SQL SERVER – Fast Track Data Warehouse for SQL Server 2008

I recently attended a wonderful training session organized by Microsoft on Fast Track Data Warehouse Reference Architectures. If you are regular reader of my blog, you will be well aware of the fact that I am more of the Relational guy than a Business Intelligence professional. I was initially a bit skeptic about this training. However, once I start learning about it, to my surprise, I thought that I am the perfect guy to learn this. In fact, I realized that few of the tricks which this course is suggesting have already been implemented in my earlier consulting assignments.

Fast Track Data Warehouse is a very unique effort by Microsoft, where few Reference Architectures which offer scalability and reliability to huge database are proposed. Fast Track Datasheet provides some excellent points about this reference architecture. I am listing few of the same here.

  • Scale from 4 up to 48 Terabytes using compression capabilities in SQL Server 2008 Enterprise
  • Choose from industry-standard hardware from Dell, HP, Bull, IBM, EMC and other leading vendors
  • Pre-configured servers, storage and networking, specifically balanced and optimized for warehousing
  • Implement an enterprise-class solution for less than one-third the price of a comparable Oracle system
  • Fast Track Data Warehouse has a primary emphasis on eliminating potential performance bottlenecks.
  • Optimized for sequential IO rather than random IO, each Fast Track Data Warehouse is designed to provide up to 200 MB/s per CPU core

The Fast Track approach derives its strength from the advanced data warehouse enhancements included in SQL Server 2008 Enterprise such as compression, parallel partitioning and star join query optimization

    Well, I think it is great effort by Microsoft and I must express deep gratitude to Microsoft for giving me opportunity to learn this unique initiative. I clearly see that in near future, lots of Data Warehousing solutions will be switching to this solution. You can read more about this reference architecture over here. The image used in blog post is taken from MS official site of Fast Track.

    Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.SQLAuthority.com)

    SQLAuthority News – Free eBook Download – Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2

    Microsoft Press has published FREE eBook on the most awaiting release of SQL Server 2008 R2. The book is written by Ross Mistry (@rossmistry) and Stacia Misner. Ross is my personal friend and one of the most active book writer in SQL Server Domain. When I see his name on any book, I am sure that it will be high quality and easy to read book.

    Ross has written many other books, which I am big fan of as well.

    The details about the book is here:

    Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2, by Ross Mistry and Stacia Misner

    The book contains 10 chapters and 216 pages.

    PART I   Database Administration

    CHAPTER 1   SQL Server 2008 R2 Editions and Enhancements
    CHAPTER 2   Multi-Server Administration
    CHAPTER 3   Data-Tier Applications
    CHAPTER 4   High Availability and Virtualization Enhancements
    CHAPTER 5   Consolidation and Monitoring

    PART II   Business Intelligence Development

    CHAPTER 6   Scalable Data Warehousing
    CHAPTER 7   Master Data Services
    CHAPTER 8   Complex Event Processing with StreamInsight
    CHAPTER 9   Reporting Services Enhancements
    CHAPTER 10   Self-Service Analysis with PowerPivot

    More detail about the book is listed here.

    You can download the ebook in XPS format here and in PDF format here.

    Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.SQLAuthority.com)

    SQL SERVER – What is MDS? – Master Data Services in Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2

    What is MDS?

    Master Data Services helps enterprises standardize the data people rely on to make critical business decisions. With Master Data Services, IT organizations can centrally manage critical data assets company wide and across diverse systems, enable more people to securely manage master data directly, and ensure the integrity of information over time. (Source: Replace with Microsoft)

    Today I will be talking about the same subject at Microsoft TechEd India. If you want to learn about how to standardize your data and apply the business rules to validate data you must attend my session. MDS is very interesting concept, I will cover super short but very interesting 10 quick slides about this subject. I will make sure in very first 20 mins, you will understand following topics

    • Introduction to Master Data Management
      • What is Master Data and Challenges
      • MDM Challenges and Advantage
    • Microsoft Master Data Services
      • Benefits and Key Features
      • Uses of MDS
      • Capabilities
    • Key Features of MDS

    This slides decks will be followed by around 30 mins demo which will have story of entity, hierarchies, versions, security, consolidation and collection. I will be tell this story keeping business rules in center. We take one business rule which will be simple validation rule and will make it much more complex and yet very useful to product.

    I will also demonstrate few real life scenario where I will be talking about MDS and its usage.

    Do not miss this session. At the end of session there will be book awarded to best participant.

    My session details:

    Session: Master Data Services in Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2
    Date: April 12, 2010  Time: 2:30pm-3:30pm

    SQL Server Master Data Services will ship with SQL Server 2008 R2 and will improve Microsoft’s platform appeal. This session provides an in depth demonstration of MDS features and highlights important usage scenarios. Master Data Services enables consistent decision making by allowing you to create, manage and propagate changes from single master view of your business entities. Also with MDS – Master Data-hub which is the vital component helps ensure reporting consistency across systems and deliver faster more accurate results across the enterprise. We will talk about establishing the basis for a centralized approach to defining, deploying, and managing master data in the enterprise.

    Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.SQLAuthority.com)

    SQLAuthority News – Interesting Whitepaper – We Loaded 1TB in 30 Minutes with SSIS, and So Can You

    We Loaded 1TB in 30 Minutes with SSIS, and So Can You
    SQL Server Technical Article
    Writers: Len Wyatt, Tim Shea, David Powell
    Published: March 2009

    In February 2008, Microsoft announced a record-breaking data load using Microsoft SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS): 1 TB of data in less than 30 minutes. That data load, using SQL Server Integration Services, was 30% faster than the previous best time using a commercial ETL tool. This paper outlines what it took: the software, hardware, and configuration used. We will describe what we did to achieve that result, and offer suggestions for how to relate these techniques to typical scenarios. Even for customers who don’t have needs quite like this benchmark, such efforts can teach a lot about getting optimal performance.

    Read the white paper here.

    Abstract courtesy Microsoft

    Reference : Pinal Dave (http://blog.SQLAuthority.com)

    SQLAuthority News – SQL Server 2008 R2 Update for Developers Training Kit (March 2010 Update)

    Note: Download SQL Server 2008 R2 Update for Developers Training Kit (March 2010 Update) Authored by Microsoft

    SQL Server 2008 R2 offers an impressive array of capabilities for developers that build upon key innovations introduced in SQL Server 2008. The SQL Server 2008 R2 Update for Developers Training Kit is ideal for developers who want to understand how to take advantage of the key improvements introduced in SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2 in their applications, as well as for developers who are new to SQL Server. The training kit is brought to you by Microsoft Developer and Platform Evangelism.

    The training kit is designed for the following technical roles:

    • Developers who build applications for the Microsoft platform.
    • Microsoft evangelists, technical specialists and consultants.

    Download SQL Server 2008 R2 Update for Developers Training Kit (March 2010 Update)

    Abstract courtesy Microsoft

    Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.SQLAuthority.com)

    SQLAuthority News – Office 2010 Readiness Check – Are you ready for Office 2010?

    PowerPivot for Excel is a data analysis tool that delivers unmatched computational power directly within the application users already know and love—Microsoft Excel. Office 2010 is the next version of Office 2010. We all know Office 2010 is on the verge of getting released and the reviews available online say that it’s a phenomenal product.

    My friend Vijay Raj has written excellent article on Office 2010 Readiness Check. Vijay is a Microsoft MVP, focusing on Application Setup and Deployment. He is also a Springboard Series Technical Expert Panel member for Windows 7.  He is one among the core team members at BDotnet and BITPro User Groups. Apart from being passionate about Technology evangelism, he loves music. He is also a big fan of Mark Russinovich, A R Rahman and Sachin. He blogs at http://www.msigeek.com.

    Let us read the piece he sent for SQLAuthority.com readers to aid them with Office 2010 Readiness Check

    Are you ready for Office 2010? It may look simple for an end-user, but when you look it from an enterprise perspective, there are lots of things which need to be considered before the migration and Compatibility stands out to be one big stop point. Compatibility issues may cover everything right from your environment till the addins which you develop.

    Microsoft has released 2 tools (Office Environment scanning tool (OEAT) and Compatibility Inspector) which will exactly help you address this concern.

    Office Environment scanning tool (OEAT)

    This a comprehensive tool which (along with documentation) assists a customer in the assessment phase of deployment. It identifies the currently installed applications and installation environment, add-ins currently in use by Office clients, programs that are not registered as add-ins but still interact with Office programs, provides a report on the Environmental assessment (potential upgrade issues) and also reports the Add-ins assessment–list of third party programs and information about the compatibility of those programs with Microsoft Office 2010.

    Read this article to know more on how you can use the Office Environment scanning tool (OEAT)

    Microsoft Office 2010 Compatibility Inspector

    This tool compares existing code against the Office 2010 object model by using a text search for known properties and methods that have changed. It includes a basic scanner where definitions and remediation links are updated from a central online location. It also generates a summary report and a details report. The summary includes the total lines of code scanned as well as total lines identified as potential candidates for object model changes. The details report includes the module name, line number, and links to remediation for each identified issue along with color-coded flags for impact guidance. You can run the tool against specific projects. This tool is available as an addins for both Office and Visual Studio.

    Read this article to know more on how you can use the Compatibility Inspector (http://www.msigeek.com/2821/fixing-code-compatibility-issues-with-office-2010-compatibility-inspector)

    Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.SQLAuthority.com)

    SQLAuthority News – Links to Book On Line – Data Mining Algorithms (Analysis Services – Data Mining)

    I have quite often received request for the Data Mining Algorithms details. Book Online has wonderful resources for the same. I suggest to read them here.

