quarta-feira, 10 de agosto de 2016

[From Technet] Five must-see speakers at the Microsoft Data Science Summit

The Microsoft Data Science Summit is filled with leading thinkers in big data, machine learning, AI, and open-source technologies. Join us, and get their insights and technical expertise as they discuss real-world challenges and innovative solutions emerging across data science. Here’s a sample of some of the speakers you’ll see—and what they’ll be talking about:

Rafal Lukawiecki, data scientist at Project Botticelli

Rafal will discuss the business opportunity of advanced analytics and the new landscape of data. He’ll speak about data science in practice and the cloud-based Cortana Intelligence Suite, especially Azure Machine Learning and the pros and cons of a variety of data storage approaches.

David Smith, R community lead at Microsoft

Whether it’s called data science, machine learning, or predictive analytics, the combination of new data sources and statistical modeling has produced some truly revolutionary applications. Many of these applications incorporate open-source technologies and research from academic institutions.

In his talk, David will share a few of the ways Microsoft is improving the lives of people around the world—and in particular, people with disabilities—by applying statistics, research, and open-source software in applications and devices. He’ll also share how you can develop such applications yourself, using the open-source R language with Microsoft’s advanced analytics products.

Danielle Dean, senior data scientist lead at Microsoft

Wee Hyong Tok, senior data science manager at Microsoft

How do businesses and data scientists work together to turn raw data into intelligent action? Why do some companies drown in volumes of data, while others thrive on turning the data into golden strategic advantages?

With Wee Hyong Tok and Danielle Dean, unlock the super powers that data scientists use to turn raw data into big results. This talk will draw on practical experiences from working on various exciting data science projects, such as:

  • Understanding the galaxies by working with citizen astronomers to create labeled datasets, and performing classification of the galaxies
  • Understanding the brain and figuring out how to decode signals from the brain using machine learning
  • Empowering aero engine manufacturers to improve aircraft efficiency, drive up aircraft availability, and reduce engine maintenance cost

The session is targeted at data scientists, developers, and database professionals with a keen interest in evolving existing skillsets and creating new value for their organizations.

Frank Seide, principal researcher at Microsoft Research

This talk will introduce CNTK, Microsoft’s cutting-edge, deep-learning toolkit.

CNTK is used to train and evaluate deep neural networks used in Microsoft products, such as the Cortana speech models. It supports feed-forward, convolutional, and recurrent networks for speech, image, and text workloads.

Frank, a key contributor to the development of CNTK, will walk us through it. He’ll discuss what you can and cannot do with CNTK, what a typical use might look like, how it works, and what algorithms it implements.

Join us. Connect in person—and dive deep.

The Microsoft Data Science Summit includes three in-depth tracks you can choose from to get the expertise you want: Advanced Analytics, Big Data, and Solutions. So if you’re a data scientist, big data engineer, or machine learning practitioner who is looking to expand your knowledge with expert insights, join us in Atlanta, September 26–27. But register soon. The summit only happens once a year, and it’s just around the corner!

> Register for Microsoft Data Science Summit



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quarta-feira, 3 de agosto de 2016

[From Technet] ODBC Driver 13.1 for SQL Server released

We are pleased to announce the full release of the Microsoft ODBC Driver 13.1 for SQL Server. The updated driver provides robust data access to Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Azure SQL Database for C/C++ based applications.

What’s new

Always Encrypted

You can now use Always Encrypted with the Microsoft ODBC Driver 13.1 for SQL Server. Always Encrypted is a new SQL Server 2016 and Azure SQL Database security feature that prevents sensitive data from being seen in plaintext in a SQL instance. You can now transparently encrypt the data in the application, so that SQL Server or Azure SQL Database will only handle the encrypted data and not plaintext values. If a SQL instance or host machine is compromised, an attacker can only access ciphertext of your sensitive data. Use the ODBC Driver 13.1 to encrypt plaintext data and store the encrypted data in SQL Server 2016 or Azure SQL Database. Likewise, use the driver to decrypt your encrypted data.

Azure Active Directory (AAD)

AAD authentication is a mechanism of connecting to Azure SQL Database v12 using identities in AAD. Use AAD authentication to centrally manage identities of database users and as an alternative to SQL Server authentication. The ODBC Driver 13.1 allows you to specify your AAD credentials in the ODBC connection string to connect to Azure SQL DB.

Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs)

IDNs allow your web server to use Unicode characters for server name, enabling support for more languages. Using the new Microsoft ODBC Driver 13.1 for SQL Server, you can convert a Unicode serverName to ASCII compatible encoding (Punycode) when required during a connection.

AlwaysOn Availability Groups (AG)

The driver now supports transparent connections to AlwaysOn Availability Groups. The driver quickly discovers the current AlwaysOn topology of your server infrastructure and connects to the current active server transparently.

Note: You can also download ODBC Driver 13 for SQL Server from the download center. ODBC Driver 13 for SQL Server was released with SQL Server 2016 and does not include new features such as Always Encrypted and Azure Active Directory Authentication.

Next steps

Download the ODBC Driver 13.1 for SQL Server.

Roadmap

We are committed to bringing more feature support for connecting to SQL Server, Azure SQL Database and Azure SQL DW. We invite you to explore the latest the Microsoft Data Platform has to offer via a trial of Azure SQL Database or by trying the new SQL Server 2016.

Please stay tuned for upcoming releases that will have additional feature support. This applies to our wide range of client drivers including PHP 7.0, JDBC and ADO.NET which are already available.



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sexta-feira, 29 de julho de 2016

[From Technet] Don’t miss SQL Server Geeks Annual Summit 2016!

This post was co-authored by Rimma Nehme, Technical Assistant, Data Group.

I am really excited to both attend and speak at the SQL Server Geeks Annual Summit (#SSGAS2016), Asia’s Premier Data & Analytics Conference taking place on 11-13 August in Bangalore, India. SQLServerGeeks Annual Summit 2016 is a full 3-day conference with more than 100 breakout sessions and deep dive pre-con sessions on SQL Server, BI & Analytics, Cloud, Big Data, and related technologies.

This is a truly unique conference (see this video), comprised with multiple tracks on Database Management, Database Development, Business Intelligence, Advanced Analytics, Cloud, and Big Data. The summit attracts SQL experts from around the globe. SSGAS 2016 is the only Data/Analytics event in Asia where product teams from Microsoft’s Data Group fly down from Redmond to deliver advanced sessions on the latest technologies. Apart from engineering, the conference gets full participation from the SQL CAT & TIGER teams of Microsoft.

Last year’s summit was a great success, and you can see some of the feedback below.

Why should you attend?

•    To get real-world training from industry experts.
•    To hear a very thought-provoking keynote by Joseph Sirosh, CVP of Data Group at Microsoft.
•    To learn directly from our engineering and customer experts on how you can build data-driven intelligent solutions, on-premises and in the cloud.
•    To learn how SQL Server 2016 with R, Hadoop, and other advanced technologies can drive new and exciting services for your customers.
•    To network and connect with the MVPs and MCMs.
•    To talk directly to our product team members.
•    To ask questions during Open-Talks and Chalk-Talks.
•    To learn about Advanced Analytics, Cloud, and Big Data.
•    To see expert-level demo-oriented sessions.
•    To learn about the latest trends in the Data & Analytics world.
•    To hear me talk about our Planet-Scale NoSQL DocumentDB.
•    Do you really need to hear more reasons to attend? Smile

I invite you to watch the #SSGAS2016 hashtag on Twitter for new and exciting updates. Hopefully I’ll see some of you there!



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quinta-feira, 28 de julho de 2016

[From Technet] Join us at the Microsoft Data Science Summit

Here’s your chance to dive deeper into the new analytics capabilities in SQL Server 2016: The Microsoft Data Science Summit.

On September 26 – 27, the Microsoft Data Science Summit will host an interactive event on the disruptive technologies and innovative solutions in big data, machine learning and the Internet of Things.
It’s a two-day intensive event featuring:

  • SQL Server sessions including U-SQL as the Choice for Processing Massive Batch Workloads and Scalable Data Science in Azure Data Lake with U-SQL: An End-to-End Walkthrough
  • Hands-on labs with Cortana Intelligence Suite, Microsoft R Server, SQL Server 2016, and open-source technologies
    Real code, real products, and real-world examples
  • Keynotes and talks from industry visionaries
  • Incredible demos
  • Relaxed opportunities to connect with peers and Microsoft product experts

Join us. See what’s possible in big data, analytics and AI, now.

