Monthly Archives: May 2011

Sqlroadtrip part deux

Hello again!

Here is an update on the #sqlroadtrip, which started out in Switzerland (part one of the trip).

I have spent the last few days in Kiev in the Ukraine. I arrived at 01:30 (EET) at the airport and spent the next 45 minutes waiting for passport control. They had 8 control gates, but only two open!? They are seriously expanding the airport in preparation for the european football championships next year. This is also the reason for all the road works in and around the city.

I was driven from the airport to the hotel (Rus Hotel, Kiev), where I slept until 9am (local time = CET+1). Then setup our replication system. After 4 hours, and only one error message, I was done!

I went to the hotel, had some rather uninspiring food and some cheap Danish and Ukrainian beer, then fell into a deep sleep.

The following day was spent checking the replication was working properly (it was) and explaining the replication system to the people in the office. We are running transactional replication to allow reporting offloading for each office. It is quite impressive to see our data being updated at near real-time (~5 seconds), even to the offices with the worst network connection. They were happy about the new system, but also gave me a lot of information to take back to HQ regarding performance problems. The perceived performance is different to the measured performance. I have already identified areas in our software that can be optimised for a better user experience, where the devs back home would think the behaviour/performance is acceptable.

I will finish up today and make sure the next location is ready for the replication, then check out some sights around the centre of Kiev. After that, it will be time to pack up and get ready for my next flight. I check out of the hotel tomorrow morning at 08:00 (EET) and take a flight from Kiev to Vienna 10:50 (EET) departure, arriving 11:55 (CET). This is followed by a 90 minute layover and then an Austrian Airlines flight to Dubai (13:30 CET depart, 21:10 GST arrival).

The colleagues from the Kiev office have been really friendly and helpful the entire time. The same can be said for the majority of the people I met. I can definitely recommend Kiev as a holiday location, or at least as a place on a european tour. Most young people speak English, which is good if you can’t speak/read Ukranian or Russian!

Check back again soon for the next part of my #sqlroadtrip, where you will see what I get up to in the Middle East.

Just as a teaser, I will be staying in a slightly better hotel in Dubai, details to follow when I have arrived 🙂

Round the world in 38 days

Saturday 28th May 2011:

Here I am in Zurich airport waiting for my next flight in my round the world trip.

Maybe I should back up a little and explain.

Without going into too many details and possibly getting in trouble with work, they want me to go to some of our branch offices to setup some sql servers and get replication up and running. This project has been in the planning stages for millenia and it finally got the green light. I found out on Wednesday evening (25.05) that I would be starting my trip on Friday (27.05). My first port of call was our company headquarters in Switzerland, so that meant jumping on a plane on Friday morning and flying down to HQ.

Whilst there, I made the finishing touches to the setup and initialised the third branch office and created a snapshot of the data. This took me until this morning (28.05 – 03:00 CET), after which I had a 3 hour nap. I then went back to the office and got my stuff together ready for my trip to the first branch office in Kiev (we had done two offices as a practice run).

I then drove back up to Zurich to take my next flight, Zurich to Frankfurt (where I am whilst writing this). This is basically the warm-up for the real thing, as my Star Alliance “Around The World” Ticket starts in Frankfurt and takes me to Kiev, Dubai, Damamm, Dubai (again), Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Perth, Auckland, Los Angeles, Calgary, Houston, Veracruz, Houston (again), Rio de Janeiro, Frankfurt, Muenster. This is *by far* the most international travel I have ever done in my life (over 36000 miles), and it is all compressed into a 5 week schedule! I finally arrive home on the 4th of July. Right on time to see my parents (who are stopping by on a road-trip through europe), then celebrate my wife’s birthday on the 8th of July and, last but not least, go on holiday on the 10th of July.

To take a look at the route, follow this link: Great Circle Mapper

I shall be documenting the trip here and via the twitter hash-tag #sqlroadtrip, so keep coming back to see what I’ve been up to.