Nov 192018
 

I am proud to contribute to this year’s Live360 conference, to be held in Orlando Florida at the Royal Pacific Resort at Universal from December 2nd to 7th.

I’ll be presenting two sessions at this conference. The first is Thursday in room SQH01 called “Cosmos DB for SQL Server Pros” at 8:00am.

Microsoft’s Cosmos DB is the first globally distributed database service, allowing low-latency scalability across multiple geographical regions. As a SQL Server pro, why does this matter? SQL Server is a great multi-function database that can handle many of your tasks with ease. However, it’s not the only tool in the toolbox, and Cosmos DB is a tremendous alternative for some use cases. This introductory session explores Cosmos DB and walks you through the similarities and differences in the two platforms. We explore how to provision and design your database, insert sample data and query for specific records. We’ll review the scalability and throughput settings, and help you ramp up your DBA and development skills on this compelling new platform.

You will learn:

  • The core concepts of Cosmos DB and the reasons to consider it for data requirements
  • Key concepts around data design, placement and document construction
  • How to query for data and process client-side

Just after this session completes on Thursday, the next session is called “Level Up Your SQL Server Cloud Skills” in room SQLH05 at 9:30am.

Think infrastructure in the cloud is still just for sysadmins? Think again! As your organization moves into the cloud, infrastructure architecture skills are more important than ever for DBAs to master. Expert knowledge of cloud-related infrastructure will help you maintain performance and availability for databases in the cloud. For example, know what an IOP is? Should you use a Database as a Service or provision a cloud-based virtual machine? How many compute resources does your database consume during a given day? Can you secure it properly? Come learn many of the key cloud infrastructure points that you should master as the DBA role continues to evolve!

You will learn:

  • To identify key concepts around database platform selection, such as Azure SQL DB versus Infrastructure as a Service, and make educated recommendations for the appropriate platform
  • To identify key performance metrics, such as storage performance, vCPU/DTU requirements and so on, that help with properly sizing the destination resources
  • About Identifying and recognizing the key reasons to migrate databases to the cloud versus keeping them on-premises

Register for this exciting conference today! We look forward to seeing you there!

Nov 092018
 

As part of the PASS Summit conference session that Bob Pusateri and I are presenting right now called “Cosmos DB for SQL Server Pros“, we are demonstrating a number of Azure Cosmos DB features that we feel strongly about helping you leverage through code. As a result, all of the code that we’re demonstrating today is now available for you to download and explore.

This code demonstrates how to collect Windows Perfmon metrics with C#, package them up into a Cosmos DB document, insert the document into Cosmos DB, and then fetch and query individual and multiple documents based on a SQL-like interface demonstration.

As always, there’s no warranty with this code, please don’t distribute as your own, yada yada yada. I’m not the best programmer, so if anyone has improvements, I’d love to have you send me your updates to check out!

Mar 012018
 

You might have noticed that I’ve been pretty quiet as of late. We’re working on a super top secret internal project here at my company, and we’ve got the need to ingest a LOT of data around the clock for some analytics work. My preferred DBMS is, of course, Microsoft SQL Server, and like a lot of DBAs, we want to make this swiss army knife of a relational DB platform do everything we can dream up. Thankfully, it can perform most of the tasks we throw at it pretty well. But, the pragmatist in me asks – “Is this the best tool for the job?”. Because we’re just starting this project, we can step back a bit and look at all of our options.

For our project, we do not want to deal with a datacenter of our own. Yes, we’re known as on-prem virtualization enthusiasts, and there in certainly many reasons for keeping things on-prem for some time to come, but cloud is the right choice for us for this project. We’re working on the cloud platforms just as much as we are on-prem these days, and we’re seeing the shift occurring in the industry.

Take a look at the costs of SQL Server licensing in the cloud. To design a SQL Server that can consume upwards of a few million data points a minute, we’re likely to need to spend quite a bit of capital on this platform. It’s just overkill for a straightforward ingestion then export platform. Then, we need to accommodate high availability, disaster recovery, reporting, and analytics needs.

Hmm.

Cloud brings some differences that might be advantageous here. We’re partial to MS Azure as a cloud platform for our company internally, so what does Azure have that can help us?

Azure Cosmos DB.

Now, it’s not as simple as that. Cosmos DB is a collection of APIs for different database types under the hood.

Each one are used differently, and all of the options include many differences in operation and architecture. Of the five listed platform APIs, which should we use? That’s a good question. For this particular project, we want the ability to store tons of inbound data and then will be pulling it out for analysis. Azure Table API seems to work best for this purpose.

SO! Over the next few months, expect a number of blog posts from me here exploring Azure Table on Cosmos DB and the questions, challenges, and experiences we have on ramping up on this new platform.

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