PASS DBA Virtual Chapter Talk

Azure, PASS
I almost forgot to tell you about the Database Administration Virtual Chapter meeting next week, March 26th, 2014. I'll be doing a talk about query tuning in Windows Azure SQL Database. It's a talk I've given before (it was in the top 10 at the PASS Summit last year). Come find out why you'll need to tune queries in WASD, the tools you get, and the glorious fact that you'll actually be actively saving your business money by tuning queries! Click here now to register.
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Windows Azure Views

Azure
It's kind of fun to see Azure development artifacts on display. I've posted about them before, a couple of times. I'm starting to finally get systematized about the whole thing, just so I can see stuff as it changes rather than discover them by accident or get told about them by someone else. Here's a little query I'm running to see when system views were last modified: [crayon-5a6cf581576b2973518320/] The most recent stack of changes are here: I'll keep an eye on them to see what I can spot about interesting new functionality. I also compared the listing of all views in Azure to those on a SQL Server 2012 instance and came up with a list of differences. These are the system views that are only in Azure. The names…
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More Azure Goodies

Azure
Microsoft keeps sneaking little things under the door for Windows Azure SQL Database. This time it's a couple of new views, a system view and a Dynamic Management View (DMV); sys.resource_stats and sys.dm_operation_stats. But, I also learned another fun fact, not all this stuff rolls out at the same speed. For example, if I run sys.resource_stats on a database on a server located in the North Central US data center, the output looks like this: But, if I run the same query against the same view with a database in a data center in East Asia (I experiment with where I put things), it looks like this (click on it to expand it, probably want to do that into a second tab or window so you can refer to it…
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Premium Database on Azure

Azure
One of the things that can make Windows Azure SQL Databases (WASD) attractive is the fact that they run inside of a managed environment. But, that does mean that you're sharing resources with other databases. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but if people are extremely worried about performance, yet, still want to take advantage of all the cool stuff in WASD, there is a way to do this; Premium Databases. I requested access to the early access program and was able to get it. You can request it by clicking on this link and scrolling down to Premium Database. Once you get access you should see this in your list of servers: To create a Premium Database you just create a ┬ádatabase any way you would normally (T-SQL through…
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Developers Rate Azure One of Their Favorite Tools

Azure
Yeah, Azure. How we program, what we program and where we program is changing. All the time. This excellent article lays out a bunch of the trends that are going on within software these days. And one of the single biggest parts of this trend is the fact that more and more things are online. In the cloud, if you insist. Clearly, despite unusual (and I would argue, unreasoning) resistance from my fellow DBAs, Azure is absolutely becoming "a thing." If you're like me, as you sit around carefully weaving your buggy whips, you're also keeping an eye on the road, just in case you start to see more automobiles than horses. Maybe I'm located in a bad spot, but it's starting to look like a sixteen lane mega-highway outside…
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Windows Azure SQL Database and Throttling

Azure
When I present on Windows Azure SQL Database, one of the biggest concerns comes up around throttling. Just the concept that your queries might be shut down because they use too many resources tends to freak people out. I'm not sure why. I think we ought to have the same facility in the on-premises product. But, Microsoft recognizes that this is a concern and that people need better information. A new set of documentation around this topic was recently posted. Read Resource Management in Windows Azure SQL Database to get a great overview of how the throttling works and how to detect it. There is more and more information coming out on this all the time. I learned quite a few things from this documentation. Remember, the most important thing…
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Check Your Azure Account Usage

Azure
It is absolutely not cool or fun to pay money to learn new technology. One of the main complaints people had for learning Azure (and AWS for that matter) is that they had to register with a credit card and actually put their own money on the line to try stuff out. One could argue that maybe a cost to learning isn't necessarily a bad thing. However, there were a number of horror stories of people inadvertently being charged hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars because they didn't track their usage. If you register your Azure account through MSDN, that problem is completely eliminated. ┬áNo credit card at all, and a free account that can never cost you money. But, there is a budget, a cost limit, that you have…
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Get Started with Windows Azure SQL Database

Azure
Learning new things can be daunting. First, you have to come up with the spare time. Then you have track down resources. For computers, computing and programming, this is both extremely easy and extremely difficult. That difficulty is especially true when it comes to gathering resources for learning things that, while you learn, are potentially going to cost you money. It's a difficult decision to make to risk cash on exploring a new technology. Here's the good news, for several reasons, you don't need to sweat this to get going with Windows Azure SQL Database (WASD). A couple of years ago Jamie Thompson (b|t) set up an account on Azure, all on his own, that allowed people to connect up to it and play with a copy of the AdventureWorks…
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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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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.┬áBeginning 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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