18 October 2017
18 October 2017

Automating Azure: Creating an On-Demand HDInsight Cluster

This article pulls together the concepts from two previous articles to demonstrate a way to automate the “on-demand” creation and deletion of an HDInsight cluster. This not only serves as a demonstration of the power of automating Azure provisioning, but is a practical solution for the user who only occasionally requires the power of HDInsight for scalable computations.… Read more
18 October 2017
18 October 2017

Automating Azure: How to Deploy a Temporary Virtual Machine Resource

Because Azure is designed from the ground-up to allow automated provisioning, It provides a number of interesting opportunities for use. With a .NET language such as C#, it is possible to create a very flexible 'on-demand' infrastructure in Azure, using Azure Resource Manager templates, that allows users to economically deploy the resources they need just for the interval of time that they are required, and then destroy them. … Read more
14 September 2017
14 September 2017

The Quick and the Dead Slow: Importing CSV Files into Azure Data Warehouse

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Although Azure Data Warehouse is part of the bright new jewellery of the Microsoft Data Platform, the old Data Warehouse rules still apply where data imports are concerned. When it comes to data import, it pays to choose the fastest import method first and prepare your data first to ensure that it is compatible with your choice. The subtlety is in the details, as Feodor explains.… Read more
13 September 2017
13 September 2017

Questions About RDS SQL Server That You Were Too Shy to Ask

There are a number of different ways that you can host SQL Server. RDS SQL Server, for example, uses SQL Server within AWS as a simple database service, much like a more versatile alternative to MySQL. Obviously, it is a compromise, in that you lose many of the extras beyond the database. Laerte Junior answers those questions about RDS that people seem to assume you know the answers to, but which you may be too shy to ask.… Read more
24 August 2017
24 August 2017

Mixing MongoDB and Relational Databases in the Enterprise

Your Agile developers want MongoDB, or a similar document database: your Ops people are concerned about security and backup, and Governance are muttering about transactionality and data transfer between systems. Do you restrict your developers from rapidly-evolving the data design for their domain or do you embrace the joys of NoSQL unconditionally? If you accept a polyglot database environment, where the NoSQL lambs coexist with the relational lions, how do you provide tools and common database concepts that everyone can use and understand?… Read more
18 August 2017
18 August 2017

Using the Copy Wizard for the Azure Data Factory

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Creating a feed for a data warehouse used to be a considerable task. Now, it just takes a few minutes to work through a series of screens that, in this example, create a pipeline that brings data from a remote FTP server, decompresses the data and imports the data in a structured format, ready for data analysis. The Copy Wizard for the Azure Data Factory is a great time-saver, as Feodor Georgiev explains.… Read more
18 August 2017
18 August 2017

Azure Resource Manager (ARM) Templates

If you need a way of deploying infrastructure-as-code to Azure, then Azure Resource Manager (ARM) Templates are the obvious way of doing it simply and repeatedly. They define the objects you want, their types, names and properties in a JSON file which can be understood by the ARM API. Ed Elliott takes the mystery out of a simple means of specifying your Azure environment, whether it is a VM with blockchain software, SQL Server or a Web App on Linux with PostgreSQL … Read more

Uploading Files to Azure Data Lake Using a .NET App

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Azure Data Lake Store is an extendable store of Cloud data in Azure. You can move data to and from Azure Data Lake Store via Azure data Factory or Azure SQL Database and connect to a variety of data sources. You can script upload files from on-premise or local servers to Azure Data Lake Store using the Azure Data Lake Store .NET SDK. Ambily KK shows how easy it is to get started by setting up a script or App to move data to Azure Data Lake Store.… Read more
11 August 2017
11 August 2017

Creating a Custom .NET Activity Pipeline for Azure Data Factory

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Azure Data Factory provides a radical new cloud-based way of collecting and preparing data in preparation for its storage and analysis. How do you get started with it to explore the possibilities it provides? Feodor Georgiev shows the practicalities of how to go about the task of preparing a pipeline for use, from preparing the Azure environment to downloading a file from a FTP to a blob storage in the Azure environment… Read more
27 June 2017
27 June 2017

