Data Migration Support

Containers are In – Azure Can Help

By | Azure
Application development and deployment has come a long way in recent years. The introduction of containers opens the door for more lightweight, portable, scalable development. Add to that the capabilities of Kubernetes clusters and you get a new level of efficiency when managing application development, testing, and deployment. If your team is actively using Linux containers and Kubernetes clusters, it’s important to make sure your database products are supporting your efforts. Microsoft Azure has been helping its clients utilize and manage containers with Azure Container Service (ACS), now taking it a step further with the development of Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS). Why Containers? Containers have tons of benefits for API development. They are basically self-contained instances that run natively on your OS, maintaining configuration settings across multiple platforms. Imagine your developers working on an API on their laptop, which has one set of configurations, and then sending to another developer for review. Will the other environment behave exactly the same way? Impossible to know. With virtualization, you can eliminate these issues, but this is taxing on your system. Containers are lightweight so that you can run multiple containers on your machine without experiencing performance issues. Remember, these are running natively, (more…)

Simplify Data Management with Azure Data Studio

By | Azure
Azure is well known as one of the industry’s leading cloud providers, offering exceptional security, business management, and analysis tools in affordable packages. In this article we take a look at one of the best tools for editors and DBAs, the Azure Data Studio. This resource, formerly known as SQL Operations Studio, is a platform for building and editing your SQL queries with useful tools and an intuitive UI. If you are looking for a tool to seamlessly integrate your query editing with your database management, look no further than Azure Data Studio. This cross-platform tool makes managing your database, objects, and queries easier than ever. Initial Release and Rebrand – This product was released for public preview nearly 2 years under the name of SQL Operations Studio, and last fall was released for general availability (GA) under the new name, Azure Data Studio. Some customers questioned whether the Azure heading would pose problems for on-prem SQL infrastructures. The answer is no. Microsoft is dedicated to supporting all instances of SQL Server and related database products, including on-premises and hybrid infrastructures. This means that whether you are hosting on site SQL Servers or utilizing the Azure Cloud infrastructure, you can (more…)

Migrating from SQL Server to Azure

By | Azure, Database Technology Trends, SQL Server
Extended support for SQL Server 2008 has ended, and there is no better time to consider a migration to Azure. Continuing to run business applications and workloads on an unsupported platform will open you up to unnecessary vulnerabilities and potential legal issues. The risk is just not worth it. If you have been holding out for fear of complicated processes, there’s good news, Microsoft is making it easier than ever to migrate to Azure and take advantage of the benefits of cloud computing, including scalable resources and always up-to-date security features. With a trusted database solutions partner, your migration can be quick and painless. Check out this guide for more information about migrating from SQL to Azure. Why Migrate – If you are on SQL Server 2008, the answer is clear. Migrating is a must to stay on top of your database health and security. Now you may be asking, why can’t I just upgrade to Server 2019? You absolutely can. But this time is a perfect opportunity to minimize the impact of a cloud migration to reap the benefits of hosting your workloads in a cloud or hybrid environment. Utilizing the Azure cloud allows for scalable database solutions and (more…)

Connecting Devices Securely With the Azure Sphere

By | Azure
Customer experience is rising in importance for businesses these days, and one of the primary factors that customers value is efficiency. As more and more devices become connected, creating the Internet of Things (IOT), companies and products are able to provide enhanced services that can significantly improve the customer experience. The benefits of connectivity are clear, as are the roadblocks. Until recently, security was one of the biggest obstacles to overcome. That’s all changing with Microsoft’s new end-to-end solution, the Azure Sphere. It’s about Connecting those MCUs Microcontrollers are all around us, in toasters, ovens, microwaves, cars, thermostats, remotes, etc. These consumer products use what are essentially dedicated mini-computers, CPUs designed with specific tasks to achieve. These MCUs can be connected to the internet to improve performance, adapt to our interactions, and enhance customer experience, but very few of these MCUs are currently connected. This is because connectivity creates vulnerability for the device. Security breaches by bad actors can have disastrous results, and many companies have been staying away from the risk. But Microsoft was determined to create an environment that would allow companies to securely reap the benefits of connectivity with peace of mind. The development of the Azure (more…)

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…)