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Introducing Self-Service BI with Power BI

In this series of blog posts, I am going to discuss how Power BI and related Microsoft technologies can help you to implement a successful self-service business intelligence (BI) strategy. >>> More

Written by Nicholas Revell at 00:00

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Making Azure SQL more secure - Part 2

This is the second part of my review of new security enhancements to Azure SQL databases. I had planned to review Row-level Security and Transparent Data Encryption (TDE), but support for TDE has not been announced yet (even though I can see the relevant system tables in V12 databases). So in this part I will just be giving you my assessment of row-level security. >>> More

Written by Nicholas Revell at 12:00

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Making Azure SQL more secure – Part 1

There have been a number of new security enhancements recently to control and audit access to Azure SQL databases. These include Auditing, Dynamic Data Masking, Row-level Security, and Transparent Data Encryption. In this first part I give my assessment of auditing and dynamic data design and how likely I am to be using them. >>> More

Written by Nicholas Revell at 00:00

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Can Azure ML replace SSAS Data Mining?

I have recently been reviewing Microsoft Azure Machine Learning (ML) and comparing it with the data mining tools that have been available in SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS).I was particularly interested in how data is sourced and how results are shared. The combination of data explosion and data democratisation means more sources of data to analyse and more users to consume this information. An Azure cloud service could provide the answer. >>> More

Written by Nicholas Revell at 00:00

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Is PaaS a safer bet than IaaS for SQL in Azure?

As a data architect, I am used to designing database systems that have to balance a number of different requirements - cost, compatibility, security, scalability, etc. But the one that keeps me awake at night is availability. Microsoft Azure SQL Databases and SQL Server both provide High Availability and Disaster Recovery (HADR) capabilities, but which one would I put my money on? >>> More

Written by Nicholas Revell at 00:00

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Use Custom Reports to close the Azure SQL gap in SSMS

Having made the decision to host my data in Azure, it’s great to find that all the tools I am familiar with to manage and develop databases are still available to me. This helps to make the transition to Azure SQL so painless. However, when SMSS does not provide the same amount of information you are used to then you should consider plugging in your own custom reports. In this blog I share my experiences. >>> More

Written by Nicholas Revell at 00:00

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Scaling out databases in Azure with sharding

Elastic ScaleI have recently had the opportunity to review the new Elastic Scale for Azure SQL Database. Although it is still in preview and subject to change, Microsoft have obviously listened to those of us who provided feedback on SQL Azure Federations. They have given us an Azure solution that we can implement to realise the full potential of elasticity in the cloud. With Elastic Scale we can dynamically scale up or down, by changing the service tiers and performance levels, and scale out or in, by adding or merging databases. This has significant cost and performance benefits.

 

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Written by Nicholas Revell at 00:00

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Tip of the Day: SQL Virtualisation– Use SLAT– enabled 64-bit CPU’s

When virtualising SQL Server and using a 64bit processor make sure it supports Second Level Address Translation (SLAT). Remember not all processors are equal!

The purpose of SLAT is the enabling of higher VM performance by  moving the process of mapping virtual memory to the host server’s memory. This is of particular interest under Hypervisor.

Written by Andy James at 12:13

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