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  • Blog Post: The Data Science Laboratory Series is Complete

    I wrote a series of articles on creating a Data Science Laboratory over on Simple-Talk - you can find the complete list of articles below. The series covers installing various software tools and packages on a Virtual Machine running the Windows operating system. I think there's no substitute for installing...
  • Blog Post: Staying Current on Technology for your Organization

    As a Technical Professional , your company, firm, group or organization looks to you for guidance on their technical systems. You're expected to apply the best technology solutions that you can to a given business or science problem or opportunity. That can be quite difficult to do. If you are in...
  • Blog Post: Windows Azure Data Series: SQL Server Fast-Track Data Warehouse (FTDW)

    Windows Azure provides several options for storing, processing and retrieving data in structured, semi-structured and unstructured layouts. In this series, I'll cover various options for implementing these options. In this entry, I'll cover the SQL Server Fast-Track Data Warehouse, and show an example...
  • Blog Post: Data Science and the Cloud

    More than perhaps any other computing discipline, Data Science lends itself best to Cloud Computing in general, and Windows Azure in specific. That's a big claim, but before I offer some evidence, I need to explain what I mean by "Data Science". I've written before on Data Science ( http://blogs.msdn...
  • Blog Post: Successful Cloud Projects Start With The Plumbing

    (Note - I'll add to this post as new information is updated - latest post date is August 8th, 2013) I've been working on cloud projects of all types for over three years now. Along the way, I've learned some basic patterns that make for a successful project - and also the things to avoid. The general...
  • Blog Post: Videos and Training on Windows Azure IaaS from TechEd New Orleans

    I’m catching up on a bunch of features, functions, updates and more learning from the TechEd Event in New Orleans recently. In fact, videos, Windows Azure documentation, and of course blogs are the new way to keep up – books are just too slow to produce to handle the pace. I thought I’d...
  • Blog Post: Cloud Computing Architecture Patterns: Don’t Focus on the Client

    Normally I try to put topics in the positive in other words "Do this" not "Don't do that". Sometimes its clearer to focus on what *not* to do. Popular development processes often start with screen mockups, or user input descriptions. In a scale-out pattern like Cloud Computing on Windows Azure, that...
  • Blog Post: Where are the Windows Azure customer case studies – and why aren’t there more?

    “Case Studies” are a great tool when you’re evaluating a platform. Having evidence that other companies have deployed Windows Azure, in addition to how they did it, is a good way to plan your own deployments or even just evaluate whether Windows Azure would be a good fit. And we have...
  • Blog Post: Creating a Windows Azure Virtual Machine - the RIGHT Way

    Windows Azure has added Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), the ability to deploy, run and manage Virtual Machines, to its growing list of services . You can create Virtual Machines from a gallery, upload them from images you create locally on Hyper-V (that's right, you can do that, even from PowerShell...
  • Blog Post: But what can I *do* with Windows Azure? Create (Free) Websites and Applications

    f you want to know more about Windows Azure, how it works, the components, or more about the entire platform, I’ve written about that here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/buckwoody/archive/2012/06/13/windows-azure-write-run-or-use-software.aspx But…. Maybe you just want to cut to the chase...
  • Blog Post: But what can I *do* with Windows Azure? Backups

    If you want to know more about Windows Azure, how it works, the components, or more about the entire platform, I’ve written about that here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/buckwoody/archive/2012/06/13/windows-azure-write-run-or-use-software.aspx But…. Maybe you just want to cut to the chase...
  • Blog Post: DevOps for Windows Azure

    "DevOps" (Short for Dev eloper Op eration s ) is one of a group of new terms such as "Cloud", "Big Data" and "Data Scientist" - words that are somewhere between marketing and tasks we've actually had around in other forms for years.However, working in a Distributed Environment (Both on and off premises...
  • Blog Post: How Does the Cloud Change a Developer's Job?

