Category Archives : Data Warehouse



Rubikloud leverages Azure SQL Data Warehouse to disrupt retail market with accessible AI

In the modern retail environment, consumers are well-informed and expect intuitive, engaging, and informative experiences when they shop. To keep up, retailers need solutions that can help them delight their customers with personalized experiences, empower their workforce to provide differentiated customer experiences, optimize their supply chain with intelligent operations and transform their products and services.

With global scale and intelligence built in to key services, Azure is the perfect platform to build powerful apps to delight retail customers, the possibilities are endless. With a single photo, retailers can create new access points for the customer on a device of their choice. Take a look at this example of what’s possible using Microsoft’s big data and advanced analytics products

AI can be complex, this is where Rubikloud comes in. Rubikloud is focused on accessible AI products for retailers and delivering on the promise of “intelligent decision automation”. They offer a set of SaaS products, Promotion Manager and Customer Lifecycle Manager, that help retailers automate and optimize mass promotional planning and loyalty marketing. These products help retailers reduce the complexities of promotion planning and store allocations and better predict their customers intention and behavior throughout their retail life cycle.

As Rubikloud



Enhanced capabilities to monitor, manage, and integrate SQL Data Warehouse in the Azure Portal

Azure SQL Data Warehouse (SQL DW) continues to introduce updates to the Azure portal to provide a seamless user experience when monitoring, managing, and integrating your data warehouse.

Support for Azure Monitor metrics

SQL DW now supports Azure Monitor which is a built-in monitoring service that consumes performance and health telemetry for your data warehouse. Azure monitor not only enables you to monitor your data warehouse within the Azure portal, but its tight integration between Azure services also enables you to monitor your entire data analytics solution within a single interface. For this release, data warehouse metrics have been enabled to enables you to identify performance bottlenecks and user activity:

Successful/Failed/Blocked by firewall connections CPU IO DWU Limit DWU Percentage DWU used

These metrics now have a one-minute frequency for near real-time visibility into resource bottlenecks of your data warehouse. There is a default retention period of 90 days for all data warehouse metrics with Azure Monitor.

Configure metric charts in the Azure monitor service through the Azure Portal or programmatically query for metrics via PowerShell or REST:

Pin configured charts for your data warehouse through Azure dashboards:

Safely manage costs by pausing

The pause feature for SQL



How to configure Azure SQL Database Geo-DR with Azure Key Vault

Azure SQL Database and Data Warehouse offer encryption-at-rest by providing Transparent Data Encryption (TDE) for all data written to disk, including databases, log files and backups. This protects data in case of unauthorized access to hardware. TDE provides a TDE Protector that is used to encrypt the Database Encryption Key (DEK), which in turn is used to encrypt the data. With the TDE and Bring Your Own Key (BYOK) offering currently in preview, customers can take control of the TDE Protector in Azure Key Vault.

Taking advantage of TDE with BYOK for databases that are geo-replicated to maintain high availability requires to configure and test the scenario carefully. This post will go over the most common configuration options.

To avoid creating a single point of failure in active geo-replicated instances or SQL failover groups, it is required to configure redundant Azure Key Vaults. Each geo-replicated server requires a separate key vault, that must be co-located with the server in the same Azure region. Should a primary database become inaccessible due to an outage in one region and a failover is triggered, the secondary database is able to take over using the secondary key vault.

For Geo-Replicated Azure SQL databases, the



Seamlessly upgrade Azure SQL Data Warehouse for greater performance and scalability

Azure SQL Data Warehouse recently announced the preview release of the Optimized for Compute performance tier providing customers with an enhanced offering of the service. With this major release, the service now has a 5X increase in compute scalability and unlimited storage for columnar data. Along with the increased capacity, customers are realizing an average increase of 5X in performance for query workloads. For existing Optimized for Elasticity customers wanting to capitalize on these benefits, there is now an option to seamlessly upgrade via the Azure Portal. The easy to use upgrade experience via the Azure Portal has no downtime associated with exporting and reimporting of the data.

Upgrade to optimize for performance

You can now upgrade to the latest performance tier within the Azure Portal. This will result in no change to your connection string details:

To learn more about the upgrade process, visit our upgrade documentation. If you need help for a POC, contact us directly. Stay up-to-date on the latest Azure SQL DW news and features by following us on Twitter @AzureSQLDW.



Accelerate Data Warehouse Modernization to Azure with Informatica’s AI-Driven Platform

Data is central to digital transformation. We have seen many customers moving their data workloads to Azure which benefits from the inherent performance and agility of cloud. Enterprises are moving on-premises workloads to public cloud at an increasing rate. Results from the 2016 Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey indicate that cloud adoption is now mainstream and accelerating as enterprises shift data-intensive operations to the cloud. Specifically, Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) adoption is predicted to be the fastest-growing sector of cloud platforms according to KPMG, growing from 32 percent in 2017 to 56 percent adoption in 2020.

Cloud data warehouse is one of the fastest growing segments. Azure SQL Data Warehouse (SQL DW) allows customers to unleash the elasticity and economics of cloud while maintain a fast, flexible and secure warehouse for all their data.
Microsoft has partnered with Informatica, the leader in Enterprise Cloud Data Management, to help you modernize your data architecture with intelligent data management. So that you can build a cloud data warehouse solution that easily adapts and scales as your data types, volume, applications and architecture changes.