So if you’re a data scientist, big data engineer, machine learning specialist, or team leader who wants insights into the latest big data, machine learning, and advanced analytics technologies, join us. We’ll have three in-depth tracks you can choose from to get the knowledge and hands-on experience you want for your business: Advanced Analytics, Big Data, and Solutions. Take a look at all three tracks to find the best match for your needs.

Register soon. September 26 – 27 is approaching fast. We look forward to talking data with you in Atlanta!

> Register for Microsoft Data Science Summit



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quarta-feira, 27 de julho de 2016

[From Technet] ODBC Driver 13.1 for SQL Server released

We are pleased to announce the full release of the Microsoft ODBC Driver 13.1 for SQL Server. The updated driver provides robust data access to Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Azure SQL Database for C/C++ based applications.

What’s new

Always Encrypted

You can now use Always Encrypted with the Microsoft ODBC Driver 13.1 for SQL Server. Always Encrypted is a new SQL Server 2016 and Azure SQL Database security feature that prevents sensitive data from being seen in plaintext in a SQL instance. You can now transparently encrypt the data in the application, so that SQL Server or Azure SQL Database will only handle the encrypted data and not plaintext values. If a SQL instance or host machine is compromised, an attacker can only access ciphertext of your sensitive data. Use the ODBC Driver 13.1 to encrypt plaintext data and store the encrypted data in SQL Server 2016 or Azure SQL Database. Likewise, use the driver to decrypt your encrypted data.

Azure Active Directory (AAD)

AAD authentication is a mechanism of connecting to Azure SQL Database v12 using identities in AAD. Use AAD authentication to centrally manage identities of database users and as an alternative to SQL Server authentication. The ODBC Driver 13.1 allows you to specify your AAD credentials in the ODBC connection string to connect to Azure SQL DB.

Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs)

IDNs allow your web server to use Unicode characters for server name, enabling support for more languages. Using the new Microsoft ODBC Driver 13.1 for SQL Server, you can convert a Unicode serverName to ASCII compatible encoding (Punycode) when required during a connection.

AlwaysOn Availability Groups (AG)

The driver now supports transparent connections to AlwaysOn Availability Groups. The driver quickly discovers the current AlwaysOn topology of your server infrastructure and connects to the current active server transparently.

Note: ODBC Driver 13 for SQL Server was released with SQL Server 2016 RTW. For new features such as Always Encrypted and Azure Active Directory authentication use ODBC Driver 13.1 for SQL Server.

Next steps

Download ODBC Driver 13.1 for SQL Server.

Roadmap

We are committed to bringing more feature support for connecting to SQL Server, Azure SQL Database and Azure SQL DW. We invite you to explore the latest the Microsoft Data Platform has to offer via a trial of Microsoft Azure SQL Database or by trying the new SQL Server 2016.

Please stay tuned for upcoming releases that will have additional feature support. This applies to our wide range of client drivers including PHP 7.0, JDBC and ADO.NET which are already available.



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quarta-feira, 20 de julho de 2016

[From Technet] Microsoft drivers 4.0 for PHP for SQL Server with PHP 7.0 support released

Dear PHP Community,

We wanted to extend a massive ‘thank you’ for providing feedback for our preview releases over the last few weeks. We’ve been working hard to incorporate the feedback you have provided us. You will find that we’ve fixed many issues you reported, and we are proud to be able to release the final build of our 4.0 drivers. We will continue to fix bugs and ship regular updates to the GitHub repository. The new driver enables access to SQL Server 2008+, Azure SQL Database and Azure SQL DW from any PHP 7 application.

The major highlights of this release include: support for SQL Server 2016, PHP7, bug fixes, and better test coverage.

Improvements from our previous release:

  • Fixed a heap corruption when binding parameters in a prepare statement with error
  • Fixed leaks in SQLSRV streams and output parameters handling
  • Fixed leaks in SQLSRV fetch object
  • Fixed leaks in SQLSRV binding object parameters
  • Fixed leaks in SQLSRV buffered result set
  • Fixed leaks in SQLSRV getting datetime and stream fields
  • Fixed leaks in PDO_SQLSRV field cache
  • Fixed leaks in PDO_SQLSRV construct when connecting with error
  • Fixed leaks in PDO_SQLSRV exception handling

We will continue to make bug fixes and adding new features on your feedback on GitHub.

