Is SQL PaaS Right for You?

By | Azure
With the arrival of the new year, you might be considering how SQL Server can better fit your company’s growth in 2019.  SQL Platform as a Service (PaaS) could be a viable option for managing essential database operations. With PaaS, your SQL Server workloads would run as a hosted service in the cloud with most database management functions maintained by the cloud service provider instead of your IT team. Top Reasons to Consider PaaS Operates completely within the cloud. PaaS provides developers with an environment to develop and deploy applications entirely within the cloud. This includes complex enterprise applications your company may need to solve business problems and simple cloud-based applications. Scaling is easy. You can pay-as-you-go. Service providers allow you to take advantage of advanced development tools as you need them, giving you more value at an affordable rate. Your bottom line increases. You no longer need to purchase software licenses, application infrastructure, or development tools. Finally, your development team can have the opportunity to focus on managing the applications and services they create while the cloud service provider manages the rest. Decrease coding time. The development tools PaaS can provide include some pre-coded application components (i.e., security features, directory services, workflow, etc.) (more…)
Database Consulting

What are Data Clusters and What Can They do For You?

By | Azure, SQL Server
Learning to effectively manage large datasets is key to optimizing your data analytics. Using data clusters can help optimize your data management. It involves grouping data points with similar characteristics into the same cluster to speed up processing time and improve analysis. Consider starting an analysis project on customer spending habits by gender in different regions. Your time on the project would be maximized if you’re able to use statistical techniques to automatically organize the data into logical groups prior to analyzing. How do data clusters work? Data clustering allows you to partition large volumes of structured and unstructured data/observations into logical groupings. One way it does this is by analyzing all of the data in the data warehouse and comparing each data point with clusters created. You rely upon the clustering algorithms to sort and cluster the data in a logical way. In a perfect world, all data points in the same group should be highly similar in nature, while data points in different groups should be dissimilar. There are several different models and algorithms that guide the clustering process. Here are a few: Hierarchical Method: This method creates separate successive clusters using specific criteria. Partitioning Method: This method (more…)

What is Azure Stack and Why Do You Need It?

By | Azure
Whether you are using Azure or not, I am sure you are familiar with the term. The Azure Cloud is the fastest growing cloud computing service out there and is quickly edging out AWS for the market. It is a powerful and expansive service that fully supports hybrid infrastructures for robust data management. You may not know quite as much about Azure Stack, so we wanted to shed some light on this Azure extension. What is Azure Stack? – This service is an addition to your Azure Cloud network that enables offline operations on your edge computing machines. It allows your on-site users to manage data, perform analyses, and even design queries using little bandwidth. Actions can be performed in an offline environment and then reserved for specific connection windows and deployed to the cloud. Let’s Talk About Edge Computing – Your network is a complicated series of user APIs and core network processing capabilities. Think of this overall structure as a web of interconnected strings leading back to the central data hub. Edge computing refers to the processes that take place farther away from your centralized network, literally at the edge of your web. We will discuss this in (more…)

We’re Excited About SQL Server 2019, Here’s Why

By | Azure
Microsoft SQL Server 2019 is out in preview and it’s got some exciting new features. When Microsoft announced the release at their Ignite 2018 conference on Sept 24th, we couldn’t wait to see what was in store. This newest offering will continue to build on the solid foundation of SQL servers while expanding offerings of flexibility and further embracing big data by adding support for Kubernetes, Apache Spark, and Hadoop clusters. Embraces Big Data – Probably the biggest change to SQL 2019 is the ability to manage big data clusters. Big data has always been a bit of a gap in the arsenal of Microsoft’s SQL servers, but not anymore. With SQL 2019, Microsoft is fully embracing big data with Kubernetes. Kubernetes is an open-source container-based platform that represents exciting new possibilities for this SQL engine. With SQL on Kubernetes you will be able to can create high availability solutions with Linux containers and manage multiple data sources all in one place. Manage Relational and Non-Relational Data – The new engine can query data from a number of different sources, including relational and non-relational data storage. Microsoft has built in native support of Apache Spark and Hadoop Distributed File System (more…)

3 Top Analytics Tools To Boost Your Productivity

By | Azure, Database Technology Trends, Oracle, SQL Server
Data analytics have become a major focus for companies determined to be competitive in the market. Leaders need to be able to access and analyze timely data quickly to help drive business decisions that will sustain their companies’ competitive advantage. Thankfully, the growing technology market continues to make this possible. Companies already have numerous analytics tools to choose from, and the options will continue to grow. We will now discuss three of the top analytics tools you should consider before making your next strategic move. 1. Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) – SSAS is an innovative processing and data mining tool within the Microsoft SQL Server. It analyzes large amounts of data, provides business intelligence reports, and can be used to create business models to support business decisions. All data is stored within a data warehouse, and users can access to create cubes that allow faster analysis. These cubes are multi-dimensional and can be viewed in various ways. Imagine the data as a pivot table that can be modified using certain dimensions and attributes. Multi-dimensional expression (MDX) is the language used to query a cube. Compared to other leading analytics tools, Microsoft SSAS is less complex and much easier (more…)
Backup Recovery

