Installing Zeppelin With Spark2 Support On HDP

Paul Hernandez shows how to install Apache Zeppelin 0.7.3 on Hortonworks Data Platform 2.5 in order to gain Spark2 support:

As a recent client requirement I needed to propose a solution in order to add spark2 as interpreter to zeppelin in HDP (Hortonworks Data Platform) 2.5.3
The first hurdle is, HDP 2.5.3 comes with zeppelin 0.6.0 which does not support spark2, which was included as a technical preview. Upgrade the HDP version was not an option due to the effort and platform availability. At the end I found in the HCC (Hortonworks Community Connection) a solution, which involves installing a standalone zeppelin which does not affect the Ambari managed zeppelin delivered with HDP 2.5.3.
I want to share how I did it with you.

Read on to see how Paul did it.  It’s not trivial but Paul lays out the process step-by-step.

What’s New In Analysis Services

Christian Wade explains what’s new in SQL Server Analysis Services 2017:

SSAS 2017 introduces the 1400 compatibility level. Here are just some highlights of the new features:

  • New infrastructure for data connectivity and ingestion into tabular models with support for TOM APIs and TMSL scripting. This enables support for a range of additional data sources, and data transformation and mashup capabilities.

  • Support for BI tools such as Microsoft Excel enables drill-down to detailed data from an aggregated report. For example, when end-users view total sales for a region and month, they can view the associated order details.

  • Object-level security to secure table and column names in addition to the data within them.

  • Enhanced support for ragged hierarchies such as organizational charts and chart of accounts.

  • Various other improvements for performance, monitoring, and consistency with the Power BI modeling experience.

There’s plenty more where that came from (unless you’re a Multidimensional fan…), so click through for the details.

Changes To SQL Server’s Servicing Model

Pedro Lopes announces changes to SQL Server’s servicing model:

Starting with SQL Server 2017, we are adopting a simplified, predictable mainstream servicing lifecycle:

  • SPs will no longer be made available. Only CUs, and GDRs when needed.
  • CUs will now accommodate localized content, allowing new feature completeness and supportability enhancements to be delivered faster.
  • CUs will be delivered more often at first and then less frequently. Every month for the first 12 months, and every quarter for the remainder 4 years of the full 5-year mainstream lifecycle.
  • CUs are delivered on the same week of the month: week of 3rd Tuesday.

Note: the Modern Servicing Model (MSM) only applies to SQL Server 2017 and future versions.

If you’re the type who waits for SP1 to drop, you’ll be waiting for Godot.  Who should be here any minute now.

SQL Server 2017 Now Generally Available

Travis Wright announces that SQL Server 2017 has gone GA:

Today, October 2nd, we are excited to announce that SQL Server 2017 is generally available for purchase and download! The new release is available right now for evaluation or purchase through the Microsoft Store, and will be available to Volume Licensing customers later today. Customers now have the flexibility for the first time ever to run industry-leading SQL Server on their choice of Linux, Docker Enterprise Edition-certified containers and, of course, Windows Server. It’s a stride forward for our modern and hybrid data platform across on-premises and cloud.

In the 18 months since announcing our intent to bring SQL Server to Linux, we’ve been focused on making SQL Server perform and scale to the industry-leading levels customers expect from SQL Server, making SQL Server feel familiar yet native to Linux, and ensuring compatibility between SQL Server on Windows and Linux. With all the enterprise database features you rely on, from Active Directory authentication, to encryption, to Always On availability groups, to record-breaking performance, SQL Server is at parity on Windows and Linux. We have also brought SQL Server Integration Services to Linux so that you can perform data integration just like on Windows. SQL Server 2017 supports Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, and Ubuntu.

It’s only been a year, but there’s a lot in this new version.  Click through for a high-level summary.

Performance Improvements In SQL Server 2017

Bob Ward goes over some of the performance improvements introduced in SQL Server 2017:

Consider for a minute all the built-in capabilities that power the speed of SQL Server. From a SQLOS scheduling engine that minimizes OS context switches to read-ahead scanning to automatic scaling as you add NUMA and CPUs. And we parallelize everything! From queries to indexes to statistics to backups to recovery to background threads like LogWriter. We partition and parallelize our engine to scale from your laptop to the biggest servers in the world.

Like the enhancements we made as described in It Just Runs Faster, in SQL Server 2016, we are always looking to tune our engine for speed, all based on customer experiences. Take, for example, indirect checkpoint, which is designed to provide a more predictable recovery time for a database. We boosted scalability of this feature based on customer feedback. We also made scalability improvements for parallel scanning and consistency check performance. No knobs required. Just built-in for speed.

One of the coolest performance aspects to built-in speed is online operations. We know you need to perform other maintenance tasks than just run queries, but keep your application up and running, so we support online backups, consistency checks, and index rebuilds. SQL Server 2017 enhances this functionality with resumable online index builds allowing you to pause an index build and resume it at any time (even after a failure).

I saw the performance improvements in 2016 and am looking forward to the ones in 2017.