Future plans

Going forward we plan on improving the current Linux port, expand SQL 16 Feature Support (example: Always Encrypted), build verification/fundamental tests, and bug fixes reported on GitHub.

Getting the product ready for release

You can find the latest bits on our Github repository, at our existing address. We provide support for any bugs reported on our Github Issues page. As always, we welcome contributions of any kind, be they Pull Requests, or Feature Enhancements. Additionally, you can also get the pre-packaged exe. from the Download Center.

I’d like to thank everyone on behalf of the team for supporting us in our endeavors to provide you with a high-quality driver. Happy downloading!

Meet Bhagdev (meetb@microsoft.com)

MSFTlovesPHP



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segunda-feira, 18 de julho de 2016

[From Technet] SQL Server 2016 posts world record TPC-H 10 TB benchmark

SQL Server 2016 delivers unparalleled performance and security built-in for your most mission critical transactional systems and data warehouses, along with an integrated business intelligence and advanced analytics solution for building intelligent applications.  Blazing-fast performance is key to ensuring you can deliver a flawless transactional experience while at the same time support demanding real-time operational analytics over the data as fast as the data is coming in.

Recently, Lenovo announced the number one TPC-H 10TB benchmark world record1 using SQL Server 2016 and Windows Server 2016 on Lenovo System x3850 X6 using the latest the latest Intel Xeon E7 processor technology. In May 2016, Lenovo also published a new number one TPC-H 30TB world record2 using SQL Server 2016 and Windows Server 2016 on Lenovo System x3950 X6. These results, in addition to recent benchmarks by software and hardware partners, as well as key applications, show that SQL Server 2016 is the fastest in-memory database on the planet for your applications.3

SQL Server 2016 owns the top TPC-E performance benchmarks4 for transaction processing, the top TPC-H performance benchmarks for data warehousing, and the top performance benchmarks with leading business applications. PROS Holdings uses SQL Server 2016’s superior performance and built-in R Service to deliver advanced analytics more than 100x faster than before, resulting in higher profits for their customers. KPMG, a leader in audit, tax, and advisory solution, posted 2.5x faster execution time with ten times the table compression with their solution using SQL Server 2016.

Customers can also gain tremendous performance improvement by simply upgrading to SQL Server 2016 without application changes (e.g. queries will run up to 34x faster)5. In addition to leading performance benchmarks, SQL Server 2016 also delivers top price/performance for both workloads providing customers with significantly reduced total cost of ownership.

Easily experience SQL Server 2016 by creating a test environment using an Azure SQL VM. You can also experience the full features through the free developer edition (you will be prompted to sign in to Visual Studio Dev Essentials before you can download SQL Server 2016 Developer Edition). Visit SQL Server 2016 to learn more about new features and download the SQL Server 2016 e-book.

SQL Server 2016 performance

 

1Non-clustered TPC-H 10TB. http://ift.tt/29P8jHJ. http://www.tpc.org/3325.

2Non-clustered TPC-H 30 TB. http://ift.tt/29Vo2Zw. http://www.tpc.org/3321.

3Learn more about how your organization can scale to handle the increasing amount of data being stored in modern data warehouses by reading the Intel whitepaper entitled “Accelerating Large-Scale Business Analytics,” which illustrates the integration of Microsoft SQL Server 2016 and Intel® Xeon® E7 platform driving advanced analytics on a large 100TB dataset.

4http://ift.tt/29P7T46

5Based on internal tests from Microsoft, customers who upgrade to SQL Server 2016 will also experience tremendous performance gain including faster real-time analytics with up to 34x performance on in-memory columnstore queries, faster synchronization and greater availability with up to seven times faster AlwaysOn throughput, 3.6x faster reporting on AlwaysOn replicas and seven to ten times faster on database maintenance (DBCC).



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quinta-feira, 14 de julho de 2016

[From Technet] Microsoft JDBC Driver 6.0 for SQL Server is now released!

This post was authored by Andrea Lam, Program Manager, SQL Server.

We are pleased to announce the full release of the Microsoft JDBC Driver 6.0 for SQL Server! The updated driver provides robust data access to Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Azure SQL Database for Java-based applications.

