The Data Science Laboratory Series is Complete

I wrote a series of articles on creating a Data Science Laboratory over on Simple-Talk – you can find the complete list of articles below. The series covers installing various software tools and packages on a Virtual Machine running the Windows operating system. I think there’s no substitute for installing, configuring and experimenting with various…


Staying Current on Technology for your Organization

As a Technical Professional, your company, firm, group or organization looks to you for guidance on their technical systems. You’re expected to apply the best technology solutions that you can to a given business or science problem or opportunity. That can be quite difficult to do. If you are in a vertical knowledge role, expected…


Windows Azure Data Series: SQL Server Fast-Track Data Warehouse (FTDW)

Windows Azure provides several options for storing, processing and retrieving data in structured, semi-structured and unstructured layouts. In this series, I’ll cover various options for implementing these options. In this entry, I’ll cover the SQL Server Fast-Track Data Warehouse, and show an example of it’s implementation. This is a Relational Database Management System (RDBMS), which…


Data Science and the Cloud

More than perhaps any other computing discipline, Data Science lends itself best to Cloud Computing in general, and Windows Azure in specific. That’s a big claim, but before I offer some evidence, I need to explain what I mean by “Data Science”. I’ve written before on Data Science (, and—keyvalue-pair-systems/ ), but since it’s an…


Successful Cloud Projects Start With The Plumbing

(Note – I’ll add to this post as new information is updated – latest post date is August 8th, 2013) I’ve been working on cloud projects of all types for over three years now. Along the way, I’ve learned some basic patterns that make for a successful project – and also the things to avoid….


Videos and Training on Windows Azure IaaS from TechEd New Orleans

 I’m catching up on a bunch of features, functions, updates and more learning from the TechEd Event in New Orleans recently. In fact, videos, Windows Azure documentation, and of course blogs are the new way to keep up – books are just too slow to produce to handle the pace. I thought I’d share the…


Cloud Computing Architecture Patterns: Don’t Focus on the Client

Normally I try to put topics in the positive in other words “Do this” not “Don’t do that”. Sometimes its clearer to focus on what *not* to do. Popular development processes often start with screen mockups, or user input descriptions. In a scale-out pattern like Cloud Computing on Windows Azure, that’s the wrong place to…


Where are the Windows Azure customer case studies – and why aren’t there more?

“Case Studies” are a great tool when you’re evaluating a platform. Having evidence that other companies have deployed Windows Azure, in addition to how they did it, is a good way to plan your own deployments or even just evaluate whether Windows Azure would be a good fit. And we have several case studies you…


Creating a Windows Azure Virtual Machine – the RIGHT Way

UPDATE – 09/14/2015: This is an older post. Check the site for more current information. Windows Azure has added Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), the ability to deploy, run and manage Virtual Machines, to its growing list of services. You can create Virtual Machines from a gallery, upload them from images you create locally on Hyper-V (that’s…


But what can I *do* with Windows Azure? Create (Free) Websites and Applications

f you want to know more about Windows Azure, how it works, the components, or more about the entire platform, I’ve written about that here: But…. Maybe you just want to cut to the chase. Windows Azure. What do I *do* with it? How about…create some websites. Or website applications. Or both. For free….