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 DevTest Labs

I have been working at Microsoft now for 3 years and 4 months (side note: it’s by far the best company I have ever worked for).  You would think by now I know about every Azure product, but we release … Continue reading

Posted in Azure, SQLServerPedia Syndication | 2 Comments

Data Science Virtual Machine

The Data Science Virtual Machine (DSVM) is a customized VM image on Microsoft’s Azure cloud built specifically for doing data science.  It has many popular data science and other tools pre-installed and pre-configured to jump-start building intelligent applications for advanced … Continue reading

Posted in SQLServerPedia Syndication | 3 Comments

Data Warehouse Fast Track Reference Guide for SQL Server 2016

I had previously blogged about the Data Warehouse Fast Track for SQL Server 2016, a joint effort between Microsoft and its hardware partners to deliver validated, pre-configured solutions that reduce the complexity of implementing a data warehouse on SQL Server … Continue reading

Posted in Data warehouse, Fast Track, SQLServerPedia Syndication | 2 Comments

SSAS high availability

If you are looking at providing high availability (HA) for SSAS, here are 3 options: Install SSAS on a Windows Server Failover Cluster (WSFC) Here’s a good article. The main issue with this option is that SSAS isn’t cluster-aware, so … Continue reading

Posted in SQLServerPedia Syndication, SSAS | 5 Comments

SQL Data Warehouse reference architectures

With so many product options to choose from for building a big data solution in the cloud, such as SQL Data Warehouse (SQL DW), Azure Analysis Services (AAS), SQL Database (SQL DB), and Azure Data Lake (ADL), there are various combinations … Continue reading

Posted in Azure SQL DW, Data Lake, Data warehouse, SQLServerPedia Syndication | 6 Comments

Microsoft Build event announcements

Another Microsoft event and another bunch of exciting announcements.  At the Microsoft Build event this week, the major announcements in the data platform space were: Azure Cosmos DB Azure Cosmos DB is the next big leap in the evolution of … Continue reading

Posted in SQLServerPedia Syndication | 2 Comments

Power BI Premium, Report Server, Apps and API

Announced today are some really cool new Power BI features: Power BI Premium Previously available were two tiers, Power BI Free and Power BI Pro ($10/user/month).  The problem with Power BI Pro is that for large organizations, this can add … Continue reading

Posted in Power BI, SQLServerPedia Syndication | 15 Comments

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