The architecture of Azure SQL Data Warehouse isn't easy to explain briefly, but if you have some useful queries that access the management and catalog views, and diagrams that show how they relate together, you can very quickly get a feel for what is going on under the hood. By using and extending these queries that use these views, you can check on a variety waits, blocking, status, table distribution and data movement in ASDW.… Read more
Active Geo-location is powerful magic for ensuring the high availability of a Azure SQL database, and for disaster-recovery. In choosing the best options, you need to accurately understand the value that the business places on the service you're running, long it will take for a secondary replica to be in synch with the primary replica, the importance of spreading the location of replicas widely, and the maximum tolerable unscheduled downtime. Just clicking all the options could prove to be expensive. … Read more
So you've decided to use Azure SQL Database. You head for the portal and are suddenly faced with a number of questions. Sure, the choices you make have a number of repercussions, but what are they? You need a simple guide to get started.… Read more
Windows Server 2016 features support for containers. These are not Linux-based, but containers that run on Windows and run Windows on the inside.
These conform to the Open Container Initiative (OCI). They allow you to run applications insulated from the rest of the system, within portable containers that include everything an application needs to be fully functional. As they did with Linux, containers will change the nature of the software supply chain for Windows users.… Read more
It is a good time to get familiar with Azure SQL Data Warehouse. The first objective must be to get data into it. SSIS is a good way to start, and it's certainly worth gaining confidence with the ETL processes supported by SSIS before setting off in other directions. Rob Sheldon provides a simple guide to getting up and running.… Read more
Azure SQL Data Warehouse uses SQL to query the data, but there are some differences to SQL Server's dialect of TSQL, and queries don't necessarily work in the same way. DBAs are also required to use SSDT to access Azure SQL Data Warehouse. It is worth taking the time to try the preview of the product, and take it for a 'spin around the block', following Robert Sheldon's walk-through.… Read more
The most frustrating thing with any new system is often just working out how to connect to it. Oddly, you can't use SSMS with SQL Data Warehouse, but it is fine with SSDT, SSIS, Power BI desktop, sqlcmd, BCP, and a range of Microsoft cloud services - there are PowerShell Cmdlets too. Rob Sheldon provides the details.… Read more
Azure SQL Data Warehouse is an obvious first-step towards migrating on-premise organisational data to the cloud. So how do you get started with it? Robert Sheldon provides a simple guide that should provide you with sufficient of the the basics you need to get a SQL Data Warehouse database up and running.… Read more
What are your options for connecting to an Azure VM? Sure, a Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) connection will get you started but you'll soon need a full secure VPN connection. Azure can provide three different options for doing this: Point-to-Site (P2S), Site-to-Site (S2S), and ExpressRoute, but what are their relative advantages, and which one is right for the way you need to use Azure? … Read more
Cortana Analytics Suite is important and significant, but it is difficult to work out why or how from the existing 'information'. After more setbacks than Dr Livingstone, Bob Sheldon emerged from the jungle of marketing hyperbole triumphantly with a small diagram which explained it. Here he reveals the individual components, and finds them, in combination, to be a curiously interesting attempt to bring Big Data under contro… Read more
Azure SQL Data Warehouse is a fully-managed and scalable cloud service. It is still in preview, but solid. Not only is it compatible with several other Azure offerings, such as Machine Learning and Data Factory, but also with various existing SQL Server tools and Microsoft products. It talks Power BI. Are we now seeing the final piece of the Azure jigsaw fall into place?… Read more
Some of the most intractable problems of application design are concerned with how to store credentials for accessing sensitive application data, keys and, configuration settings in code. With Azure Key Vault you don't have to. You can, instead just authorise an application to access and use a Key Vault and perform operations that require authentication against a KeyVault. Christos Matskas shows how an application can interact with the service, using a node.JS application as an example.… Read more
The whole point of using a cloud service is to be able to use it intensively for a brief period just when it is needed and then clear out all your work when you've finished. This means automation to make the process as quick and easy as possible. It is likely to mean creating a VM, provisioning it from scratch and spinning it up using PowerShell. Relax, grab the popcorn, and let Adam Bertram show you how he does it in Azure.… Read more
No longer do developers need to store sensitive application data, keys and, configuration settings in code - Azure Key Vault can store them for our applications on the cloud. Christos Matskas shows how to provision a new Key Vault in Azure using the Azure PowerShell cmdlets, and how to authorise an application to access and use a Key Vault.… Read more
The name 'Azure Key Vault' hides a valuable Azure service that allows us to easily protect our Cloud data by putting sound cryptography in Cloud applications without having to store or manage the keys or secrets. This makes it far easier to manage cloud data in applications in a way that that complies with industry-standards for sensitive data.… Read more
The Data Lake is basically a large repository of data for 'big data' analytic workloads, held in its original format. The Azure Data Lake adds Data Lake Analytics, and Azure HDInsight. Although the tools are there for Big Data Analysis, it will require new skills to use, and a heightened attention to Data Governance if it is to appeal to the average enterprise.… Read more
Once you've built your BizTalk solution, you will need to deploy and monitor it. Matt Milner shows that, while there are several ways to monitor your solution, and manual deployment via Visual Studio, the automated deployment of BizTalk solutions is probably best served by Azure IaaS with BizTalk Server virtual machines.… Read more
What is wrong with the Enterprise Data Warehouse? Quite a lot, it seems. By taking the narrow view that the struggle is that of accommodating and interrogating huge quantities of data, then initiatives such as the Virtual Data Warehouse and Logical Data Warehouse could make sense. But what about data quality, security, access control, archiving, retention, privacy and regulatory compliance?… Read more
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