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Day: January 24, 2022

Scheduling Azure ML Compute Instance Start-Up and Shut-Down

I have a post correcting a statement I made before:

The single biggest problem I have with compute instances is that there is no auto-stop functionality to them. This is really frustrating because you’re paying for that virtual machine like you would any other, so if you forget to turn it off when you go home for the weekend, it’ll cost you. I wish there were a built-in option to shut off a compute instance after a certain amount of inactivity. Instead, you’ll need to start and stop them manually.

It turns out that you can and so I wanted to write a post to correct the record.

Click through to see how you can do this. You can bet that I’ve got it enabled now.

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Choosing a Bar Chart Orientation

Amy Esselman says to rotate that chart:

Your lesson on choosing an appropriate visual covers a variety of available bar charts. When should I use a horizontal bar chart, and when should I use a vertical bar chart?

When it comes to the horizontal vs. vertical decision, our founder Cole has an admitted penchant for horizontal bar graphs, for a couple of reasons:

Click through for those reasons why bar charts are good but stick around for the reasons why column charts are good. Both have their specific places in the world.

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Behind the Powershell Pipeline

Jeff Hicks has some new content:

There is an intangible side to PowerShell that can help you understand why you should use PowerShell, in addition to the how. What does it mean to “manage at scale?” Why should you document your code, and what are some best practices? How can you take PowerShell profiles to the next level? These are some of the questions I want to tackle in a new newsletter I’m calling “Behind the PowerShell Pipeline.”

I want to take my years of PowerShell education experience and create genuine premium content. And I want to be able to afford to take the time to develop deep content. This new venture is available now on Substack at Premium content will only be available through a paid subscription. You are welcome to sign up for a free subscription, but that will limit your content.

I’m interested in success here, especially given how there is such a norm for giving away technical content. I like that ethos but also want to see some additional capability for premium content to be available, as I think that is good for the long-term health of technical content development.

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Database Mirroring Compatibility and Availability Groups

Sean Gallardy checks out the past:

Around 2005, mirroring was born. It was an evolution on log shipping, which is taking log backups, moving them around, and restoring them all in an automated fashion to different servers. Mirroring upped that game and created a dedicated network channel between servers (you could only have 1 principle and 1 mirror, so 2 total) so that there wasn’t this funny business of copying and restoring, additionally it allowed the mirror server to be a highly available copy with automatic failover. Since Microsoft marketing is terrible at naming things, it was originally called, “Real Time Log Shipping” which was then changed to “Mirroring” and in typical fashion you can find the unofficial “Real Time Log Shipping” name all over the place where it was never updated. (I can’t really blame them here, though, it’s hard to find all the little places you’re putting this moniker in and then having some other team tell you to change it all at some way later point)

Read the whole thing. It’s a fun read, a little sad, and helps us understand a bit of availability group behavior which might bite the unaware. I will definitely defend Microsoft’s backward-compatibility emphasis. This makes life so much easier for developers than a lot of other languages and environments. In the R and Python worlds, breaking changes are the norm, meaning that when you update packages, you can expect something to break and now that “20-minute” package upgrade ticket becomes 3 days of trying to sort out what went wrong.

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Monitoring Power BI Queries with Log Analytics

Chris Webb continues a series on using Log Analytics:

It’s actually very easy to build a simple KQL query to look at query activity on your datasets: you just need to look at the QueryEnd event (or operation, as its called in Log Analytics), which is fired when a query finishes running. This event gives you all the information you need: the type of query (DAX or MDX), the duration, the CPU time, the query text and so on. The main challenge is that while you also get the IDs of the report and visual that generated the query, you don’t get the names of the report or visual. I wrote about how to get a list of visual and report IDs here and here, but how can you use that information?

Read on to see how.

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Negative Blocking Session IDs

Bob Dorr explains what those negative session IDs actually mean:

SQL Server may report a blocking session id as a negative integer value. SQL Server uses negative sessions ids to indicate special conditions.​​ 

Click through for the table. Bob also includes information on -5, the “any task/session can release the latch” scenario. This also covers information on the latches themselves and is worth keeping around in case you run into an issue at some point.

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