Combining Apache Kafka With TensorFlow

Kai Waehner has an example of an application which uses Apache Kafka to stream car sensor data to TensorFlow on Google ML Engine:

A great benefit of Confluent MQTT Proxy is simplicity for realizing IoT scenarios without the need for a MQTT Broker. You can forward messages directly from the MQTT devices to Kafka via the MQTT Proxy. This reduces efforts and costs significantly. This is a perfect solution if you “just” want to communicate between Kafka and MQTT devices.

If you want to see the other part of the story (integration with sink applications like Elasticsearch / Grafana), please take a look at the Github project “KSQL for streaming IoT data“. This realizes the integration with ElasticSearch and Grafana via Kafka Connect and the Elastic connector.

Check it out and then take a gander at Kai’s GitHub repo.

Writing Better Jupyter Notebook Code

Henk Griffioen shows how to write Python code in your IDE of choice and then synchronize a Jupyter Notebook with the results:

How can you get the interactivity back and get our changes immediately in our Notebook? Add %autoreload at the top of your Notebook:

%loadext autoreload # Load the extension%autoreload 2 # Autoreload all modules

%autoreload is a Jupyter extension that reloads modules before executing your code. Functions and classes loaded in notebooks get their functionality updated every time you execute a cell. This means that when new code is saved in the editor, the changes are immediately loaded in your Notebook if you run a cell.

Using %autoreload bridges the gap between Notebook and IDE. You gain all the benefits of an IDE, but you’re still as flexible as before! See the GIF at the top as an example.

That’s a useful trick.  I’ve tended to use notebooks more for post-hoc work, where I’ve already structured my code and want to formalize it for others to use.

Dual Storage Mode In Power BI

Teo Lachev takes us through the Dual storage mode now available in Power BI:

As the name implies, the dual storage mode is a hybrid between Import and DirectQuery. Like importing data, the dual storage mode caches the data in the table. However, it leaves it up to Power BI to determine the best way to query the table depending on the query context. Consider the following schema where all tables come from the same data source. Let’s assume the following configuration:

  • FactInternetSales is imported

  • FactResellerSales is DirectQuery

  • DimDate and DimProduct are Dual

Read on for more.

Azure Data Factor V2 Now In General Availability

Chris Seferlis covers some of the improvements in Azure Data Factory V2:

With ADF V2 you get a browser-based interface using drag and drop technology; V1 was primarily done in the Visual Studio IDE. It also added triggers for scheduling, so you can schedule your jobs when required and in additional ways (which I’ll discuss further in a bit).

Some other features of ADF V2 that came out as it became generally available:

  • Lift and Shift operations for your SSIS packages, so if you have SSIS packages local, you can now Lift and Shift those into compute with the integration runtime service in Data Factory.

  • This also allows for cloud to cloud, cloud to prem, prem to prem and some third-party tools are supported within that as well.

  • Control flow activities like link branching, looping, conditional execution and parameterization.

  • Integration with HD Spark and Databricks for big data workloads and data science.

There’s more where that came from, too.

Index Maintenance With Replication

Ajay Dwivedi shares his rules of thumb for index maintenance on replicated databases:

Like any other DBA, I fell into the trap of using straight maintenance solution using Reorganize operation for Indexes with avg fragmentation with 30% or less with Index Rebuild for avg fragmentation greater than 30%.

Well above approach works fine in common scenarios, but can create problems for servers using transaction log based High Availability technologies, such as AlwaysOn Availability Groups, database mirroring, log shipping, and replication. Both index rebuild and reorganize introduce heavy transaction log activity and generate a large number of log records. This becomes an issue in case of node failover, server with limited storage, database file with restricted growth, wrong file auto growth setting, or database with high VLF counts.

The best option for servers with High Availability is to identify kind of server workload (OLTP/OLAP/mixed), fill factor (based on Page Splits/sec), fragmentation, underlying storage load (random/sequential), Index Scans vs Index Searches, job time frame (low activity outside business hours) etc. After calculating all the above factors, all we need is to have a robust Index Maintenance solution. This is where I find Ola Hallengren’s SQL Server Maintenance Solution a perfect fit.

Ajay uses Ola Hallengren’s solution and gives us the breakdown percentages he uses.

SQL Server On Containers Q&A

Anthony Nocentino walks us through questions he received after his PASS marathon session on SQL Server and containers:

  • How do SQL Containers work with High Availability and Disaster Recovery?

  • Backups and data persistency are primary concerns here. You still need to care and feed for your SQL Server databases just as if they were platformed on a full operating system. For HA, Microsoft has some guidance on how to use Kubernetes to provide HA services to your SQL Server containers here. What I want you to think about when using containers for SQL Server is deploying a new container is VERY fast. We want to be able to persist the data and be able to stand up a new container and mount our data inside that container. Using this technique we can restore SQL Services very quickly with low RTO. That itself is an interesting way to provide HA services without any additional technologies.

Read on for more Q&A and check out Anthony’s presentation.

Nested Calculations In Power Query

Michael Humpherys shows how to use nested calculations in Power Query to make financial calculations easier:

A central problem in finance is answering the simple question: How much is this contract worth? For example, Bob might say he’ll give me $102 in a year, and I want to know how much I should pay him for that guaranteed money. If I figure out that the value of the contract is a $100, then I’m saying that the guaranteed $102 in a year is worth $100 today. This means I get a 2% interest on my $100 investment. This is called the one-year spot rate, and there are similar rates for all sort of different time frames. Taking 1/ (1+.02) gives me the discount rate and multiplying this by the $102 payment gets me to the $100 value of the contract.

The next step is that I may want to know how much $102 two years from now is worth next year. So instead of figuring out what it is worth today, I want to know what it will be worth in a year. To figure this out, I need something called the forward rate, which tells me the annual interest rate one year in the future, in this example.

With the forward rates, I can take a complex series of future payments and find the value of all of those payments today, but also the value at different points in the future. The complexity is that depending on when I want to value them to and the timing of the payment I need to use different sets of forward rates and that’s the application I’ll walk through below.

That is a novel use of the “table in a cell” technique.

The Corruption Scenario That Wasn’t

Andy Galbraith walks us through a scary-looking error message that turned out to be not quite accurate:

There were a stack of errors overnight in the DB123 database on SQL01, including one horror show error:

Log Name:      Application

Source:        MSSQLSERVER

Date:          5/24/2018 12:49:39 AM

Event ID:      3314

Task Category: Server

Level:         Error

Keywords:      Classic

User:          N/A

Computer:      SQL01.client99.com

Description:

During undoing of a logged operation in database ‘DB123’, an error occurred at log record ID (195237:96178:4). Typically, the specific failure is logged previously as an error in the Windows Event Log service. Restore the database or file from a backup, or repair the database.

The catch is that when I checked the server, the database was online.

Say what?

Read on for root cause analysis and issue correction.  This is a good example where jumping to conclusions could lead you down the wrong path and miss the root cause entirely.

Categories

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