Author : All posts by ilikesql

24

Apr

SQL Server 2016 Service Pack 2 is now available
SQL Server 2016 Service Pack 2 is now available

The SQL Server team is excited to bring you the second service pack release for SQL Server 2016. The service pack is now available for download on the Microsoft Download Center and will be coming soon to Visual Studio Subscriptions, MBS/Partner Source, and VLSC. As part of our commitment to software excellence for our customers, this upgrade is available to all customers with existing SQL Server 2016 deployments.

SQL Server 2016 Service Pack 2 (SP2) contains a roll-up of released hotfixes as well as multiple improvements centered around performance, scalability, and supportability based on feedback from customers and the SQL community. These improvements enable SQL Server 2016 to perform faster and with expanded supportability and diagnostics. It also showcases the SQL Server product teams commitment to providing continued value into in-market releases.

SQL Server 2016 Service Pack 2 includes:

Performance and scale improvements for SQL Server, such as improved database backup performance on large memory machines and added backup compression support, which helps performance of almost all databases. Supportability and diagnostics enhancements, such as improved troubleshooting and additional information about statistics used during query plan optimization. New improvements based on Connect feedback items filed by the SQL Server

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24

Apr

Deep Learning for Emojis with VS Code Tools for AI
Deep Learning for Emojis with VS Code Tools for AI

This post is the first in a two-part series, and is authored by Erika Menezes, Software Engineer at Microsoft.

Visual content has always been a critical part of communication. Emojis are increasingly playing a crucial role in human dialogue conducted on leading social media and messaging platforms. Concise and fun to use, emojis can help improve communication between users and make dialogue systems more anthropomorphic and vivid.

We also see an increasing investment in chatbots that allow users to complete task-oriented services such as purchasing auto insurance or movie tickets, or checking in for flights, etc., in a frictionless and personalized way from right within messaging apps. Most such chatbot conversations, however, can seem rather different from typical conversational chats between humans. By using allowing the use of emojis in a task completion context, we may be able to improve the conversational user experience (UX) and enable users to get their tasks accomplished in a faster and more intuitive way.

We present a deep learning approach that uses semantic representation of words (word2vec) and emojis (emoji2vec) to understand conversational human input in a task-oriented context.

In this blog post, we show how to use embeddings created via deep learning techniques

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24

Apr

Azure Analysis Services integration with VNets via On-Premises Data Gateway

We are pleased to announce Azure Analysis Services now provides integration with cloud data sources residing on Azure Virtual Networks (VNets). Organizations use VNets for enhanced security and isolation. Cloud data sources such as Azure SQL DW and Azure Database can be secured with VNet endpoints.

Azure Analysis Services inbound traffic can be controlled using firewall rules. However, Azure Analysis Services requires access to data sources in-order to perform data refresh operations. If the data sources are cloud-based and secured with a VNet, it is necessary to provide access to Analysis Services. This can be done using the AlwaysUseGateway server property.

Setting this property to true specifies Azure Analysis Services always use an On-premises data gateway for access to data sources – whether or not the data source happens to be cloud-based. It therefore requires the On-premises data gateway is set up as described in this article, and the gateway computer resides on the VNet. Data refresh operations are directed to the gateway machine, which in-turn can successfully access the data source(s).

The AlwaysUseGateway server property can be set by using SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS). Connect to the Azure Analysis Services server, right-click on the server, select Properties, General,

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24

Apr

Azure Toolkit for Eclipse integrates with HDInsight Ambari and supports Spark 2.2

To provide more authentication options, Azure Toolkit for Eclipse now supports integration with HDInsight clusters through Ambari for job submission, cluster resource browse and storage files navigate. You can easily link or unlink any cluster by using an Ambari-managed username and password, which is independent of your Azure sign-in credentials.  The Ambari connection applies to normal Spark and Hive hosted within HDInsight on Azure. These additions give you more flexibility in how you connect to your HDInsight clusters in addition to your Azure subscriptions while also simplifying your experiences in submitting Spark jobs.

With this release, you can benefit the new functionalities and consume the new libraries & APIs from Spark 2.2 in Azure Toolkit for Eclipse. You can create, author and submit a Spark 2.2 project to Spark 2.2 cluster.  With the backward compatibility of Spark 2.2, you can also submit your existing Spark 2.0 and Spark 2.1 projects to a Spark 2.2 cluster.

How to link a cluster Click Link a cluster from Azure Explorer.

Enter Cluster Name, Storage Account, Storage Key, then select a container from Storage Container, at last, input Username and Password. Click the OK button to link cluster.

Please note that you

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24

Apr

Azure Toolkit for IntelliJ integrates with HDInsight Ambari and supports Spark 2.2

To provide more authentication options, Azure Toolkit for IntelliJ now supports integration with HDInsight clusters through Ambari for job submission, cluster resource browse and storage files navigate. You can easily link or unlink any cluster by using an Ambari-managed username and password, which is independent of your Azure sign-in credentials.  The Ambari connection applies to normal Spark and Hive hosted within HDInsight on Azure. These additions give you more flexibility in how you connect to your HDInsight clusters in addition to your Azure subscriptions while also simplifying your experiences in submitting Spark jobs.

With this release, you can benefit the new functionalities and consume the new libraries & APIs from Spark 2.2 in Azure Toolkit for IntelliJ. You can create, author and submit a Spark 2.2 project to Spark 2.2 cluster.  With the backward compatibility of Spark 2.2, you can also submit your existing Spark 2.0 and Spark 2.1 projects to a Spark 2.2 cluster.

How to link a cluster Click Link a cluster from Azure Explorer.

