Author Archives: James Serra

About James Serra

James is a big data and data warehousing solution architect at Microsoft. Previously he was an independent consultant working as a Data Warehouse/Business Intelligence architect and developer. He is a prior SQL Server MVP with over 25 years of IT experience.

Microsoft Ignite Big Data Presentations

There were so many good presentations at Microsoft Ignite, all of which can be viewed on-demand.  I wanted to list the big data related presentations that I found the most useful.  It’s a lot of stuff to watch and with … Continue reading

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Use cases of various products for a big data cloud solution

There are a tremendous amount of Microsoft products that are cloud-based for building big data solutions.  It’s great that there are so many products to choose from, but it does lead to confusion on what are the best products to … Continue reading

Posted in Azure Analysis Services, Azure Data Lake, Azure SQL DW, HDInsight, SQLServerPedia Syndication | 2 Comments

What’s new in SQL Server 2017 presentation

I just uploaded a new presentation called “What’s new in SQL Server 2017”.  It covers all the new features in SQL Server 2017 (which went GA this past Monday), as well as details on upgrading and migrating to SQL Server … Continue reading

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Microsoft Ignite Announcements

Many product announcements were made this week at Microsoft Ignite, and I wanted to give a quick overview of all the data platform related announcements: SQL Server 2017 on Linux, Windows, and Docker, generally available on October 2nd.  SQL Server … Continue reading

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Distributed Writes

In SQL Server, scaling out reads (i.e. using Active secondary replicas via AlwaysOn Availability Groups) is a lot easier than scaling out writes.  So what are your options when you have a tremendous amount of writes that scaling up will not handle, … Continue reading

Posted in SQL Server, SQLServerPedia Syndication | 9 Comments

Azure Archive Blob Storage

Last week Microsoft released a public preview of a new service called Azure Archive Blob Storage, offering customers a lower-cost cloud storage solution for rarely accessed data.  This allows for storage tiering, where organizations can place their critical data on expensive, … Continue reading

Posted in Azure, SQLServerPedia Syndication | 2 Comments

Data Virtualization vs Data Warehouse

Data virtualization goes by a lot of different names: logical data warehouse, data federation, virtual database, and decentralized data warehouse.  Data virtualization allows you to integrate data from various sources, keeping the data in-place, so that you can generate reports … Continue reading

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Microsoft Big Data Certification Exams

I previously blogged about Microsoft certification changes, and since then there have been some new Microsoft Big Data certifications exams released: Already live: 70-773: Analyzing Big Data with Microsoft R Server 70-774: Perform Cloud Data Science with Azure Machine Learning 70-775: … Continue reading

Posted in Certification, SQLServerPedia Syndication | 3 Comments

Azure Analysis Services web designer

Microsoft has released a preview of the Azure Analysis Services web designer.  This is a browser-based experience that will allow developers to start creating and managing Azure Analysis Services (AAS) semantic models quickly and easily.  SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) … Continue reading

Posted in Azure Analysis Services, SQLServerPedia Syndication, SSAS | 1 Comment

Azure SQL Data Sync 2.0

Azure SQL Data Sync has been ignored for quite some time, but has finally gotten an update (it’s in public preview).  This release includes several major improvements to the service including new Azure portal support, PowerShell and REST API support, … Continue reading

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