    I've recently posted a blog on how cloud computing would change the Systems Architect’s role in an organization , another on how the cloud changes a Database Administrator's job , and the last post dealt with the Systems Administrator . In this post I'll cover the changes facing the Software Developer...
  • Blog Post: How Does the Cloud Change a Systems Administrator's Job?

    I recently posted a blog entry on how cloud computing would change the Systems Architect’s role in an organization , and another on how the cloud changes a database administrator's job . This time I'll cover a few of the changes the cloud brings for the Systems Administrator . The systems administrator...
  • Blog Post: How Does the Cloud Change a Database Administrator’s Job?

    I recently posted a blog entry on how cloud computing would change the Systems Architect’s role in an organization . In a way, the Systems Architect has the easiest transition to a new way of using computing technologies. In fact, that’s actually part of the job description. I mentioned that...
  • Blog Post: How Does the Cloud Change a Systems Architect’s Job?

    I know - I said I didn't like the "cloud" term, but my better-phrased "Distributed Systems" moniker just never took off like I had hoped. So I'll stick with the "c" word for now, at least until the search engines catch up with my more accurate term. I thought I might spend a little time on how the...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft Windows Azure Disaster Recovery Options for On-Premises SQL Server

    One of the use-cases for a cloud solution is to serve as a Disaster Recovery option for your on-premises servers. I’ll explain one particular use-case in this entry, specifically using Windows Azure “IaaS” or Virtual Machines as a Recovery Solution for SQL Server (more detail here:...
  • Blog Post: I Could Sure Use Some Windows Azure Code Samples…

    There are multiple ways to learn, and one of the most effective is with examples. You have multiple options with Windows Azure, including the Software Development Kit , the Windows Azure Training Kit and now another one…. the Microsoft All-In-One Code Framework ,, a free, centralized code sample...
  • Blog Post: Using Hadooop (HDInsight) with Microsoft - Two (OK, Three) Options

    Microsoft has many tools for “Big Data”. In fact, you need many tools – there’s no product called “Big Data Solution” in a shrink-wrapped box – if you find one, you probably shouldn’t buy it. It’s tempting to want a single tool that handles everything...
  • Blog Post: Windows Azure Virtual Machines - Make Sure You Follow the Documentation

    To create a Windows Azure Infrastructure-as-a-Service Virtual Machine you have several options. You can simply select an image from a “Gallery” which includes Windows or Linux operating systems, or even a Windows Server with pre-installed software like SQL Server. One of the advantages...
  • Blog Post: High Availability for IaaS, PaaS and SaaS in the Cloud

    Outages, natural disasters and unforeseen events have proved that even in a distributed architecture, you need to plan for High Availability (HA). In this entry I'll explain a few considerations for HA within Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service ...
  • Blog Post: Cloud Computing - just get started already!

    OK - you've been hearing about "cloud" (I really dislike that term, but whatever) for over two years. You've equated it with just throwing some VM's in some vendor's datacenter - which is certainly part of it, but not the whole story. There's a whole world of - wait for it - *coding* out there that you...
  • Blog Post: Declarative Architectures in Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

    I deal with computing architectures by first laying out requirements, and then laying in any constraints for it's success. Only then do I bring in computing elements to apply to the system. As an example, a requirement might be "world-side availability" and a constraint might be "with less than 80ms...
  • Blog Post: Keeping your options open in a cloud solution

    In on-premises solutions we have the full range of options open for a given computing solution – but we don’t always take advantage of them, for multiple reasons. Data goes in a Relational Database Management System, files go on a share, and e-mail goes to the Exchange server. Over time...
  • Blog Post: The Windows Azure Software Development Kit (SDK) and the Windows Azure Training Kit (WATK)

    Windows Azure is a platform that allows you to write software, run software, or use software that we've already written. We provide lots of resources to help you do that - many can be found right here in this blog series. There are two primary resources you can use, and it's important to understand what...
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