Data Migration Support

Containers are In – Azure Can Help

By | Azure, Blog, Uncategorized
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’s New in Management Studio Version 17.6

By | SQL Server
Microsoft continues to make great strides in improving SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS). Version 17.6 comes with some impressive new features and bug fixes that enhance your user experience. Azure SQL Database Managed Instance Users If you’re using the newly developed Azure SQL Database Managed Instance, a new model of Azure SQL Database, you should definitely consider upgrading to SSMS v 17.6. One of the most notable changes is the added support for some of its most common management scenarios. After you complete the upgrade, you can expect a much more efficient support process if you encounter issues with the following: Databases – Creating, altering, backing up, and restoring databases are all fairly common tasks in database management, which makes their processes easy to support. Object Explorer – All technical issues that arise while using Object Explorer to manage objects in each SQL Server instance are eligible for support. SQL Linked Servers – You can relax when using Linked Servers to connect to other database instances on a remote server, same server, or an entirely different machine. The SQL Tools Team has you covered. SQL Agent Jobs – Your automated execution jobs/tasks usually consist of several steps. Any disruption can (more…)

How to Make Power BI Work for You

By | Database Technology Trends, SQL Server
If you’re searching for software that will enhance your analytics process while making it simpler and more flexible, Power BI is worth looking at. It provides tools that the non-technical users on your team can use to perform analytics with minimal help from the IT team. You can create intuitive models, data visualizations, and dashboards and share them with whoever you want. What is Power BI? –Power BI is a cloud-based analytics software service consisting of a combination of tools (i.e., visualization, self-service data analysis, etc.) that allows users to connect to multiple data sources—no matter where the data resides— and create customized, coherent insights. It’s not exactly new since many of its components were in the market prior to its 2015 release. For instance, Microsoft released Power Pivot as an Excel add-on in 2010. This tool alone is a game changer as it gives analysts the tools to import large volumes of data, create relationships between the data, and perform powerful analysis using PivotTables and Pivot Charts. Using Power BI, you can further manipulate these datasets to perform more complex analyses. Utilize All Components of Power BI – Power BI consists of many components. Users find some more useful (more…)