SQL Server 2017 GA Date

Steve Jones reports:

Announced today at Microsoft Ignite, the general availability date is Oct 2, for Windows, Linux, and Docker. Time to get ready to upgrade.

Exciting times.  There are a few big features in 2017 if you want to run Linux or have columnstore indexes.

Azure SQL Database Compatibility Level Change

Joe Sack reports that new Azure SQL Databases will have a compatibility level of 140 by default:

Once this new database compatibility default goes into effect, if you still wish to use database compatibility level 130 (or lower), please follow the instructions detailed here: View or Change the Compatibility Level of a Database.  For example, you may wish to ensure that new databases created in Azure SQL Database use the same compatibility level as other databases in Azure SQL Database to ensure consistent query optimization behavior across development, QA and production versions of your databases. We recommend that database configuration scripts explicitly designate COMPATIBILITY_LEVEL rather than rely on the defaults, in order to ensure consistent application behavior.

For new databases supporting new applications, we recommend using the latest compatibility level (140).  For pre-existing databases running at lower compatibility levels, the recommended workflow for upgrading the query processor to a higher compatibility level is detailed in the article, Change the Database Compatibility Mode and Use the Query Store.  Note that this article refers to compatibility level 130 and SQL Server, but the same methodology applies for moves to 140 for SQL Server and Azure SQL DB.

It’s good to hear, and as Joe mentions, you have the ability to move back down to 130 if you need it.

SQL Server 2017 RC2

Microsoft has announced Release Candidate 2 of SQL Server 2017, hot on the heels of RC1:

Microsoft is pleased to announce availability of SQL Server 2017 Release Candidate 2 (RC2), which is now available for download.

The release candidate represents an important milestone for SQL Server.  Development of the new version of SQL Server along most dimensions needed to bring the industry-leading performance and security of SQL Server to Windows, Linux, and Docker containers is complete.  We are continuing to work on performance and stress testing of SQL Server 2017 to get it ready for your most demanding Tier 1 workloads, as well as some final bug fixes.

There are no new features and the Windows release notes are empty, but there are some Linux release notes as they firm up that offering before launch.

Downgrading SQL Server

Jonathan Kehayias is going the opposite direction of the Jeffersons:

At some point in your career working with SQL Server, you will run into a situation where the wrong edition of SQL Server has been installed on a server and will need to change the edition for licensing reasons.  Whether it is Enterprise Edition where Standard Edition should have been installed, Enterprise Edition where Developer Edition should have been used, or my favorite, Evaluation Edition where the 180 day trial has expired and Enterprise Edition isn’t going to be used, the only route available for downgrading the edition is to uninstall and reinstall SQL Server entirely.  SQL Server Setup makes upgrading editions a piece of cake with SKUUPGRADE as a command line option for going from Standard/Developer/Evaluation to Enterprise, but anything else requires a full uninstall and reinstall to change the SKU/Edition and then restore all of the system and user databases to the new instance, which typically means a lot of work.  I hate having to restore system databases and avoid having to do it if possible, so here is how I do this process and minimize the work required:

No matter what you are going to have to do an uninstall and reinstall of the SQL Server instance to downgrade the SKU.  However, you can save yourself some time and the headache of trying to restore the system databases if you are careful about what you do.  I have done a plenty of SKU downgrades in the past and the easiest way to do it, and I am not saying this is the Microsoft supported way but that it works if done correctly, is to:

Jonathan has an 11-point checklist that’s well worth checking out.  Though hopefully, may all your editions be Enterprise…

SQL Server 2017 RC1 Now Available

The SQL Server team announces RC1 of SQL Server 2017:

In SQL Server 2017 RC1, there were several feature enhancements of note:

  • SQL Server on Linux Active Directory integration – With RC1, SQL Server on Linux supports Active Directory Authentication, which enables domain-joined clients on either Windows or Linux to authenticate to SQL Server using their domain credentials and the Kerberos protocol. Check out the getting started instructions.

  • Transport Layer Security (TLS) to encrypt data – SQL Server on Linux can use TLS to encrypt data that is transmitted across a network between a client application and an instance of SQL Server. SQL Server on Linux supports the following TLS protocols: TLS 1.2, 1.1, and 1.0. Check out the getting started instructions.

  • Machine Learning Services enhancements – In RC1, we add more model management capabilities for R Services on Windows Server, including External Library Management. The new release also supports Native Scoring.

  • SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS)  In addition to the enhancements to SSAS from previous CTPs of SQL Server 2017, RC1 adds additional Dynamic Management Views, enabling dependency analysis and reporting. See the Analysis Services blog for more information.

  • SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) on Linux  The preview of SQL Server Integration Services on Linux now adds support for any Unicode ODBC driver, if it follows ODBC specifications. (ANSI ODBC driver is not supported.)

  • SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) on Windows Server  RC1 adds support for SSIS scale out in highly available environments. Customers can now enable Always On for SSIS, setting up Windows Server failover clustering for the scale out master.

Linux AD support is big.

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