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Day: November 15, 2019

Evolution of the Data Lake

Jim Wankowski takes us through the history of data lakes:

It is important to understand the difference between data lakes and data warehouses. A data warehouse is highly structured. Much effort is done upfront in developing schemas and hierarchies prior to the data being loaded into a warehouse. There is no hierarchy or structure to the way data is stored in a data lake. The structure is applied afterward. There can be multiple schemas applied to the same data in a data lake.

Read on to learn how the data lake concept has evolved over the past few years.

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Problems with SQL Server Index Recommendations

Brent Ozar has some grievances to air:

And if you don’t have time to review one query at a time, SQL Server makes wide-ranging analysis easy too, letting you query dynamic management views like sys.dm_db_missing_index_details to get index recommendations for the entire database. You can even use tools like sp_BlitzIndex to analyze and report on ’em.


Both of these – the index recommendations in the query plan and the ones in the DMVs – suffer from some pretty serious drawbacks.

Click through for the list. There are some doozies in there.

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Use SQL for XML and JSON Creation

Lukas Eder argues that if you’re storing the data in SQL and you need to get data from a database into JSON or XML format, just use SQL for that:

In English: We need a list of actors, and the film categories they played in, and grouped in each category, the individual films they played in.

Let me show you how easy this is with SQL Server SQL (all other database dialects can do it these days, I just happen to have a SQL Server example ready:

Lukas makes a great point and has a FAQ to follow up on it. If there’s a reason for mapping at a higher layer—if you’re actually adding value rather than building out a set of converters—that’s one thing, but if you’re just accepting a data set and returning a JSON blob…well, your database product can do that too.

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Optimizing for Sequential Keys

Milos Radivojevic is excited about OPTIMIZE_FOR_SEQUENTIAL_KEY:

The results show that the feature should be used for tables, where latch convoys already happen or are about to happen. In a not-so-heavy workloads, it brings a small overhead. You can see that inserts with 100 parallel sessions are 16% slower for a table with the optimized sequential key. However, when you hit the convoy, the feature definitely helps.

This graf is critical: if you don’t have high enough concurrency on the table, insertion can be a little slower than otherwise, so don’t go setting this for every table.

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Creating Azure Data Studio Notebooks Using Powershell

Rob Sewell inverts the “Use Azure Data Studio to create Powershell notebooks” mantra:

This module contains only 3 commands at present

* Convert-ADSPowerShellForMarkdown

This will create the markdown link for embedding PowerShell code in a Text Cell for a SQL Notebook as described in this blog post

* New-ADSWorkBookCell

This command will create a workbook text cell or a code cell for adding to the New-ADSWorkBook command

* New-ADSWorkBook

This will create a new SQL Notebook using the cell objects created by New-ADSWorkBookCell

Click through for an example.

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Get the Stack Overflow Columnstore Edition Database

Erik Darling has more for you on Stack Overflow + Columnstore:

If you want to download the database, here’s the magnet link for the torrent. I don’t have another means of distributing this; it’s too big of a file.

If you want the GitHub scripts to create and load data, head over here.

In addition, Erik has some quick queries showing table relationships in a world without foreign key constraints:

To get you started exploring the Stack Overflow column store database, here are some queries that show how tables are related.

The two main relationships are User Id, and Post Id.

Quick side note: joining together large columnstore indexed tables? Generally not the best idea.

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Deploying a Big Data Cluster with Azure Data Studio

Mohammad Darab shows how you can deploy a Big Data Cluster to Azure Kubernetes Service using Azure Data Studio:

A few months ago I posted a blog on deploying a BDC using the built-in ADS notebook. This blog post will go a bit deeper into deploying a Big Data Cluster on AKS (Azure Kubernetes Service) using Azure Data Studio (version 1.13.0). In addition, I’ll go over the pros and cons and dive deeper into the reasons why I recommend going with AKS for your Big Data Cluster deployments.

AKS does make it pretty easy. The toughest part for me was figuring out which instance types were supported—I tried a few which would save me money and they weren’t available. I do like that they added a check to view availability before completing the notebook; that wasn’t in the preview version.

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