Azure Changes, While I’m Working

Azure
My laptop is out for repair. I'm working currently on a Surface Pro instead. It's spurred me to do something I've been meaning to do anyway. I've started setting up a full demo & testing VM on Azure. I already had the VM up and running (it takes 5 minutes for crying out loud), but I hadn't bothered setting up Red Gate software on it and getting it fully prepped to support my work, demos, or whatever else I might need. But, I finally did. It's working out surprisingly well. I just have to remember to shut the silly thing down when I'm done with it or it does start to bite into my MSDN credit. Anyway... I was working on the VM for a big chunk of the day…
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Azure and Your MSDN Account

Azure
I've heard over and over again that the reason people don't want to learn Azure, to explore it, to understand where it's applicable to them and their business (and where it's not, because, it does have well-defined limitations) is because they don't want to pay for it. Fine. Don't. Do you have an MSDN account? What? You do? Then you have access to a credit in Azure and an account with a spending limit. Your credit level is dependent on what level of MSDN you currently subscribe to, but who cares. You not only will NOT pay anything to play in Azure, you will NEVER pay anything. You can't go beyond your limit. Want some more incentive (not that you should need any now)? Cool. Set up your Azure account…
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24 Hours of PASS Streaming Available

Azure, PASS
If you missed the 24 Hours of PASS Summit 2013 Preview, you missed some excellent sessions. I watched a few, but not all. But now, thanks to the wonders of modern technology, I can go back and catch the ones I missed. You can too. I'd like to call out my session, Be a Successful DBA in the World of Cloud and On-Premises Data. I know that my fellow DBAs and database developers are largely dismissive of Azure. I get it. But I really think you're missing out on this. It's another excellent tool in your toolbox that you need to start taking advantage of. Little things like getting a quick and easy installation of SQL Server 2014 or Windows Server 2012 R2 up and running. Helpful things like the…
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Be Cautious Offering Guidance

Azure, SQL Server, T-SQL
Guidance is hard. Seriously, you'd think it would be easy. You'd think you say things like, don't shrink your database, most tables should have a clustered index, never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line, don't mix sharks and tornados, and that would be it. You'd be done. But it's not that easy. Even worse, it's SHOCKINGLY easy to get stuff wrong. An example. I was looking at information over at Microsoft Developers Network (MSDN) in the SQL Server Books Online. I was reading through information about wait types when I found this little beauty: Occurs when trying to synchronize the query processor exchange iterator. Know what that is? Yeah, OK, a few of you who memorize wait stats do (shut up Tom), but most of us…
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Azure for Prototyping and Development

Azure
Psssttt! Developers. Man, have I got something good for you. Are your DBAs slowing down your development processes? Are they keeping you from flying down the track? Bypass them. Let's assume you're working in the Microsoft stack. Let's further assume you have an MSDN license. Guess what? That gives you access to Azure... hang on, come here. You want to hear this. Let me tell you a quick story. See, I'm not a developer (not anymore). I'm a DBA. Wait, wait, wait. I'm on your side. It's cool. I'm just like you guys, but in a different direction. See, I had a database designed and already up as a Windows Azure SQL Database. I'm working with a number of Boy Scouts on their Eagle projects. They're going around to all…
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24 Hours of Education

Azure, PASS
You absolutely need to learn more. I need to learn more (lots more). We all should be constantly learning more about our jobs, our businesses and the technology that makes it all happen. When presented with the opportunity, especially a free one, you should jump on it, with both feet. Here you go. Beginning at 12:00 GMT on the 31st of July you can attend the 24 Hours of PASS, for free. 24 Hours of PASS has been put on several years now in various forms. This year it's being put on as a "Summit Preview." What you're getting is 24 individual presentations by 24 different people on 24 different topics, all meant to whet your appetite for the PASS Summit. I'm quite privileged to get to take part this year.…
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Getting Started With SQL Server 2014 the Easy Way

Azure, PASS
You know you want to at least take a look at the new Client Technology Preview (CTP) of SQL Server 2014. I don't blame you either. I want to spend hours swimming through it too. But, you're thinking to yourself, "Heck, I'd have to download the silly thing, provision a new VM, walk through the install... Nah. Too much work." I don't blame you. I found myself on the road the day the software was released, so I was going to attempt to do all that work on a hotel wireless system. In short, I was going to have to wait, no options. Or were there? Actually, there is a much easier option. Azure Virtual Machines. And no, it's not that I can simply get a Windows Azure VM ready to go…
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I Don’t Care

Azure
It's funny how certain sentences can both accurately reflect a situation and communicate entirely the wrong message. When thinking about cloud-based data management, things come down to a simple, if misleading, statement; I don't care. I don't care about operating systems or servers or disks. I need to have a database and it needs to be available and I need a reasonable assurance of performance. Within those parameters, I just don't care if the OS is patched or not, if the SAN is configured perfectly. I could care less if there are appropriate alerts on the internal network switches. None of that matters to me a whit. I just don't care about any of that because I'm focused on building a database and writing code and getting an app online. The infrastructure just needs to…
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Azure First

Azure
Microsoft has been pretty clear about their commitment to the entire Azure infrastructure. The updates to Azure come out on a massively accelerated schedule. Because of this, they're doing lots of code on lots of things that may, one day, end up in your full blown SQL Server instance, but are currently only available in Windows Azure SQL Database. This is because of that accelerated schedule. It frees Microsoft developers up to experiment a little. I saw some evidence of it the other day. I had been working on a series of queries for the pre-conference seminar that I helped put on at TechEd (and one that I'm doing for the PASS Summit). When I write queries, I use SQL Prompt. Sorry to be plugging Red Gate products on the…
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Using PowerShell to move files to Azure Storage

Azure, PowerShell
I was searching all over the place to try to find out how to move files into Azure Storage. Most of the examples I could track down were for API calls through C#. There were very few examples using PowerShell, and most of those were for older versions of Azure. But, the one thing I've learned about Azure, it's a fast moving target. Sure enough, in March there were new PowerShell blob cmdlets released. This is great news. I was able to get this to work: [System.Reflection.Assembly]::LoadFrom("C:\Program Files\Microsoft SDKs\Windows Azure\.NET SDK\2012-10\bin\Microsoft.WindowsAzure.StorageClient.dll") $account = [Microsoft.WindowsAzure.CloudStorageAccount]::Parse("DefaultEndpointsProtocol=https;AccountName=mystorage;AccountKey=mykey") $client = [Microsoft.WindowsAzure.StorageClient.CloudStorageAccountStorageClientExtensions]::CreateCloudBlobClient($account) $blob = $client.GetBlockBlob('container\adw.bacpac') $blob.UploadFile("c:\bu\adw.bacpac") But let's face it, this code makes more sense and is a heck of lot easier to write: $context = New-AzureStorageContext -StorageAccountName mystorage -StorageAccountKey mykey Set-AzureStorageBlobContent -Blob "adw.bacpac" -Container…
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