Enter Cluster Name, Storage Account, Storage Key, then select a container from Storage Container, at last, input Username and Password.

Please note that you can use either Ambari username, pwd or

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24

Apr

The edge of possibility: best practices for IoT-driven infrastructure transformation

Corporate IT infrastructure has changed a lot in the past decade. From a relatively simple bounded space, with a defined “inside” and “outside,” IT networks have evolved to incorporate a wider range of devices, such as smartphones and tablets, and a growing amount of traffic from additional diverse networks, including the public Internet. However, nothing has the potential to disrupt traditional infrastructure topologies more than the Internet of Things (IoT). This has implications for infrastructure and operations (I&O) teams, as well as developers who are responsible for IoT solutions. A recent Forrester report titled “Edge Computing: IoT Will Spawn A New Infrastructure Market” highlights many of the changes and challenges that must be faced in this rapid evolution. Let’s take a look at a few of the highlights.

Consider the full breadth of devices: The “things” that are connected in IoT require new approaches to development and management, but these endpoints are not the only new hardware you have to consider. Diverse components, including field-located IoT gateways and micro-datacenters, will become part of the networked environments. The need for edge infrastructure will depend on how much latency can be tolerated in the system and the complexity of the operations that

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24

Apr

How Azure Security Center helps detect attacks against your Linux machines

Azure Security Center (ASC) is now extending its Linux threat detection preview program, both on cloud and on-premise. New capabilities include detection of suspicious processes, suspect login attempts, and anomalous kernel module loads. Security Center is using auditd for collecting machines’ events, which is one of the most common frameworks for auditing on Linux. Auditd has the advantage of having been around for a long time and living in the mainline kernel. Any Linux machine that runs auditd by default and is covered by Security Center will benefit from this public preview. For a little more detail on how the collection works, check out our private preview announcement from October.

In addition to building up Linux-specific detections, we have also reviewed applicability of our current detections originally developed for Windows. Attackers also like to be OS-agnostic, especially for large-scale attacks, and will reuse tools and techniques where they can. In such circumstances the same detection is also applicable across operating systems. Happily, several of our analytics worked with minimal tuning. Today, I’ll walk you through an analytic example in the form of malicious crypto coin mining and then give some tips on using Azure Log Analytics with Linux machines.

The

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24

Apr

Storage scenarios for Cray in Azure
Storage scenarios for Cray in Azure

When you get a dedicated Cray supercomputer on your Azure virtual network, you also get attached Cray® ClusterStor™ storage. This is a great solution for the high-performance storage you need while running jobs on the supercomputer. But what happens when the jobs are done? That depends on what you’re planning to do. Azure has a broad portfolio of storage products and solutions.

Post-processing

Many times, you’re using your Cray supercomputer as part of a multi-stage workflow. Using the weather forecasting scenario we wrote about, after the modeling is done, it’s time to generate products. The most familiar setup for most HPC administrators would be to attach Azure Disks to a virtual machine and run a central file server or a fleet of Lustre servers.

But if your post-processing workload can be updated to use object storage, you get another option. Azure Blob Storage our object storage solution. It provides secure, scalable storage for cloud-native workloads. This allows your jobs to run at large scale without having to manage file servers.

Our recent acquisition of Avere Systems will bring another option for high-performance file systems. Avere’s technology will also enable hybrid setups, allowing you to move your data between on-premises and

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24

Apr

Migrating your apps, data and infrastructure to Azure is easier than ever

Cloud computing is fundamentally changing IT and transforming businesses at an unprecedented pace. And, companies are rapidly turning to the cloud for the opportunities it brings – increased agility, faster innovation, and efficient operations, just to name a few.

The question I now most often hear from our customers is not ‘why’ should I move to the cloud, but ‘how’ do I move to the cloud. We’ve worked closely with customers like Chevron and Allscripts, who are transforming their businesses by migrating to Azure. Their experiences, along with many other customers, have confirmed the importance of a vendor who understands the need for a flexible approach to cloud migration.
With new Azure innovation and cost-saving offers, there has never been a better time to move your apps, data and infrastructure to Azure. Here’s why…

Flexible migration options with hybrid support 

Azure gives you a flexible migration path with hybrid consistency across your on-premises assets and the cloud. You don’t have to move everything all at once. Whether your business requires a hybrid state long-term or only during the migration period, Azure is hybrid by design and can support your needs.

For example, Azure Security Center and Azure Active Directory can

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23

Apr

Azure.Source – Volume 28
Azure.Source – Volume 28

Azure Security News at RSA Conference 2018

Last week, we made several Azure Security announcements in conjunction with RSA Conference 2018 in San Francisco:

Introducing Microsoft Azure Sphere: Secure and power the intelligent edge – Microsoft Azure Sphere is a new solution for creating highly-secured, Internet-connected microcontroller (MCU) devices. Azure Sphere includes three components that work together to protect and power devices at the intelligent edge: Azure Sphere certified microcontrollers (MCUs), Azure Sphere OS, and Azure Sphere Security Service.

Microsoft Azure Sphere Leadership Vision – Microsoft product and business leaders introduce Azure Sphere, the latest IoT offering from Microsoft that extends security and new consumer experiences to a whole new class of devices at the intelligent edge.

The 3 ways Azure improves your security – Learn how Azure provides value in three key areas – a secure foundation that is provided by Microsoft, built-in security controls to help you quickly configure security across the full-stack, and unique intelligence at cloud scale to help you safeguard data and respond to threats in real-time. Announcing new Azure Security Center capabilities at RSA 2018 – Azure Security Center provides centralized visibility of the

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