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.

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

Posted in Data Lake, Data warehouse, SQLServerPedia Syndication | Comments Off on Data Virtualization vs Data Warehouse

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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4TB disk sizes for Azure IaaS VMs available

Microsoft has introduced two new disk sizes for Azure IaaS VMs in P40 (2TB) and P50 (4TB) for both managed and unmanaged Premium Disks and S40 (2TB) and S50 (4TB) for both managed and unmanaged Standard Disks.  This enables customers … Continue reading

Posted in Azure, SQLServerPedia Syndication | 2 Comments

Data lake details

I have blogged before about data lakes (see What is a data lake? and Why use a data lake?), and wanted to provide more details on this popular technology, some of which I cover in my presentation “Big data architectures and the data lake“. … Continue reading

Posted in Azure Data Lake, Data Lake, SQLServerPedia Syndication | 3 Comments

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