    Data Mining Algorithms (Analysis Services – Data Mining)

    The data mining algorithm is the mechanism that creates a data mining model. To create a model, an algorithm first analyzes a set of data and looks for specific patterns and trends. The algorithm uses the results of this analysis to define the parameters of the mining model. These parameters are then applied across the entire data set to extract actionable patterns and detailed statistics.

    Read more here.

    Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.SQLAuthority.com)

    SQLAuthority News – Webcasts – Resources for IT Managers and their Teams

    Pinal Dave and Jacob Sebastian are both SQL Server MVP are doing webcasts for IT Managers and their Teams.

    Join us for a 4 series webcast as follows:

    Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.SQLAuthority.com)

    SQLAuthority News – TechDays Session at Infosys Mysore 2009 – Change Data Capture and PowerPivot

    It has been a great pleasure to visit Infosys Mysore for an MSDN session. I had previously visited Infosys Bangalore for Technical session. Please read the details of earlier visit SQLAuthority News – Notes from TechDays 2009 at Infosys, Bangalore. This event was held on Dec 10, 2009.

    I have been recently presenting the subject of Change Data Capture; it has been great fun as it is a very interesting subject that really captures your attention. It was a well-received session that lasted for nearly 1.5 hours instead of regular 30 min. The smart crowd at Infosys received the subject very well. They also interacted by asking all sorts of question on the subject. Notably, the attendees seemed to understand the subject and they also participated with me. This event was held on Dec 10th, 2009.

    Pinal at Infosys Mysore

    Session 1: The History of Log – Change Data Capture (CDC)

    Abstract: Learn to capture the history of data using CDC. An age-old method of writing queries and triggers to capture change in database table is replaced with a considerably powerful asynchronous method of change data capture (CDC). All attendees will learn how to configure CDC in less than 60 seconds.

    If you are interested to read more about CDC, please download CDC script from here.

    Pinal at Infosys Mysore

    The infrastructure at Infosys is very advanced. The hall, in which I presented the session, had a seating capacity of nearly 1100 people.

    Pinal at Infosys Mysore

    You can clearly see that it is very interesting to present a session in front of large screen projection. Whatever you see on the screen appears enlarged, but it is very clear to audience.

    Partial Audience

    Session 2: PowerPivot Self-Service Business Intelligence in Excel 2010

    Abstract: You most likely have already heard of PowerPivot, the ground-breaking new BI technology shipping in Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2. In this session, we introduce PowerPivot for both analysts and IT in the context of Self Service BI. We look at the client capabilities of PowerPivot for Microsoft Office Excel power users, the collaboration features for teams, and the important IT tools for compliance and effective administration.

    Excellent SQL Expert – L Srividya (Microsoft)

    It was my pleasure to meet one of the Microsoft evangelist and very known SQL Expert L Srividya. She had the skills to keep the audience entertained as well as educated. She one of those professionals who know SQL inside out. She almost knew all the answers of the questions asked. She even had a good insight of subject and also helped me to solve few problems during the session. She also held a demo extravaganza that entertained people so much that they would not leave the session hall, even after the end of the session. In short, she was successful in capturing the attention of the crowd here.

    Infosys Mysore – Multiplex

    The session hall which had very large screen and 1100 attendees capacity is known as multiplex and above photo is just outside the session hall.

    Infosys Mysore – Vidhansabha

    During my sessions at Infosys, I had great time to go around and see campus. Infosys Mysore campus is really huge and very artistically decorated. I was amazed with its infrastructure and size. Infosys’ Chairman and Chief Mentor M.R. Narayana Murthy has described the training centre, which is located 140 km off from India’s Silicon Valley, Bangalore, as the biggest corporate training facility in the world. “We are setting up the biggest corporate training facility in the world with 2,000 rooms that can house 4,000 people on a twin sharing basis.”

    It was my great pleasure and I would like to express my special thanks to Microsoft for arranging this huge successful event at Infosys, Mysore.

    Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.SQLAuthority.com)

    SQLAuthority News – Migrating DTS Packages to Integration Services

    Migrating DTS Packages to Integration Services
    Writer: Brian Knight
    Published: July 2008

    SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) brings a revolutionary concept of enterprise-class ETL to the masses. The engine is robust enough to handle hundreds of millions of rows with ease, but is simple enough to let both developers and DBAs engineer an ETL process. In this whitepaper, you will see the benefits of migrating your SQL Server 2000 Data Transformation Services (DTS) packages to Integration Services by using two proven methods. You will also see how you can run and manage your current DTS packages inside of the SQL Server 2005 and 2008 management tools.

    Ready white paper Migrating DTS Packages to Integration Services

    Abstract &  courtesy : Microsoft

    Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.SQLAuthority.com)