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.

Azure SQL Data Warehouse pricing

The pricing for Azure SQL Data Warehouse (SQL DW) consists of a compute charge and a storage charge.  For compute, it is not based on hardware configuration but rather by data warehouse units (DWU).  DWU can be scaled up or down via … Continue reading

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SQL Server 2016 is here!

Today is the day: SQL Server 2016 is available for download!  You can download all the versions (enterprise, standard, web, express with advanced services, express, developer) of SQL Server 2016 now if you have a MSDN subscription, and you can also … Continue reading

Posted in SQL Server 2016, SQLServerPedia Syndication | 1 Comment

Azure Storage pricing

Azure storage is a great, inexpensive solution for storing your data in the cloud.  There are many types of Azure storage options, but I wanted to list here the pricing of the most common type: block blob. The pricing below … Continue reading

Posted in Azure, SQLServerPedia Syndication | 1 Comment

Migrate from on-prem SQL server to Azure VM IaaS

Hopefully you went through my presentations Should I move my database to the cloud?, Introducing Azure SQL Database and Implement SQL Server on an Azure VM and are convinced to move your databases to the cloud.  If you are going to migrate to Azure … Continue reading

Posted in Azure, SQL Server, SQLServerPedia Syndication | 1 Comment

Azure Speed Testing

Have you ever wondered what Azure region would be the fastest to host your applications when those applications are accessed from your office?  Obviously the closest data center would probably be the best choice (each region has multiple data centers), but how … Continue reading

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New Azure storage account type

In Azure, there previously has been only one kind of storage account, which is now called a “General Purpose” storage account.  Just introduced is a new kind of storage account, called “Cool Blob Storage”.  When creating a storage account, the … Continue reading

Posted in Azure, SQLServerPedia Syndication | 4 Comments

SQL Server 2016 available June 1st!

Woo hoo!  Microsoft has announced that SQL Server 2016 will be generally available on June 1st.  On that date all four versions of SQL Server 2016 will be available to all users, including brand new ones, MSDN subscribers, and existing customers. Here … Continue reading

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Big Data architectures

Over the last few years I have been involved in reviewing the architectures of various companies that are building or have built big data solutions.  When I say “big data”, I’m referring to the incorporation of semi-structured data such as sensor … Continue reading

Posted in Big Data, Data warehouse, SQLServerPedia Syndication | 4 Comments

Azure SQL Database pricing

Pricing Azure SQL database is difficult because various database service tier options such as database transaction units (DTU’s), max database size, disaster recovery options, and backup retention days are used to determine pricing instead of hardware (CPU/RAM/HD).  Generally I recommend starting out … Continue reading

Posted in Azure SQL Database, SQLServerPedia Syndication | 1 Comment

Analytics Platform System (APS) AU5 released

The Analytics Platform System (APS), which is a renaming of the Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW), has just released an appliance update (AU5), which is sort of like a service pack, except that it includes many new features.  Below is what is new in this … Continue reading

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