AzureR Packages In Cran

David Smith points out that the Azure packages for R are now in CRAN:

The suite of AzureR packages for interfacing with Azure services from R is now available on CRAN. If you missed the earlier announcements, this means you can now use the install.packages function in R to install these packages, rather than having to install from the Github repositories. Updated versions of these packages will also be posted to CRAN, so you can get the latest versions simply by running update.packages.

Read on for a summary of those packages.

Speeding Up The First Responder Power BI Interface

Kellyn Pot’vin-Gorman hits the Go Faster button:

The gist of this kit is that it is a database repository as part of the sp_BlitzFirst to collect monitoring alerting and performance metric data. Once you’ve set this up, then you can use a Power BI desktop dashboard as an interface for all that data.
Now this is an awesome way to introduce more DBAs to Power BI and it’s a great way to get more out of your metrics data. The challenge is, it’s a lot of data to be performing complete refreshes on and the natural life of a database like this is growth. The refresh on the static database I was sent by Tracy, once I connected my PBIX to the local db sources, took upwards of an hour to refresh. Keep in mind, I have 16G of memory, 32G of swap and have upped my data load options in Power BI quite high.

Kellyn walks through the things she did to improve performance as a starting point, so check it out and be aware that there’s even more that can be done.

Solving Naive Bayes By Hand

I have a post that requires math and is meaner toward the Buffalo Bills than I normally am:

Trust the Process
There are three steps to the process of solving the simplest of Naive Bayes algorithms. They are:
1. Find the probability of winning a game (that is, our prior probability).
2. Find the probability of winning given each input variable: whether Josh Allen starts the game, whether the team is home or away, whether the team scores 14 points, and who the top receiver was.
3. Plug in values from our new data into the formula to obtain the posterior probability.

This is an algorithm you want to solve by hand first—it’s just that easy. Then, once you understand it, let a computer do the work for larger data sets. Also, Super Bowl 2020 because I’m the kind of overly optimistic fool required of Bills fans. Just gonna leave this link here.

Data Transformation Tools In The Azure Space

James Serra gives us an overview of the major tools you would use for ETL and ELT in Azure:

If you are building a big data solution in the cloud, you will likely be landing most of the source data into a data lake.  And much of this data will need to be transformed (i.e. cleaned and joined together – the “T” in ETL).  Since the data lake is just storage (i.e. Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 or Azure Blob Storage), you need to pick a product that will be the compute and will do the transformation of the data.  There is good news and bad news when it comes to which product to use.  The good news is there are a lot of products to choose from.  The bad news is there are a lot of products to choose from :-).  I’ll try to help your decision-making by talking briefly about most of the Azure choices and the best use cases for each when it comes to transforming data (although some of these products also do the Extract and Load part

The only surprise is the non-mention of Azure Data Lake Analytics, and there is a good conversation in the comments section explaining why.

The Siren’s Call Of AG Readable Secondaries

Jonathan Kehayias brings up some of the reasons he tends to recommend customers keep away from using readable secondaries on Availability Groups:

A lot of the implementation questions I get for Availability Groups are generally looking at leveraging a secondary replica for High Availability or Disaster Recovery and often times also for offloading reporting or readable workloads.  Readable Secondary copies of the database are really simple at the surface conceptually, but there are a lot of additional considerations I make that could lead you to another technology entirely like Transactional Replication or Log Shipping with Standby. Let’s look at how these three stack up against each other for different data access requirements.

There are some good reasons here not to kick replication and log shipping to the curb.


January 2019
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