What’s new

Always Encrypted

You can now use Always Encrypted with the Microsoft JDBC Driver 6.0 for SQL Server. Always Encrypted is a new SQL Server 2016 and Azure SQL Database security feature that prevents sensitive data from being seen in plaintext in a SQL instance. You can now transparently encrypt the data in the application, so that SQL Server or Azure SQL Database will only handle the encrypted data and not plaintext values. If a SQL instance or host machine is compromised, an attacker can only access ciphertext of your sensitive data. Use the JDBC Driver 6.0 to encrypt plaintext data and store the encrypted data in SQL Server 2016 or Azure SQL Database. Likewise, use the driver to decrypt your encrypted data.

Azure Active Directory (AAD)

AAD authentication is a mechanism of connecting to Azure SQL Database v12 using identities in AAD. Use AAD authentication to centrally manage identities of database users and as an alternative to SQL Server authentication. The JDBC Driver 6.0 allows you to specify your AAD credentials in the JDBC connection string to connect to Azure SQL DB.

Table-Valued Parameters (TVPs)

TVP support allows a client application to send parameterized data to the server more efficiently by sending multiple rows to the server with a single call. You can use the JDBC Driver 6.0 to encapsulate rows of data in a client application and send the data to the server in a single parameterized command.

Parameterized queries

Extended support for retrieving parameter metadata with prepared statements for complex queries such as sub-queries and/or joins.

Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs)

IDNs allow your web server to use Unicode characters for server name, enabling support for more languages. Using the new Microsoft JDBC Driver 6.0 for SQL Server, you can convert a Unicode serverName to ASCII compatible encoding (Punycode) when required during a connection.

AlwaysOn Availability Groups (AG)

The driver now supports transparent connections to AlwaysOn Availability Groups. The driver quickly discovers the current AlwaysOn topology of your server infrastructure and connects to the current active server transparently.

Next steps

You can download the JDBC Driver 6.0 for SQL Server here.

Learn how to pick the right JDBC jar file based on your system requirements here and read up on more documentation here.

Roadmap

We are committed to bringing more feature support for connecting to SQL Server, Azure SQL Database and Azure SQL DW. We invite you to explore the latest the Microsoft Data Platform has to offer via a trial of Microsoft Azure SQL Database or by trying the new SQL Server 2016.

Please stay tuned for upcoming releases that will have additional feature support. This applies to our wide range of client drivers including PHP 7.0, Node.js, ODBC and ADO.NET which are already available.



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terça-feira, 12 de julho de 2016

[From Technet] SQL Server 2014 SP2 is now available

The SQL Server team is excited to bring you SQL Server 2014 Service Pack 2 (SP2). This service pack is available on the Microsoft Download Center and will also be available on MSDN, MBS/Partner Source and VLSC in the coming weeks. As part of our continued commitment to software excellence for our customers, this upgrade is available to all customers with existing SQL Server 2014 deployments.

SQL Server 2014 SP2 includes a rollup of released hotfixes as well as more than twenty improvements centered around performance, scalability and diagnostics based on feedback from customers and the SQL community. These improvements enable SQL Server 2014 to perform faster and scale out of the box on modern hardware design, and showcase the SQL Server Team’s commitment to provide continued value into in-market releases.

SQL Server 2014 SP2 will include:

  • All fixes and CUs for SQL 2014 released to date.
  • Performance, scale and supportability improvements.
  • New improvements based on connect feedback items filed by the SQL community.
  • Improvements originally introduced in SQL 2012 SP3, after SQL 2014 SP1 was released.

Find more information on SQL Server 2014 SP2 by reading the SQL Server Release Services Blog post and What’s New in SQL Server 2014 SP2. To obtain SQL Server 2014 SP2, the options below are available:

SQL Server 2014 SP2

SQL Server 2014 SP2 Express

SQL Server 2014 SP2 Report Builder

SQL Server 2014 SP2 Master KB

SQL Server 2014 SP2 Feature Packs

SP2 Reporting Services Add-in for Microsoft SharePoint 

SP2 Semantic Language Statistics 



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[From Technet] The elastic future of data warehousing

This post was authored by Joseph Sirosh, Corporate Vice President, Data Group.

Announcing the general availability of Azure SQL Data Warehouse, an elastic, parallel, columnar data warehouse as a service.

