December 2016 Round Up

December 2016 WARDY IT Solutions' Round Up

As we reflect on the year that was 2016, there have been numerous changes to the Microsoft Data Platform – the release of SQL Server 2016, the announcement of SQL Server on Linux and the introduction of the Azure SQL Data Warehouse to name a few. With the cloud cadence, it’s becoming harder and harder to pick technology trends. Technology roadmaps are often out of date before they are written. In order to assist with the technology transformation there is a growing need to work with modern technology partners like WARDY IT Solutions who can assist you in navigating the ongoing disruption and deliver true business innovation.

For those of you that are planning to take the Christmas period off, our Virtual DBA Service operates 24x7x365 so if you have any issues with your SQL Servers during the Christmas break, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

December Round Up

Training: Analysing Data with Power BI

Analysing Data with Power BI is a 2-day instructor-led course designed by Microsoft. By the end of the course you will be able to:

  • Describe key features of a self-service BI solution
  • Describe Power BI and its data sources
  • Model, shape, and combine data
  • Describe Power BI data visualizations
  • Utilise Report Builder

Those of you that have Enterprise Agreements with Microsoft will be pleased to hear that you’re able to use your Software Assurance Training Vouchers (SATVs) to attend, you’ll just need to check with your Benefits Administrator. Find out more.

Blog: SQL Server as a Machine Learning Model Management System

If you are a data scientist, business analyst or a machine learning engineer, you need model management – a system that manages and orchestrates the entire lifecycle of your learning model. Analytical models must be trained, compared and monitored before deploying into production, requiring many steps to take place in order to operationalize a model’s lifecycle. SQL Server is the perfect tool to do this. Find out more about SQL Server can be used for model management.

SQL Server Support: Introducing Virtual DBA

Virtual DBA is our very own award-winning remote database administration service based here in Australia. Our Microsoft certified team of DBAs watch over your databases 24x7x365, providing a cost effective solution to meet the day-to-day challenges of availability, performance and administration of SQL Server databases. Plans starting from just $1450 per month. Find out more.

SQL Server Monitoring Scripts

The Microsoft SQL Server Tiger Team have releases a set of scripts to assist monitor your SQL Server instances. These scripts can be downloaded here.

Analytics Platform System Update

Microsoft has recently announced an update to the Analytics Platform System (APS). APS is Microsoft’s scale-out Massively Parallel Processing fully integrated system for data warehouse specific workloads. The appliance update builds on the SQL Server2016 release as a foundation to provide many value-added features. APS 2016 offers additional language coverage to support migrations from SQL Server and other platforms. It also features improved security for hybrid scenarios and the latest security and bug fixes through new firmware and driver updates. Find out more about this release here.

Database Experimentation Assistant

Database Experimentation Assistant (DEA) is a new A/B testing solution for SQL Server upgrades that is currently in Preview. This tool will assist in evaluating a targeted version of SQL Server for a given workload. This tool will assist with upgrading from previous SQL server versions and assist identify compatibility errors, degraded queries, query plans, and other workload comparison data to build higher confidence and have a successful upgrade experience. Download the preview of this tool here.

White Paper: SQL Server 2016 and Windows Server 2016 Better Together

Windows Server and Microsoft SQL Server teams are collaborating closely to ensure that the combination of these products is greater than the sum of their parts. Both products are offering improvements to availability and disaster recovery features, providing an unprecedented level of interoperability in a variety of environments. Concepts such as Just Enough Administration (JEA) and new technologies in access control and encryption ensure that data is protected from threats and risks—both external and internal. Simply put, Windows Server 2016 and SQL Server 2016, both world-class products on their own, are better together. To find out more about running SQL Server 2016 on Windows Server 2016 refer to this white paper.

SQL Server on Linux

The Public Preview of SQL Server on Linux is now available for preview. The next release of SQL Server brings the performance and security of SQL Server to Linux and Windows enabling organisations to build modern applications with innovative features using any data, any language. It will enable organisations to develop and deploy with macOS, Windows, Linux, or Docker, on-premises, and in the cloud. Find out more about running SQL Server on Linux.

Free SQL Server 2016 eBook

Microsoft has released a free SQL Server 2016 eBook to help you get the most from your database system through enabling in-memory performance, enhanced security, end-to-end mobile business intelligence (BI), and advanced analytics. Download the free eBook.

