Tech Ed South Africa ?

August 23, 2014 Leave a comment

Lots of people have been asking me about Tech Ed South Africa recently. The official comms was that there will not be an event this year , but Microsoft will be hosting other smaller events throughout the year. I refer you to the local Tech Ed page here : 

http://www.teched.co.za/closed.aspx

If I hear of any new events I’ll mention it here on my blog. 

Thavash

Categories: Uncategorized

MSDN Azure Subscriber benefits

April 24, 2014 Leave a comment

In my last post , I spoke about the free Azure credits that every MSDN subscriber gets , and detailed the steps to activate them.

Well , the Azure channel on Youtube now has a video which talks about this.

Azure MSDN Subscriber benefits

Windows 8 – How to open all links in Desktop Internet Explorer

April 16, 2014 Leave a comment

I thought I’d share a Windows 8 tip with you guys. When you’re using a Modern Application ( like Windows Mail ) , and you click on a Hyperlink , it normally opens it up with Modern Internet Explorer ( like in the image below ).

Modern

This is fine when you’re on a tablet ( or in touch mode ). It’s not so great if you’re using a mouse and keyboard. However, there is a setting to change this behaviour.

1) Launch the Desktop Internet Explorer

2) Go to [Tools] , [Internet Options] and then [Programs]

3) Under [Choose how you open links], select [Always in Internet Explorer on the Desktop]

IE Setting

When you go back into a Modern Application and click on a link , it will take you to the Desktop Internet Explorer.

SQL 2014 launched

April 8, 2014 Leave a comment

This is the big one !! SQL 2014 , with the in-memory OLTP capability, has officially launched as of 1 April 2014. You’ll find everything that you need to know at the link below :

Microsoft Official SQL Page

So far , I’ve been experimenting with the in-memory tables , and I’ve definitely seen some big performance improvements. I’ll do an upcoming post detailing how you create these tables.

Before that , I want to talk about dev and test environments. Many of you will be wanting to try out SQL 2014 , but perhaps don’t have the space available to spin up a VM. What you can do in this situation, if you have an MSDN subscription, is spin up a VM in Azure at no cost, and try out SQL 2014 there. To do so :

1) Log into the main MSDN page ( http://www.MSDN.com )
2) Click on “Cloud”
3) Under “Start your free trial” click on sign up
4) Scroll down to the bottom of that page. You’ll see a heading called “MSDN Subscriber?”. Click on “Activate Now”
5) You are basically entitled to $150 per month of free Azure services.

Once you have sorted that out , you’ll see that SQL 2014 is already available in Azure. There are preconfigured VM templates with various options.

SQL2014Azure

It takes about 5 minutes to spin up a new Virtual Machine , with the OS and SQL 2014 already installed !! Once that’s done, you can remote desktop into that and work on it as normal.

Categories: SQL Server

SQL 2014 !!

June 5, 2013 Leave a comment

Bet you didn’t see that one coming ! While some people are still getting to grips with the excellent SQL 2012 , Microsoft has officially announced SQL 2014 at Tech Ed North America.

Your first stop should be Microsofts website , where you can sign up to be notified once the trial version is available. There are also 3 PDF documents at the bottom of that page that I highly recommend downloading.

Next , what exactly was announced in terms of features ? Just some of them  :

1) Heckaton ! I’ve blogged about this before. It’s basically in-memory technology to give SQL Server OLTP applications a massive performance boost.

2) Writeable Column Store Indexes !! – A popular feature , and now your fact tables won’t be read-only once you create the index.

3) SSD Caching – extend memory by caching on an SSD. Also a performance boosting enhancement.

4) Extended Online Operations – more operations supported without taking database offline , and this extends uptime.

I’m sure that there are a whole lot more that we’ll learn about in the upcoming months. In the meantime , I recommend that you download those whitepapers at the Microsoft site and get reading !!

Categories: SQL Server

Intel Haswell and Tablets – The future of computing

May 21, 2013 2 comments

Like many enthusiasts, I’m very excited about Intel’s upcoming Haswell chips, and I’m really hoping that Intel can deliver on the hype. If you want more information on this new architecture, there’s nothing better than the ( as usual ) in-depth article at Anandtech.

AnandTech article

Intel 4th Gen

Now while any new processor launch gets people excited in terms of more horsepower being available , here we also expect better integrated graphics performance and much reduced power consumption. And it’s that last aspect, together with the timing of this launch that makes this a significant milestone on the computing timeline, in my opinion.

You see, we’ve been hearing recently about how we are now in this “post-pc” era, and how tablets and phones are the computers of the 2010’s. Its something we certainly see , people walking around with massive smart phones and, in meetings, everyone holding an iPad.
But what is also clear to me is that these devices haven’t replaced PC’s for most people. Maybe it has with college students, but not in the enterprise. They are simply complimentary devices.

Enter Windows 8. When launched, I really thought that Windows 8 tablets would change all this. I felt that tablets like Surface would be to notebooks what notebooks were to desktops 10 years ago. We didn’t see that happen in a big way , because the launch of Windows 8 was only the first step.The second important step that I feel will drive this will be the launch of Haswell. Why ?

How does 5 times the power efficiency of current chips sound ?

Xbit labs article

I’ve been wanting to write this blog post for a long time , but an article from Seeking Alpha today spurred me into action.

Seeking Alpha Article

“The advantage of the Windows 8 based tablets and hybrids was supposedly that it can run legacy software, but the disadvantage was that there was an awkward trade-off between power and energy and cooling needs. The user could either buy a rather underpowered Atom CPU based tablet/hybrid that was as sleek and energy efficient as most of the competition, or a much less energy efficient iCore based tablet/hybrid that is thick, heavy, doesn’t last all day but is fully powered in terms of processor needs.
With the new Haswell processors, that trade-off has become distinctly reduced, perhaps it even disappears completely.”

intel_Haswell

As I said , this is the next milestone and I can’t wait. Of course , we will then have the improved Windows 8.1 released after that and we’ll then be truly into the “PC-Plus” era…..

The BI Semantic Model

April 7, 2013 Leave a comment

I’m prepping a Session on the BI semantic Model for Tech Ed Africa. I came across this old but excellent blog post detailing the differences between the Tabular Model and Multidimensional model – handy if you’re starting out in exploring the changes with SQL 2012.

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/cathyk/archive/2011/10/17/the-bi-semantic-model-mdx-dax-and-you.aspx

 

Categories: Uncategorized
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