When A Database In An AG Has Different Query Store Settings

Erin Stellato explains how we can have a discrepancy in Query Store settings between the primary and a secondary in an Availability Group:

Last week there was a question on #sqlhelp on Twitter about the status of Query Store for a database in an Availability Group. I’ve written about Query Store and Availability Groups before so if you’re not familiar with QS behavior in an AG, check out that post first. But this question was, I think, specific to the values that shows on a read-only replica and how there were different query store settings between a primary and secondary. Let’s set it up and take a look.

Click through to learn why this may be and why you shouldn’t panic.

The Forgotten Infrastructure Below Azure BI Architecture Diagrams

Meagan Longoria reminds us that there are several products which Azure BI projects need but which we tend to forget when building architectural diagrams:

Let’s start with Azure Active Directory (AAD). In order to provision the resources in the diagram, your Azure subscription must already be associated with an Active Directory. AAD is Microsoft’s cloud-based identity and access management service. Members of an organization have a user account that can sign in to various services. AAD is used to access Office 365, Power BI, and Dynamics 365, as well as the Azure portal. It can also be used to grant access and permissions to specific Azure resources.

Meagan has several of these, so check it out.

Power BI Embedding Techniques

Marc Lelijveld takes us through the different ways we can embed Power BI dashboards:

In the end of 2018 Microsoft announced a great new feature which allows you to secure embed Power BI content to client applications or sites and keep security still in place. Actually, it almost works the same as the publish to web feature, but then users have to log-in in the embedded frame before they see the content.
Not only to the security to access the report is in place now, also all other security features will still work. This means that Row Level Security can be still in place in case when you are using secure embedding. A lot of people online are really enthusiastic about the new features. Simply because it gives you the ability to embed your content on your website, web portal or wherever you want, without risking security issues.

Click through for discussion on the four techniques.

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.

Apache Airflow Now A Top-Level Project

Fokko Driesprong announces that Apache Airflow is now a top-level Apache project:

Today is a great day for Apache Airflow as it graduates from incubating status to a Top-Level Apache project. This is the next step of maturity for Airflow. For those unfamiliar, Airflow is an orchestration tool to schedule and orchestrate your data workflows. From ETL to training of models, or any other arbitrary tasks. Unlike other orchestrators, everything is written in Python, which makes it easy to use for both engineers and scientists. Having everything in code means that it is easy to version and maintain.

Airflow has been getting some hype lately, especially in the AWS space.

Databricks Library Utilities For Notebooks

Srinath Shankar and Todd Greenstein announce a new feature in Databricks Runtime 5.1:

We can see that there are no libraries installed and scoped specifically to this notebook.  Now I’m going to install a later version of SciPy, restart the python interpreter, and then run that same helper function we ran previously to list any libraries installed and scoped specifically to this notebook session. When using the list() function PyPI libraries scoped to this notebook session are displayed as  <library_name>-<version_number>-<repo>, and (empty) indicates that the corresponding part has no specification. This also works with wheel and egg install artifacts, but for the sake of this example we’ll just be installing the single package directly.

This does seem easier than dropping to a shell and installing with Pip, especially if you need different versions of libraries.

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