A defining characteristic of cloud computing is elasticity – the ability to rapidly provision and release resources to match what a workload requires – so that a user pays no more and no less than what they need to for the task at hand. Such just-in-time provisioning can save customers enormous amounts of money when their workloads are intermittent and heavily spiked. And in the modern enterprise, there are few workloads that have a desperate need for such elastic capabilities as data warehousing. Traditionally built on-premises with very expensive hardware and software, most enterprise Data Warehouse (DW) systems have very low utilization except during peak periods of data loading, transformation and report generation.

With the general availability of the Azure SQL Data Warehouse, we are delivering the true promise of cloud elasticity to data warehousing. It is a fully managed DW as a Service that you can provision in minutes and scale up to 60 times larger in seconds. With a few clicks in the Azure Portal, you can launch a data warehouse, and start analyzing or querying data at the scale of hundreds of terabytes. Our architecture separates compute and storage so that you can independently scale them, and use just the right amount of each at any given time. A very unique pause feature allows you to suspend compute in seconds and resume when needed while your data remains intact in Azure storage. And SQL Data Warehouse offers an availability SLA of 99.9% – the only public cloud data warehouse service that offers an availability SLA to customers.

According to Gartner, “For years, many data warehousing vendors have been operating from a playbook of tightly balanced storage and compute configuration units. Cloud architectures are forcing a shift in this approach, with vendors starting to decouple storage and compute, and allowing them to independently scale. We believe this approach to be the correct one, and that other vendors in the space will need to adopt this methodology if they are to stay competitive.1

Azure SQL Data Warehouse uses an elastic massively parallel processing (MPP) architecture built on top of the industry-leading SQL Server 2016 database engine. It allows you to interactively query and analyze data using the broad set of existing SQL-based tools and business intelligence applications that you use today. It uses column stores for high performance analytics and storage compression, a rich collection of aggregation capabilities of SQL Server, and state of the art query optimization capabilities. With built-in capabilities such as Polybase, it allows you to query Hadoop systems directly, enabling a single SQL-based query surface for all your data.

Azure SQL Data Warehouse is also part of the Cortana Intelligence Suite, which is a fully managed big data and advanced analytics suite to transform your data into intelligent action. It easily integrates with components of the suite such as Azure Data Factory for data integration pipelines, with Azure Machine Learning for predictive analytics, Power BI for business intelligence, HDInsight for big data insights, R and Spark for big data analytics. For an example of such integration, see the airline industry sample on PowerBI.com. This shows a Power BI report based on a real world predictive maintenance solution for a major airline. The data for this report comes from a variety of sources including IoT streams from aircraft engines, air traffic control information, route restrictions and fuel usage data. All this is integrated and landed into a Azure SQL DW and processed with Azure Machine Learning to detect operational anomalies and trends.  The report is “live” and you can interact with it and experience Power BI in conjunction with Azure SQL DW and Azure ML.

The distinct capabilities of Azure SQL Data Warehouse include:

Data warehousing as a service. Gone are the pains associated with administering, managing, patching and manual tuning of data warehouses. There are no knobs to turn, no physical or virtual infrastructure to manage and the service is simple, resilient and secure with reliable storage. This enables the focus on driving the analytics and getting the value from your data rather than on managing your data warehousing software and hardware; Azure SQL Data Warehouse handles it all for you.

Unmatched security and access control. With malicious and even insider attacks becoming a key concern for enterprises, an alarm system over your critical enterprise data is a must have to avoid serious damage to your business and reputation. Only Azure SQL Data Warehouse delivers auditing and threat detection built into the service, with advanced machine learning to detect abnormal query patterns and alert you of potential security issues before it is too late. Data at rest is protected by Transparent Data Encryption.

Additionally, SQL Data Warehouse is the only cloud data warehouse service that works seamlessly with Azure Active Directory which currently supports 1.3 billion daily authentications across 600 million user accounts. This enables Single Sign-On (SSO) and role-based access control. You can even have finer-granularity permissions that let you control which operations a user can do on individual columns, tables, views, procedures, and other objects in the database. These features further protect data by ensuring just the right users have access to the right data—a critical capability when centralizing vast amounts of proprietary and sensitive data for analytics in an enterprise.

Multidimensional elasticity. Currently the majority of cloud database and data warehouse services are provisioned with fixed storage and compute resources. Resizing of resources typically compromises availability and/or performance. This means that service users typically end up with over-provisioned and expensive underutilized resources to accommodate possible peak demand or in the worst case, under-provisioned resources unable to handle sudden work overloads.

