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 . Microsoft Data Platform MVP

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

Wednesday 26 June 2013

SQL Relay 2013

I attended and helped at the SQL Server Relay  event  in Reading. It is an event run by community members who have a passion for SQL Server.  The day was full of great techincal sessions.

The Keynote SQL Server 2014 and the Data Platform was delivered by Anthony Saxby. SQL Server 2014 features were shared with technology that will help transform the data centre, unlock insight on data , enable people centric IT and increase mission critical performance. The In Memory feature can give performance gains, on average 10 times faster, without having to rewrite code. SQL Server 2014 is for the OLTP workload to compliment SQL Server 2012 and the BI workload enhancements. Many other features were discussed including the platform for hybrid cloud.

Hadoop, Big Data and SQL Server session delivered by Justin Langford discussed Hadoop, Horton Works and HD Insight and the paradigm shift of data being stored and then the structure being overlaid later. The session covered the characteristics of data and a comparison of the traditional database warehouse and map reduce.

Chris Webb  shared the Microsoft BI strategy, What’s New for BI in Excel 2013. The tools that are now available in Excel 2013 covered PowerPivot (part of the UI now), Power View (for creating dashboards), GeoFlow (3D Maps) and Data Explorer at public CTP. You need the Professional Plus edition license for these functions.

SQL Server Troubleshooting and Diagnostics by Neil Hambley shared a troubleshooting methodology using the SQLCAT flowchart “Troubleshooting SQL Server 2005/2008 Query Performance/Scalability Issues.” http://sqlcat.com/files/folders/280/download.aspx. The flowchart provides a structure to work with for troubleshooting performance issues which can be customised to each environment.

The Era of the Cloud OS is all about transforming the Data Centre. The transformation trends of cloud computing, new social media, consumerization of IT and data explosion have brought the need for building blocks and multi tenanted architectures. Automation with PowerShell, commodity hardware and virtualization are all tools linking with the cloud. Most SQL Server workloads can now be supported on virtualization with only a 6% overhead.

A great session was shared on getting the most from your SAN – file and file group design patterns. Stephen Archibold gave some useful references on articles to read to gain further insight.

Fast Track Data Warehouse 3.0 Reference Guide
Diagnosing and Resolving Latch Contention on SQL Server
Maximizing SQL Server 2008 R2 Table scan speed from DSI Solid State Storage
How to Specify SQL Storage Requirements to your SAN Dude
The Art of War-Fast Track Data Warehouse & Fragmentation
Partial Database Availability & Online Piecemeal Restore

The last session of the day was on Parallel Data Warehouse by Ryan Simpson which shared details about the massively parallel processing platform. The appliance is Data Warehousing best practices in a box. The disk layout and scale out designs were shared. 

Monday 3 June 2013

Announcements at TechEd North America

Announcements were made today at TechEd North America about SQL Server 2014 and Azure.  The next Microsoft data platform is SQL Server 2014 which is for the enterprise cloud era and the role of data. This will be available in preview later this month.

The major components of SQL Server 2014 will be
  • Hekaton’s in-memory OLTP in the box
  • High-availability technologies that extend seamlessly into Windows Azure
  • Simplified cloud backup
  • Easy migration to Windows Azure Virtual Machines
  • Improvements to AlwaysOn features, scale of deployment and ease of adoption
  • Hadoop Connectivity
  • Redfined engineering security processes, CC certification and compliance
Microsoft are looking at the role of data and how it integrates with the business. As a result they are  evolving analytics techniques for  Real-time data integration and adding more fluid visualizations .

Read about more the announcement details http://msft.it/6037kZqh and their summary image denotes the evolution of  SQL Server.

To register for trial evaluation of SQL Server 2014 and read more  http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/sqlserver/sql-server-2014.aspx

The announcements for Azure at TechEd can be found here: http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/archive/2013/06/03/windows-azure-announcing-major-improvements-for-dev-test-in-the-cloud.aspx

Microsoft unveils what’s next for enterprise IT below:

These are all enhancements to the other recent new data platform features codename 'Data Explorer', HDInsight, Polybase in Parallel Data Warehouse and codename 'Geoflow'.