Informatica’s AI-driven Intelligent Data Platform, with solutions purpose-built for Azure, is a modular micro services architecture that accelerates your Azure SQL



How Catania secures public data with Azure SQL Data Warehouse

Digital transformation is a key theme for public sector today. Government organizations big and small, want to leverage cloud technologies to deliver improved citizen services while keeping costs under control. However, security and compliance especially when dealing with a large amount of citizen data is crucial.

The municipality of Catania in Italy, that serves over a million people, wanted to build a streamlined management and storage of public service operations data. They also wanted to safeguard against any potential damage to their physical datacenter and ensure service continuity.

Azure came to the rescue. Working with our partner Softjam, Commune di Catania built a hybrid solution that uses SQL Server and Azure Data Warehouse (Azure SQL DW) to build a flexible data warehouse for all their reporting needs, backed by automatic recovery and site-to-site recovery.

Security is embedded into Azure and we want our customers to own and control their data in the cloud. Microsoft has been leading the industry in establishing clear privacy requirements and then consistently meeting these requirements. Azure meets a broad set of international and industry-specific compliance standards, such as ISO 27001, HIPAA, FedRAMP, SOC 1 and SOC 2, as well as country-specific standards like Australia IRAP,



Preview: SQL Database Transparent Data Encryption with Azure Key Vault configuration checklist

Azure SQL Database and Data Warehouse offer encryption-at-rest by providing Transparent Data Encryption (TDE) for all data written to disk, including databases, log files and backups. This protects data in case of unauthorized access to hardware. TDE provides a TDE Protector that is used to encrypt the Database Encryption Key (DEK), which in turn is used to encrypt the data. The TDE protector is by default managed by the service in a fully transparent fashion, rotated every 90 days and maintained in archive for access to backups. Optionally management of the TDE Protector can be assumed by the customer if more control is desired. This requires storing the TDE protector in a customer-owned Azure Key Vault. If this option is chosen, it is important to fully understand all TDE implications and carefully plan for ongoing key management.

Overview of TDE with customer managed keys and Azure Key Vault integration:

In this scenario, customers must maintain Azure Key Vault, control SQL Database permissions to Azure Key Vault and maintain access to all TDE Protectors to open or restore databases or backups and enable all other operations that require database access to the TDE Protector. The following checklist will help to



Azure SQL Data Warehouse now generally available in all Azure regions worldwide

We are excited to announce the general availability of Azure SQL Data Warehouse in three additional regions— Japan West, Australia East, and India West. These additional locations bring the product worldwide availability count to all 33 regions – more than any other major cloud data warehouse provider. With general availability, you can now provision SQL Data Warehouse across 33 regions with financially backed SLA of 99.9 per cent availability.

SQL Data Warehouse is a high-performance, secure, and compliant SQL analytics platform offering you a SQL-based view across data and a fast, fully managed, petabyte-scale cloud solution. It is elastic, enabling you to provision in minutes and scale up to 60 times larger in seconds. It comes standard with Geo-Backups, which enable geo-resiliency of your data and allows your data warehouse to be restored to any region in Azure in the case of a region-wide failure.

Azure regions provide multiple, physically separated and isolated availability zones connected through low latency, high throughput, and highly redundant networking. Starting today, customers can leverage these advanced features across 33 regions.

Begin today and experience the speed, scale, elasticity, security, and ease of use of a cloud-based data warehouse for yourself. You can see



Implementation patterns for big data and data warehouse on Azure

To help our customers with their adoption of Azure services for big data and data warehousing workloads we have identified some common adoption patterns which are reference architectures for success. So, what patterns do we have for our modern data warehouse play?

Modern data warehouse

This is the convergence of relational and non-relational, or structured and unstructured data orchestrated by Azure Data Factory coming together in Azure Blob Storage to act as the primary data source for Azure services. The value of having the relational data warehouse layer is to support the business rules, security model, and governance which are often layered here. The de-normalization of the data in the relational model is purposeful as it aligns data models and schemas to support various internal business organizations and applications. Azure Databricks can also cleanse data prior to loading into Azure SQL Data Warehouse. It enables an optional analytical path in addition to the Azure Analysis Services layer for business intelligence applications such as Power BI or other business applications.

Advanced analytics on big data

Here we introduce advanced analytical capabilities through our Azure Databricks platforms with Azure Machine Learning. We still have all the greatness of Azure Data Factory,



Unlock your data’s potential with Azure SQL Data Warehouse and Azure Databricks

Getting the most out of your data is critical for any business in a competitive environment. Businesses need the ability to get the right data into the right hands at the right time. Azure Databricks and Azure SQL Data Warehouse can help you do just that through a Modern Data Warehouse.

Azure SQL Data Warehouse is an elastic, globally available, cloud data warehouse that leverages Massively Parallel Processing (MPP) to quickly run complex queries across petabytes of data. Azure SQL Data Warehouse provides a familiar interface for your analysts who know SQL and want to drive action in your business.

Azure Databricks combines the best of Databricks and Azure to help customers accelerate innovation with one-click set up, streamlined workflows, and an interactive workspace that enables collaboration between data scientists, data engineers, and business analysts powered by Apache Spark.

With the general availability of the Azure Databricks Service comes built-in support for Azure SQL Data Warehouse. This enables any data scientist or data engineer to have a seamless experience connecting their Azure Databricks Cluster and their Azure SQL Data Warehouse when building advanced ETL (extract, transform, and load data) for Modern Data Warehouse Architectures or accessing relational data for Machine