Unlike existing cloud services which can take anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple of days to do the data warehouse resizing, SQL Data Warehouse’s unique elastic technology decouples storage and compute, enabling each layer to become independently scalable almost instantaneously. This makes it possible to provision one or more data warehouses in minutes, and then independently scale users, data, and workloads in seconds to optimally match the demand. Further, elastic scaling also makes it possible to simultaneously load and query data, because every user and workload can have exactly the resources needed, without contention, and with minimal impact to production queries.

Getting featured in the iOS App Store was a big deal for a small company like ours as our users increased from 3,000 to 300,000 in 48 hours. To keep up with this 100x increase in workload, we simply added data warehouse compute capacity by moving a slider and our services just scaled in minutes—we didn’t miss an insight,” notes Paul Ohanian, CTO, PoundSand.

Save as you go, with fast pause and resume. Starting and shutting data warehouse clusters may take a considerable amount of time. Leaving the data warehouse running continuously incurs potentially high and unnecessary costs, especially if you are running your jobs periodically and the data warehouse is sitting idle in-between for extended periods of time. Now you can pause your data warehouse for the required time, saving compute costs, and quickly resume it later when needed. You can even write a PowerShell script, then automate the schedule with Azure Automation to automatically pause or resume the cluster based on the specific needs of your business.

When we learned about the pause and resume capabilities of SQL Data Warehouse and integrated services like Azure Machine Learning and Data Factory, we switched from AWS Redshift, migrating over 7TB of uncompressed data over a week for the simple reasons of saving money and enabling a more straight-forward implementation for advanced analytics. To meet our business intelligence requirements, we load data once or twice a month and then build reports for our customers. Not having the data warehouse service running all the time is key for our business and our bottom line,” said Bill Sabo, managing director of information technology at Integral Analytics.

Seamless querying of structured and unstructured data. An increasing amount of data in today’s rapidly digitizing world is unstructured data such as clickstreams, sensor data, location data, customer support emails and chat transcripts, much of which is harnessed for analysis in big data systems. The ability to integrate and join such data with your core relational enterprise data is often a highly desired capability. With built-in PolyBase technology, SQL Data Warehouse allows you to access and combine both non-relational and relational data. You can run queries on external data in Hadoop or Azure blob storage using familiar SQL, often without making any changes to the existing queries. Underneath, the queries are optimized for optimal execution without any burden on the user for tuning. Furthermore, you can quickly import and export data back and forth between relational tables in SQL Data Warehouse and non-relational data in Hadoop or Azure Blob Storage using simple T-SQL statements. The rich SQL programmability support (stored procs, functions and PolyBase) empower users to query the data however they want.

Christoph Leinemann, senior director data engineering at Jet.com says, “with Azure SQL Data Warehouse, we use PolyBase to ingest data from HDInsight then run thousands of analytical queries per day over tens of billions of records—about 20TB of data. This enables us to monitor price history and market dynamics to adjust pricing and ensure we’re offering our customers the best price.”

Integration with the SQL Server tool ecosystem you already use and love. Azure SQL Data Warehouse already fits into the tool ecosystem you already use, with native JBDC and ODBC connectors, and with a broad set of independent software vendors and partners who already support SQL Server, such as Altyrex, Attunity, Informatica, Redgate and SnapLogic. For BI capabilities, it integrates with the industry-leading Power BI service in Azure, and even with Microsoft Excel. For a beautifully visualized walkthrough of Microsoft Power BI and SQL Server 2016 Reporting Services including Mobile BI, please watch this demo. Microsoft also works with a set of popular BI partners to ensure the tools your teams use work great with SQL Data Warehouse, including Looker Data Sciences, Tableau Software and Qlik Technologies.

Experience modern data warehousing in the cloud for yourself

Today we have thousands of customers who are already using Azure SQL Data Warehouse. Many of these customers are experiencing significant performance gains over existing multi-million dollar data warehouses on-premises. With SQL Data Warehouse, some multi-hour queries in our customer environments finish now in under an hour, and some queries that took five to ten minutes now complete in seconds. Get started with SQL Data Warehouse today and experience the speed, scale, elasticity, security and ease of use of a true modern data warehouse as a service for yourself.

– Joseph

 

1Source: Gartner, The Data Warehouse and DMSA Market: Current and Future States, 201, June 16, 2016.



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