My 2020 Home Office Studio Setup

One of my 2020 goals was to start presenting more. The easiest, and most cost efficient, way to do that is by presenting remotely. Another goal I had was to start creating Big Data Cluster videos for my YouTube channel. These two goals required a different set of tools. I also had no idea how complicated video recording could get. I finally got everything setup the way I want and a few friends asked me about my setup. This blog post will list everything I use and lessons learned.

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Big Data Clusters – A Deeper Dive into the Data Pool

One of the key components of a Big Data Cluster is the data pool. Within that single data pool, there are two SQL Server instances. The primary job of the data pool is to provide data persistence and caching for the Big Data Cluster. (At the time of this blog post, there can only be a single data pool in a Big Data Cluster and the maximum supported number instances in a data pool is eight.) The instances inside the data pool do not communicate with each other and are accessed via the SQL Server Master instance. The data pool instances are also where data marts are created.

What is the Data Pool
The data pool is in green.

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Blog Stats – 2019


Wow! Time flies by so fast! I can’t believe it’s 2020. I’ve been posting these “blog stats” for a couple years now and it’s always been bittersweet when I post them. On one hand it reminds me that time is moving so fast (and it some cases I want it to slow down a bit). On the other hand I get to reflect on the year that past and be grateful for all the beautiful things that happened in my life.

Below is a recap of 2019: Continue reading “Blog Stats – 2019”

Book Review – SQL Server 2019 Revealed by Bob Ward

Instead of boring you with content that you can easily find on Amazon, I will do something different this review post. I will give you the three reasons why I recommend this book for SQL DBAs and data professionals. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or an expert. This book will be a great addition to your library regardless of your level of SQL Server knowledge.

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Deploy a Big Data Cluster on AKS Using Azure Data Studio (Video)

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.

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SQL Server Licensing for Big Data Clusters (Video)

One of the biggest questions I had when I first started diving into Big Data Clusters was, “What about licensing….how will that work?” With so many different instances running on the storage pool, data pool and compute pool nodes will licensing cost too much? The answer I got from Microsoft was that it will “be competitive”.

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How to Set Up a Base Machine to Deploy Big Data Clusters (Video)

Before you deploy big data clusters, you must configure the tools below on a Windows or Linux machine that will act like a “base machine” from which you will be able to deploy, manage, and monitor a SQL Server Big Data Cluster. For the example in this blog I will use a virtual machine running Windows Server 2016 running 4 cores and 8 GB RAM. (This can also work on a Windows 10 Pro machine as well).

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Industry Use Cases for SQL Server Big Data Clusters

My Neighbor

I love to share real-life stories when I give talks. I usually start out my sessions with a story on how I got interested in Big Data Clusters. It all starts with my neighbor Tom (not his real name) last year (2018). I was at the bus stop with my 5 yr old son on his first day of Kindergarten. As I am waiting patiently for the bus to arrive I hear a voice say,

“Are you in IT?”

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Big Data Clusters for the Absolute Beginner

I finally presented my first tech at SQL Saturday Sioux Falls and Baton Rouge. I decided to name my session, “Big Data Clusters for the Absolute Beginner” because beginning of 2019 I *was* the absolute beginner (and I’m learning every day!) So in a way, my session is “based on a true story” :) I’m super-excited because I think it’s the future of SQL Server. Big Data Clusters are new and cutting-edge technology.

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Deploy SQL Server Big Data Cluster Using Azure Data Studio Notebook

Yesterday was the release of SQL Server 2019 CTP 3.2. The biggest change in CTP 3.2 is that Big Data Clusters is now in public preview. That means anyone can go download and deploy it. Prior to CTP 3.2, you had to sign up for the “Early Adoption Program”, wait until you received an email with your Docker credentials, etc. With CTP 3.2, Microsoft has actually done away with Docker credentials. You no longer need that to create your Big Data Cluster as the images needed are on Microsoft’s public repo.

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