SQLCAT @PASS Summit 2015

Are you coming to the PASS Summit 2015 in Seattle? SQLCAT will be in full force at the PASS Summit 2015. We will also bring along our colleagues from the broader AzureCAT. SQLCAT Sessions SQLCAT sessions are unique. We bring in real customer stories and present their deployments, architectures, challenges and lessoned learned. This year… Read more

SQL 2016: Columnstore row group Merge policy and index maintenance improvements

                A Columnstore index contains row groups that can that have a maximum of 1,048,576 rows. A row group can be closed and compressed due to multiple reasons before that maximum of 1,048,576 rows is reached. Ideally we want that row count in each row group to be as close to the maximum as… Read more

Choosing hash distributed table vs. round-robin distributed table in Azure SQL DW Service

This topic explains the various Azure SQL Data Warehouse distributed table types, and offers guidance for choosing the type of distributed table to use and when. There are two types of distributed tables in Azure SQL DW at the writing of this article, hash distributed table and round-robin distributed table. Designing databases to use these… Read more

SQL 2014 Clustered Columnstore index rebuild and maintenance considerations

This article describes the index rebuild process as well as index maintenance for clustered Columnstore indexes and is directed towards SQL 2014. In SQL 2016, there have been several index maintenance enhancements that will be covered in a separate post.   Overview of Columnstore index build or rebuild process Building (or rebuilding) a Columnstore index… Read more

SQL Server 2016 CTP2

If you haven’t been on a month-long holiday to a secluded island with no access to phone, email, or computer (and if you did, I truly envy you), then you must have heard that we announced SQL Server 2016 recently! And, now we’ve released a public beta (or preview) “SQL Server 2016 CTP2” last week…. Read more

Azure SQL Database Security Features

The Microsoft Azure platform is evolving fast. Azure SQL Database, which is a Relational Database service running on Azure, is riding high on the cloud wave with new features enabled at a fast pace. I want to share a few Azure SQL Database security features currently in GA or public preview) that could help developers… Read more

Simplifying creation of SQL Credentials with Shared Access Signature ( SAS ) tokens on Azure Storage with Powershell

In SQL Server 2014 a new feature was introduced that enables SQL Server Data files to be stored on Azure Storage. For more details see SQL Server Data Files in Windows Azure and Tutorial: SQL Server Data Files in Windows Azure Storage service In order to create a database with files on Azure Blob storage,… Read more

Data Loading performance considerations with Clustered Columnstore indexes

This article describes data loading strategies specific to tables with a Clustered Columnstore index on SQL Server 2014.  For fundamental data  loading strategies, an excellent read is the whitepaper Data Loading Performance Guide and it is greatly recommended. Though that whitepaper doesn’t include Columnstore indexes, many other concepts presented there still hold true for any data… Read more

Large SQL Server database backup on an Azure VM and archiving

Applicable VersionsSQL Server 2014 and lower versions. Background Azure Virtual Machines (VM) allows the capability to install SQL Server and lift/shift an application or data warehouse to the cloud. The largest disk size Azure currently allows is 1tb (or more accurately 1023GB). Larger VMs such as A9 and D14 allows 16 and 32 of these… Read more