Improving your Database Security with Microsoft Azure

By | Azure
If you are interested in migrating to a cloud database but concerned about security issues, look no further. Hybrid and cloud native databases do have their own set of security concerns, but if you go with a trusted company and maintain it appropriately, you have nothing to fear. In fact, cloud databases can be more secure since they have access to the most advanced security protocols and automatic updates. Cloud native databases, or DBaaS (Database as a Service) platforms are databases hosted and maintained by third party providers. Operating a DBaaS means that your company will access data through the internet instead of through your internal network. DBaaS solutions offer great benefits for organizations in today’s “Big Data” arena. DBaaS is more scalable and flexible than traditional VM databases. It also eliminates the hardware requirements of maintain a database system. It is crucial to understand and trust the security protocols of your cloud provider before making the switch. Microsoft Azure is at the top of the list when it comes to cloud database offerings. It is a particularly good choice for the security conscious client. Microsoft in general, and particularly Azure, have a long history of prioritizing security for its (more…)

5 Tips for Managing Multiple Cloud Providers

By | Azure, Database Technology Trends, Oracle, SAP HANA, SQL Server, Sybase
Cloud adoption continues to rise and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. As companies become more comfortable with the cloud platform as a tool, they are moving farther from on-prem setups. The newest trend shows many groups now using multi-cloud solutions. RightScale 201 State of the Cloud Report found that 81% of respondents have a multi-cloud environment. The organizational average was just under 5 clouds, including production and test environments. Why Multi-Cloud? – Each cloud provider has different strengths and weaknesses to offer. Using multiple clouds lets you take advantage of the best tools and applications for your workloads without limiting your resources. It can also be strategic as companies can shift workloads to their various platforms depending on current prices and availability parameters. Adopting a multi-cloud environment can help take your workload management to the next level, but it can also come with some challenges to prepare for. Here are 5 tips to help you manage multiple cloud providers. Choose Wisely – Don’t be suckered in by low rates and storage fees. Those numbers can (and will) change. The more important factor is to select the clouds that have key features you need. Look at the applications and (more…)
Server Data Migration

A Look at Azure Security Center

By | Azure
You can’t be too careful with the cloud. More enterprises are using cloud and hybrid environments for their organizational workloads. Microsoft Azure is a major player in this trend. In an assessment of cloud platforms and services provided by iDataLabs, Azure holds over 19% of the market share, the second biggest slice of the pie. This industry trend means more companies need to be prepared for cloud level security. Microsoft offers an in-house security solution in the form of Azure’s Security Center that is convenient and powerful. We want to talk briefly about what it does, and some new and exciting enhancements that have increased its scope as an organizational security tool. What is Security Center? This is Microsoft’s unified security solution that provides a platform for protocol deployment, monitoring and prevention. The service is available to Azure subscription users as a free extension or as an additional fee (Standard subscription). The free version covers your Azure cloud. But if you use hybrid environments and additional platforms, the Standard subscription allows you to deploy Security Center across your whole system. Intelligent and Adaptive – Azure Security Center sets itself apart from other security protocols with its adaptive analytics. Using machine (more…)

Data Science: Making the Most of your Big Data

By | Azure, Database Technology Trends, Oracle, SQL Server, Sybase
As today’s trends bring more and more data to our fingertips, the next challenge is figuring out what to do with it all. The insights gained from proper data analysis have major implications for business. Proper data analysis takes careful consideration, appropriate infrastructure, and understanding of data science. What is Data Science? This is the process of using data to draw conclusions or predict outcomes. You probably use data science already. For example, a restaurant owner may keep records of which dishes are ordered. Over time, he may notice that chili is ordered more frequently on rainy days than on sunny days. This may encourage him to prepare larger batches of chili when the weather calls for rain. This is a very simple example of data science. You can see how understanding patterns and trends in data can help prepare your business. Data science can contribute to the following business improvements: Streamline Processes – You can use data science to analyze your business processes and identify areas to streamline. Looking at your website usage statistics may show areas where your potential clients are losing focus, or identify slow and frustrating pages in your online ordering forms. Identifying these patterns can (more…)

Simplifying Your Analytics with Azure Databricks

By | Azure
Big data and analytics go hand in hand. If you are handling big data, then you understand the power and the pitfalls this brings. Advanced analytic options, AI and real-time processing are useful tools. But to balance this power you may end up sacrificing productivity and ease of use. Azure Databricks provides a high-performance analytics engine optimized for your Azure cloud database. It’s incredibly easy to deploy, even for large-scale enterprises. Free up your team for the more important stuff. What is Databricks Azure Databricks is a collaboration between Microsoft and Databricks to provide an optimized analytics platform for a large-scale cloud environment. So, what does it do? First, let’s look at Databricks. Basically, Databricks is Apache Spark made more accessible to a large-scale enterprise environment. If you aren’t familiar with Apache Spark, it is the open-source analytics engine developed out of UC Berkeley that has gained significant traction in the past 5 years. It has become a leading platform with widespread use at the enterprise level. It has some drawbacks, though. It is complicated to deploy, and the larger your organization, the more complicated it becomes. Enter Databricks. This managed version automates a lot of the processes, making deployment (more…)