http://www.tinyurl.com/9ffms3t . The session provided an excellent guide for creating a cloud architecture. The session finished quoting Plato “The beginning is the most important part of the work.”
The next couple of sessions were very useful, exploring under the hood with the sessions using statistics and relational algebra. The sessions were Optimizing column stores with statistical analysis by Thomas Kejser and the SQL Server 2012 Query Optimiser by Conor Cunningham.
Column store was originally written about in papers in the 1970’s and has only now been incorporated into SQL Server. Mathematical techniques were discussed, low cardinality, correlation of columns, entropy, mutual information leading to the big unsolved question of computer science P=NP. More information is here http://blog.kejser.org/2012/07/27/what-is-the-best-sort-order-for-a-column-store/
The Query Optimiser session gave a flying visit to how the optimiser works. The optimizer finds a good plan rather than optimal plan as it may take to days to find the absolute optimal plan. SQL Server does a good job at selecting a good plan. The relational algebra trees were explained from the basics to logical , physical tree concepts answering the question what is a query? More details on previous talks on this subject matter http://sqlbits.com/Speakers/Conor_Cunningham
The last 2 sessions I attended covered Windows 2012 Infrastructure for SQL Server and Cloud Ready Data Services.
All in all an excellent conference with great sessions and lots of exchanging SQL views with like-minded people.