Cloud

In Search of the Cortana Analytics Suite

Cortana Analytics Suite is important and significant, but it is difficult to work out why or how from the existing 'information'. After more setbacks than Dr Livingstone, Bob Sheldon emerged from the jungle of marketing hyperbole triumphantly with a small diagram which explained it. Here he reveals the individual components, and finds them, in combination, to be a curiously interesting attempt to bring Big Data under contro… Read more

Azure SQL Data Warehouse

Azure SQL Data Warehouse is a fully-managed and scalable cloud service. It is still in preview, but solid. Not only is it compatible with several other Azure offerings, such as Machine Learning and Data Factory, but also with various existing SQL Server tools and Microsoft products. It talks Power BI. Are we now seeing the final piece of the Azure jigsaw fall into place?… Read more

Using Azure KeyVault with Node.js

Some of the most intractable problems of application design are concerned with how to store credentials for accessing sensitive application data, keys and, configuration settings in code. With Azure Key Vault you don't have to. You can, instead just authorise an application to access and use a Key Vault and perform operations that require authentication against a KeyVault. Christos Matskas shows how an application can interact with the service, using a node.JS application as an example.… Read more

How to Build and Deploy Azure IaaS VMs with PowerShell

The whole point of using a cloud service is to be able to use it intensively for a brief period just when it is needed and then clear out all your work when you've finished. This means automation to make the process as quick and easy as possible. It is likely to mean creating a VM, provisioning it from scratch and spinning it up using PowerShell. Relax, grab the popcorn, and let Adam Bertram show you how he does it in Azure.… Read more

Microsoft Azure DocumentDB

DocumentDB is a late-entrant in the Document-oriented database field. However, it benefits from being designed from the start as a cloud service with a SQL-like language. It is intended for mobile and web applications. Its JSON document-notation is compatible with the integrated JavaScript language that drives its multi-document transaction processing via stored procedures, triggers and UDFs.… Read more

Azure Data Lakes

The Data Lake is basically a large repository of data for 'big data' analytic workloads, held in its original format. The Azure Data Lake adds Data Lake Analytics, and Azure HDInsight. Although the tools are there for Big Data Analysis, it will require new skills to use, and a heightened attention to Data Governance if it is to appeal to the average enterprise.… Read more

The Logical Data Warehouse – Towards a Single View of All the Data

What is wrong with the Enterprise Data Warehouse? Quite a lot, it seems. By taking the narrow view that the struggle is that of accommodating and interrogating huge quantities of data, then initiatives such as the Virtual Data Warehouse and Logical Data Warehouse could make sense. But what about data quality, security, access control, archiving, retention, privacy and regulatory compliance?… Read more

Creating and Managing Docker VM Extensions in Azure

Docker technology is Linux-based. Although the concept of a container isn't new, the common toolset, packaging model and deployment mechanism of Docker has made the use of containers far simpler. As a quick introduction to the technology for Windows users, Krishna shows, step by step, how to set up, and configure a Docker Daemon in Azure within a VM, and install a MySQL image in a container from the Docker Repository.… Read more

OpenStack: The Good and Not-So-Good Bits

OpenStack holds a great deal of promise as a cloud platform built on open standards, and has support from the major players in cloud services. It has the potential for allowing organisations to set up their own private cloud services that are designed to inter-operate. Is it ready yet for companies that want the convenience of cloud solutions, but with more control, and without the large subscription fees? Robert Sheldon finds out.… Read more

Azure Event Hubs

If you need to receive and process a large volume of packets of data, such as telemetry, or event-log items, it may be worth considering Azure Event hubs. They aren't like traditional messaging but represent more of a stripped down one-way event processing system for large volumes of data. It could represent a good solution to an ever-present problem, but is it ready for production use? Rob Sheldon investigates.… Read more

Microsoft Azure Stream Analytics

Azure Stream Analytics aims to extract knowledge structures from continuous ordered streams of data by real-time analysis. These streams might include computer network traffic, social network data, phone conversations, sensor readings, ATM transactions or web searches. It provides a ready-made solution to the business requirement to react very quickly to changes in data and handle large volumes of information. Robert Sheldon explains its significance. … Read more