Automating the Synchronization of RDS SQL Server Agent Jobs in a Multi-AZ Environment

Although Azure is the obvious Cloud service to host SQL Server, Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) for SQL Server is a good choice when your organisation uses AWS. RDS deals with maintenance and monitoring, and supports the use of PowerShell to automate routine tasks. What if a script needs to be triggered by an unscheduled event? Even in this case, RDS can be configured to run scripts to react when something like a failover happens. Laerte Junior shows how easy it is to set up Lambda functions and some PowerShell scripts to automatically synchronise agent jobs after a failover.… Read more
and 19 June 2017
and 19 June 2017

Monitoring Azure Cloud and Hybrid Environments

Cloud-based services and applications must still be monitored just like the on-premise ones. You still need most of your data center activities that ensure that your planning, budgeting, security and service-level obligations are met wherever the data and services are actually hosted. There is much to be said for an integrated approach to providing a unified view of entire application workloads on-premise. hybrid and cloud using the same tools wherever possible. … Read more
01 June 2017
01 June 2017

Statistics in SQL: The Kruskal–Wallis Test

Before you report your conclusions about your data, have you checked whether your 'actionable' figures occurred by chance? The Kruskal-Wallis test is a safe way of determining whether samples come from the same population, because it is simple and doesn't rely on a normal distribution in the population. This allows you a measure of confidence that your results are 'significant'. Phil Factor explains how to do it.… Read more
22 May 2017
22 May 2017

Getting What You Need From Azure Storage Disks

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If you need persistent data disks for Azure IaaS VMs that are supported on both Windows and Linux then you will be interested in Azure Storage Disks. These can increase the storage capacity of your VMs by up to a terabyte per disk, and they not only allow several availability options, but also offer a range of performance in terms of I/O throughput and latency. With right configuration, you can create as much of the right sort of storage as you need.… Read more
25 April 2017
25 April 2017

Azure Load Balancers and SQL Server

Load balancing in Azure has more importance for the DBA, because it is essential for Windows Server Failover Clustering in Azure, whether it is for AlwaysOn Availaiblity Groups, Failover Clustered Instances, or any other highly-available solution. Azure load balancing works out the location of the availability group, and routes traffic there. The load balancer detects a failure, and routes traffic to the new primary replica. Joshua Feierman gives an overview of what is required.… Read more
25 April 2017
25 April 2017

How to Secure Your Azure Storage Infrastructure

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Azure storage is an essential foundation for the more sophisticated services that Microsoft Azure provides. It is therefore important to understand how to make access to your data in Azure storage secure, to control access appropriately, to log activity and to get metrics on usage. Security in Azure can be easily managed and controlled via policies. There are a variety of ways to achieve the types of control over access that your applications need, as Christos Matskas explains.… Read more
27 March 2017
27 March 2017

Azure Networking for SQL Server DBAs

The network is important to any DBA because so much performance is dependent on I/O, because of the importance of security, and ensuring that everyone get the right access. DBAs generally need not become experts in Azure networks, but it helps to understand the concepts and language. If you are running a SQL Server Virtual Machine in Azure, then VNets, Subnets, Network Security Groups, VNet peering and VPN gateways are all worth knowing about in order to to keep SQL Servers running smoothly.… Read more
07 March 2017
07 March 2017

Introduction to Azure Logic Apps

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LogicApps are a managed service that provides the Lego blocks of Azure serverless architecture that you can use to create, develop and deploy cloud-based integrations and workflows. The developer merely strings together off-the-self, ready-made components with as little effort as possible. The aim is to go from development to production in a few simple, reproducible steps. Microsoft are investing strongly in this technology, introducing many new connectors in line with the demands of the integration requirements of enterprises.… Read more
27 February 2017
27 February 2017

Exploring Azure Storage for SQL Server DBAs – Part 2

Managed Disks have simplified way that Azure storage interacts with the users' virtual machines, thanks to the way that it eliminates the need to deal with the Storage Account. It is now easier to add new disks to a virtual machine, either in PowerShell or via the portal. The Storage Spaces feature in Windows Server can be used to aggregate disks together and obtain higher levels of performance. Joshua Feierman explains how to do it all.… Read more