Monthly Archives: October 2013

Microsoft hosts cybersecurity and privacy professionals for discussion about the Cybersecurity Framework

Last week, Microsoft’s Innovation & Policy Center in Washington, D.C. convened a distinguished group of cybersecurity and privacy professionals from across industry sectors for a panel discussion about the forthcoming Cybersecurity Framework, expected from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in February 2014, and its implications for critical infrastructure organizations. 

I was pleased to participate as a panelist alongside:

  • Mark Clancy, CISO of the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation
  • Trevor Hughes, President and CEO of the International Association of Privacy Professionals
  • Mike Kuberski, Chief Information Security Officer of Pepco Holdings
  • Larry Trittschuh, Executive Director for Threat Management, General Electric
  • Fred Cate, Indiana University Maurer School of Law, who served as moderator

Read more

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Learning PostgreSql: Reading and Writing From .Net

In this post we shall do some setup tasks, save a few rows of data from a .Net client to PostgreSql, and read it back. Setting up We have set up a virtual machine running Red Hat Linux, installed PostgreSql 9.3 on it, and made sure there is enough disk space. 9.3 is a very recent version, released this September. Because PostgreSqlis not known for releasing before the full testing is complete, we did not have to wait for the next service pack or something like that. Smoke test On the client machine…(read more)

Microsoft a Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Operational Database Management Systems

This is one of the best times to be working in SQL Server. I just came from the O’Reilly Strata + Hadoop World conference this week, where there was a great dialog about advances in data management techniques. We’re already the world’s most deployed database, we just released the second technology preview for SQL Server 2014, and if you saw Microsoft’s recent financial results you know SQL Server continues to outpace the market: revenue grew double-digits, with SQL Server Premium revenue growing more than 30%. And the SQL Server momentum is not stopping.

On October 21st, Gartner published the Magic Quadrant for Operational Database Management Systems. In the opening summary, Gartner states, “The operational DBMS market (formerly OLTP) is evolving dramatically, with new, innovative entrants and incumbents supporting the growing use of unstructured data and NoSQL DBMS engines. Information management leaders must understand the market implications affecting DBMS technology decisions.”

Microsoft is truly honored to be included in the Leaders Quadrant* for this Magic Quadrant based on our completeness of vision and ability to execute.

I couldn’t agree more with Gartner, and our customers agree as well. The early previews for SQL Server 2014 have been downloaded more than 50,000 times and are being previewed by more than 100 customers; you can download the preview here. Check out their case studies to read more about how customers such as SBI Liquidity and TPP are taking advantage of the in-memory capabilities in SQL Server 2014. Ferranti is a great example of using both In-Memory OLTP and HDInsight technologies to process a continuous data flow of up to 200 million measurement channels, making the system fully capable of meeting the demands of smart meter technology. Go here  to read the full Gartner report. 

Eron Kelly
General Manager
SQL Server Marketing

*  Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Operational Database Management Systems by Donald Feinberg, Merv Adrian and Nick Heudecker, October 21, 2013.

This graphic was published by Gartner, Inc. as part of a larger research document and should be evaluated in the context of the entire document. The Gartner document is available at

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. 

Learning PostgreSql: First Steps

In this series of blog posts we shall migrate some functionality from SQL Server to PostgreSql 9.2. The emphasis of these blog posts will be on what PostgreSql does differently from Sql Server – I assume that the reader has considerable knowledge of Sql Server, but might know nothing of PostgreSql. Also we shall concentrate on development, not administration. In a true agile fashion, we shall learn only what we need to get this particular job done, and nothing else, but we shall strive to learn it…(read more)

Revolutionizing City Planning in the 21st Century with Windows Azure, HDInsight, and SQL Server

If you’ve ever played a video game where you manage a virtual city, you understand how real-time insight into services including emergency response teams and transportation is needed for effective city planning. Until recently, the technologies just weren’t available to support this kind of detailed “big picture” view enjoyed by gamers. However, now that Big Data business intelligence (BI) solutions are a reality, Barcelona, Spain is working to achieve transformative insight so that it can better meet the needs of its citizens. 

To test the feasibility of a Big Data BI solution, Barcelona created a pilot that runs on a hybrid cloud based on Windows Azure, Windows Azure HDInsight Service, and Microsoft SQL Server 2012. With it, users can view real-time BI that combines petabytes of existing data in the city’s systems with new, unstructured public data sources such as Twitter, app log files, and GPS signals from cell phone providers. The BI is served up via mobile apps, dashboards, custom reports, and data services.

The variety of technology choices in the Microsoft platform simplified development. For example, engineers met the diverse needs of users and devices using HDInsight and built-in tools in SQL Server, Microsoft Office, and Visual Studio. Engineers were also able to manage the project’s varied data and cost requirements with Apache Hadoop and Azure’s other storage options, which you can read about here.

Everyone wins with this kind of solution. City employees are more productive because they quickly see how services are working from “big picture” views that include detailed numbers and social media feedback. Citizens enjoy a better quality of life because services like emergency teams, transportation, schools, and festivals are customized to meet real needs. Businesses can also increase success by quickly recognizing investment opportunities in specific neighborhoods. Other cities also benefit because they can adopt this repeatable smart-city infrastructure to transform insight, lifestyles, and economic success.

You can learn more about Barcelona’s pilot solution by reading the case study and watching the video here.   

Check for Instant File Initialization

Instant File initialization, IFI, is generally a good thing to have. Check out this earlier blog post of mine f you don’t know what IFI is and why it is a good thing: blog . The purpose of this blog post is to provide a simple script you can use to check if you have IFI turned on. Note that the script below uses undocumented commands, and might take a while if you have a large errorlog file… USE MASTER ; SET NOCOUNT ON — *** WARNING: Undocumented commands used in this script !!! *** — –Exit…(read more)

Explanation of SQL Server IO and Latches

Recently, I noticed this intriguing message in one of my SQL Server 2008 R2 error logs: Warning: Failure to calculate super-latch promotion threshold.
This was new to me. I was aware of the notion and some of the mechanics of locking and latches, particularly with reference to diagnosing blocks and being aware of the different behaviors, i.e. the difference between a shared and an exclusive lock. However, as I began researching this error message I was drawn further and further into the detail of latching and locking, and started learning about their inner workings. I eventually found an explanation for this error message that, while not completely satisfactory, did lead me to diagnose wider-reaching I/O issues on the affected instance

SQL in the City (Charlotte) Wrap Up

Ok, it has been quite a while since the event, two weeks and a day to be exact, but I needed a rest before hitting Windows Live Writer again. Speaking is exhausting, traveling is exhausting, and well, I replaced my laptop and had to get all of my software back together. (Between Windows 8.1 sync features, Dropbox and Skydrive, it has never been easier…but I digress.) There are plenty of great vendors out there, but one of my favorites has always been Red-Gate. I have written half of a book with them,…(read more)