s hard to see the forest through the trees when you’re writing and editing.

On Amazon, my Pro SQL Server 2005 High Availability book just got its first review after two years in publication. I was pretty shocked to see it, considering how long it’s been out. I know what people have said to me about it, but funny to see a formal review after my new book was published.

Speaking of my new book, I thank those of you who have already bought Pro SQL Server 2008 Failover Clustering  in eBook or a physical format (i.e. a book of the paper kind) since its publication in July. The word on the street is it’s doing fairly well, and people seem to like it. I saw at PASS it sold out, which I took to mean it was popular.

Oh, and I know I need to finish the scripts. I will soon – and one of them is a PowerShell-based script which automatically creates the scripts to install your Windows and SQL Server failover clusters pulling the info from my configuration spreadsheet. I know the scripts are way late, but I’ve been a tad busy and I want to give you guys good value. My apologies.

I’ve got a few future book ideas up my sleeve – a few of which may come to fruition over the next year or so – but I can say with relative certainty that I’ll probably be doing a full HA book (not just failover clustering) for the next full version of SQL Server after SQL Server 2008 R2. Chances are it will be bigger than the 2005 HA book which is about 800 pages. Yes, you read that right. Bigger. Better start lifting weights now!

Well, in the mean time, I’m off to finish preparing for a failover clustering training class I’m delivering next week, and finalize my consolidation/virtualization class I’ll be delivering in Singapore in December, along with two normal presentations (one on failover clustering, another on consolidation/virtualization).

Thankfully I’ll have a little bit of downtime in Japan (before Singapore) and Hong Kong (after Singapore). I get to spend my upcoming 38th birthday on a plane flying to Tokyo. I look forward to catching the Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra and hopefully Stanley Clarke, Chick Corea, and Lenny White at the Blue Note while in town. I found my USA-made 1976 maple neck fretless Fender Precision there in 2008 for a great price, and it’s become a favorite to play. Tokyo not only a great place to visit just as a tourist (this will be my third time there), but an awesome music town. If you’re a lover of buying music in a physical format, one of the last places on Earth that still has a lot of great CD and record stores. Hopefully I’ll also get to hang a bit with my friend Jason who I was in a band with back in college. My new jazz album is partially done, and I’ll be doing a lot of composing and arranging while on that trip. Heaven knows I’ll have a LOT of time on airplanes!