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 Data Amp event announcements

Yesterday was the Microsoft Data Amp event where a bunch of very exciting announcements were made: SQL Server vNext CTP 2.0 is now available and the product will be officially called SQL Server 2017: Runs on Linux and Docker Support … Continue reading

Posted in Azure, Azure SQL Database, Cortana Intelligence Suite, SQLServerPedia Syndication | 1 Comment

Using Azure for free

There are a number of options for using Azure for free.  This is very useful for those of you who are not familiar with Azure and want to “play” with it: Create a free Azure account and get $200 in … Continue reading

Posted in Azure, SQLServerPedia Syndication | 1 Comment

Artificial Intelligence defined

The new buzzword in the industry is “Artificial Intelligence” (AI).  But exactly what is AI and how does it compare to “machine learning” and “deep learning”?  The best definitions I have seen come from the excellent article “Why Deep Learning … Continue reading

Posted in SQLServerPedia Syndication | 2 Comments

Microsoft database migration tools

There are various Microsoft tools that you can use to help you migrate your database: Data Migration Assistant (DMA) – enables you to upgrade to a modern data platform by detecting compatibility issues that can impact database functionality on your … Continue reading

Posted in SQL Server, SQLServerPedia Syndication | 3 Comments

U-SQL Defined

Azure Data Lake Analytics (ADLA) is a distributed analytics service built on Apache YARN that allows developers to be productive immediately on big data.  This is accomplished by submitting a job to the service where the service will automatically run it … Continue reading

Posted in Azure Data Lake, PolyBase, SQLServerPedia Syndication | 2 Comments

PolyBase use cases clarified

I previously talked about PolyBase and its enhancements (see PASS Summit Announcements: PolyBase enhancements).  There is some confusion on PolyBase use cases as they are different depending on whether you are using PolyBase with Azure SQL Data Warehouse (SQL DW) or … Continue reading

Posted in PolyBase, SQLServerPedia Syndication | 3 Comments

SQL DB now supports 4TB max database size

Azure SQL Database (SQL DB) has increased its max database size from 1TB to 4TB at no additional cost. Customers using P11 and P15 premium performance levels can use up to 4 TB of included storage at no additional charge. … Continue reading

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Power BI and Excel options for Hadoop

Below I have attempted to list the various options for reporting off of Hadoop (HDInsight, HDP, Cloudera) using Power BI Desktop and Excel.  Some of the data sources prompt you to choose the Data Connectivity mode of either Import or … Continue reading

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Azure Data Factory and SSIS compared

I see a lot of confusion when it comes to Azure Data Factory (ADF) and how it compares to SSIS.  It is not simply “SSIS in the cloud”.  See What is Azure Data Factory? for an overview of ADF, and I’ll assume … Continue reading

Posted in Azure Data Factory, SQLServerPedia Syndication, SSIS | 4 Comments

IoT Hub vs. Event Hub

There can sometimes be confusion, in IoT scenarios, between IoT Hub and Event Hub, as they can both be valid choices for streaming data ingestion.  My Microsoft colleague, Steve Busby, an IoT Technology Specialist, is here to clear up the … Continue reading

Posted in Azure, Cortana Intelligence Suite, SQLServerPedia Syndication | 1 Comment