$900 Service Pack Service

Are you struggling to keep up to date with the latest SQL Server Pack? For only $900 ex. GST WARDY IT Solutions can review a SQL Server instance and prepare an implementation plan and install the latest SQL Server service pack for your instance and provide post implementation support. To take advantage of this limited offer contact us today.

SQL Server Database Healthcheck

Reduce the need for expensive upgrades by optimising your existing infrastructure and identify problem areas with the SQL Server Database Healthcheck. We carry out a comprehensive examination of your SQL Server environment. Helping to reduce the business risks associated with down-time, performance bottlenecks, and the complexities of deploying and managing Microsoft SQL Server. Find out more.

December 2016 QLD SQL Server User Group

StretchDB – Deep Dive QSSUG

StretchDB – Deep Dive

Stretch Database migrates your cold data transparently and securely to the Microsoft Azure cloud. Stretch Database targets transactional databases with large amounts of cold data, typically stored in a small number of tables. It enables organisations to save costs, save data for longer periods of time without having to worry about storage, and maintenance costs. It’s a great feature in SQL Server 2016 and will be enhanced further in future SQL Server versions.

This presentation will introduce industry experts to the technology, what it can offer and how it can meet your business requirements. The presentation will include a demo.

About the Presenter

Amit Arora is an SQL Server Consultant with WARDY IT Solutions. Amit has over 11 years of experience working with SQL Server including working as a Technical Advisor and DBA for Microsoft. Amit has recently been working on SQL Server solutions with Microsoft Azure and HDInsight as well as other big data technologies.

Click here to register for the December 2016 QLD SQL Server User Group


Microsoft Brisbane – Level 28, 400 George Street, Brisbane

Date & Time:

Catering from 5:30PM for a 6:00PM Start (meetings typically finish at 7:30PM)
Thursday, 15th December 2016

Click here to register

The Virtual DBA Service Goes International – Launching Our Reseller Program

Join WARDY IT Solutions' International Reseller Program

Providing True 24×7 Support

Building a world class SQL Server managed service practice is hard. Many organisations try to provide 24×7 support with varying degrees of success. After launching our Virtual DBA service 10 years ago, we’ve learnt that providing true 24×7 service-excellence is tough to achieve.

Many organisations claim to provide 24×7 support but more often than not, they are providing an on-call service where someone is woken in the middle of the night to respond to an issue, or worse still they are called during the day and they are working on a project. This balance of juggling project and operational workloads is a constant battle for many organisations. Operational workload is the priority but this can severely impact project delivery.

Back in 2006, we saw our clients struggling with the ever increasing demands of both operational and project requirements. Consequently, we developed the Virtual DBA service. Today the Virtual DBA service is an award-winning, best of breed managed service, that supports organisations using the Microsoft Data and Analytics platform.

International Reseller Program

As more and more organisations look to implement various different delivery models including outsourcing, co-souring and as-a-service, clients are expecting more from professional service practices and are requesting support services to assist with managing their changing platform requirements. Professional services firms are often ill-equipped to provide this support due to scale, systems and process or 24×7 support may not be part of their current product offering.

As a result, we’ve launched an international reseller program. We are partnering with other SQL Server professional services firms, enabling them offer true 24×7 support to their clients, using the Virtual DBA service. This allows organisations to meet the 24×7 demands of their clients whilst focusing on their core offerings. We know firsthand how difficult it can be to build the technology and processes required to be in a position to scale. That’s before you even consider recruiting SQL Server experts, which is notoriously difficult across the globe. After years of hard work, we are fortunate enough to be in a position to allow others to ride the wave of success we’ve had with the Virtual DBA service.

Introducing Straight Path IT Solutions

One of the many successful partnerships is our partnership with Straight Path IT Solutions in the US. Straight Path IT Solutions are a specialist SQL Server consulting and mentoring company who found their clients were looking for true 24×7 support to complement their existing DBA on Demand service offering. Straight Path evaluated the worldwide market to find a best of breed partner that would enable Straight Path to focus on the current services they provide but also ensure they could meet the support needs of their clients. The Virtual DBA service does just this. As described by the Straight Path Solutions founder Mike Walsh

The Virtual DBA service provides us a competitive advantage and helps as ensure we strengthen the relationships we have with our clients by allowing us to deliver the solutions they require after business hours. We know the Virtual DBA team is always there and they provide us elastic resourcing if required but most importantly, they are supporting our clients 24×7 while we focus on high-end project work.

If you would like to know more about how the Virtual DBA service can enable you to offer the services that your clients need whilst focusing on your core business offering, please get in touch.