Passionately curious about Data, Databases and Systems Complexity. Data is ubiquitous, the database universe is dichotomous (structured and unstructured), expanding and complex. Find my Database Research at SQLToolkit.co.uk

"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing" Einstein

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

A Data Platform for the Future

More Microsoft announcements arrived yesterday for the ever evolving data platform.

Satya outlined his vision of a platform built for an era of ambient intelligence. He also stressed the importance of a “data culture” that encourages curiosity, action and experimentation – one that is supported by technology solutions that put data within reach of everyone and every organization.

There are 3 major changes in the data platform space.

SQL Server 2014 which includes the in-memory functionality for all workloads http://bit.ly/1iYbDxP . It is completely cloud aware.

Analytics Platform System (APS) which includes Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW) and HDInsight which utilises Hadoop & PolyBase for data querying (a tool to jointly query structured and unstructured data) http://bit.ly/1noP8WI

Azure Intelligent Systems Service a cloud-based service to connect, manage, capture and transform machine-generated data regardless of the operating system or platform. This is what Microsoft call our Internet of Things cloud service  bit.ly/1jIECc0

The data platform has significantly evolved over the last few years and it is centred on people, data and analytics. It is an amazingly exciting time at the moment.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

SQL Server 2014 Resources

SQL Server 2014 was released to manufacturing on 1 April 2014. Some useful resourses to start with.

SQL Server 2014 What's New (Database Engine)
A useful sumary of the new features and enhancements of the SQL Server Database Engine. 
Free ebook: Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2014
A technical overview by Ross Mistry and Stacia Misner
This books helps you understand the capabilities of SQL Server 2014. 

SQL Server Data Tools for SQL Server 2014 
SSDT with support for SQL Server 2014 for Visual Studio 2012 and 2013 

Editions of SQL Server 

Principal Editions 
 SQL Server 2014 Enterprise Edition
 SQL Server 2014 Business Intelligence
 SQL Server 2014 Standard Edition 
Specialized Editions 
 SQL Server 2014 Web Edition
Breadth Editions
  SQL Server 2014 Developer Edition
  Express Editions details http://bit.ly/1g3KR9L 

Features Supported by the Editions of SQL Server 2014
Features supported by the different editions of SQL Server 2014

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Founder’s Day Lecture Drowning in Data

I attended the Founder’s Day lecture at the University of Bath entitled Drowning in Data: who and what can we trust. Professor Rhind gave an introduction to big data giving examples rather than using the 3’v definition (volume, velocity and variety) which is regularly used for explaining big data. He described a framework of 3 types of data including the following

Open Data
Freely useable data
NII - National Information Infrastructure
Transparency of open data  http://data.gov.uk/

Personal Data
Held by governments and collected through statutes
(data as a commercial set)

Risks associated with this are privacy vs public benefit, keeping the data safe and the role the state has to play.

Commercial Data
Social media
Lifestyle, spending etc

He mention a BBC article which talked about data growth between 2010 and 2013 as being inaccurate but now quoted everywhere. There was no mention of the IDC data growth research .
http://idcdocserv.com/1414 or http://www.emc.com/leadership/digital-universe/index.htm

He concluded raising questions of public trust and asked does using open data have more benefits than risks.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Microsoft's Modern Data Warehouse

This article “Modernizing” Your Data Warehouse with Microsoft depicts how the new Microsoft data platform stack fits together.  This article also makes reference to The Modern Data Warehouse  paper from The Data Warehousing Institute (TDWI) providing interesting insight into the future of data warehousing. The replacement of data warehouse platforms over the next 3 years will empower organizations in their quest to leverage big data, provide more business insight, integrate platforms and provide scalability. The Microsoft Whitepaper provides further information.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

SQL Saturday Exeter #269

I attended and helped at the second SQL Saturday in Exeter held on 21st and 22nd March 2014. The event was bigger than last year brimming with excellent speakers. 

The event was preceded by the SQLSouth West user group meeting on UDF's. The Precon I attended was excellent on SQL Server 2014 with a deep dive on new features.  The new features covered In-Memory OLTP (Hekaton), In-Memory DW (Column Store), SysPrep etc.

Windows components including SMB3 allow SQL to store data files with remote shared folders. Fibre channel support enables SQL VM's to directly connect to fibre channels, ReFs provide better protection for SQL Data with background check sum processes in resilient file systems and Tiered storage space improved flexible SQL Storage through storage pools. 
Resource Governor can allocate pools set for IOPS limits. In addition there are lots of improvements that are turned off by default. 

PowerShell and its box of tricks presentation, showed the wealth of flexibility for managing a large volumes of SQL Server. The corresponding blog box-of-tricks

Development insights mentioned were A Community Challenge  blog which documented a talk on Query Progress Tracking in SQL Server  that uses  the html-query-plan tool. The tool to download for displaying SQL query execution plans as HTML is here .
Uncovering hidden gems in execution plans provided useful insight with further exploration through sys.dm_exec_cached_plans and sys.dm_exec_query_plan. There were many other very interesting sessions covering Data Quality Services, Hadoop for the Microsoft Guy.