Are you working towards your Windows Server 2012 Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) credentials? If so, you now have more options for your exams. Starting on 15 September 2014 there are now electives for your MCSA certification. There are now 2 required exams and a choice of 1 elective from a list of 4 exams … Continue reading Microsoft announces changes to Windows Server 2012 MCSA Certification
No matter how well-designed and –build a business intelligence (BI) system is, it’s always possible that your workload will exceed its capabilities, and you’ll end up being dissatisfied with its performance. In those cases, what can you do? Your options depend a lot on the underlying database and analysis engine; for this article, we’ll assume … Continue reading Using SQL Server Analysis Services for poorly-performing BI Systems
Business Intelligence (BI) systems can take a lot of computing horsepower, and most organizations try to deploy as much horsepower as possible when they implement a BI solution. Unfortunately, BI is one of those things that makes its users want more. More reports. More dashboards. More data. And all that “more” means you’ll eventually need … Continue reading Three Ways to Scale Your Existing BI Business Intelligence System
What happens when you use the same scale to compare values that are actually in different scales? Have a look at this chart that was generated using Reporting Services and notice that you can barely see the gold columns for the Average Sales values. The data (see the table next to the chart) tells us … Continue reading Adding a Secondary Axis to a SSRS Chart
I’ve recently been working with a number of small- and medium-sized businesses that are preparing to jump aboard the decision support bandwagon. Several of them have been asking me questions that reveal the enormous amount of confusion in the decision support industry, such as, “do we need a data warehouse, or should we buy a … Continue reading Data Warehouse or Business Intelligence BI Solution – or Both?
Do you really need to buy a business intelligence solution in order to get business intelligence? Maybe not. If you’ve got more or less all of your data in the latest version of SQL Server, and you’re using the latest versions of Office and SharePoint, you’d be surprised what you can cobble together on your … Continue reading Business Intelligence (BI) solution: SQL Server, Office, and SharePoint
Can SQL Server live inside a virtual machine? Yes and no. There are certainly reasons to do so, such as the ease of constructing high-availability databases that don’t involve the complexity and expense of Windows Clustering (for example, using virtualization-based availability technologies from companies such as VMware and Marathon Technologies). Virtualization is the Great Consolidator … Continue reading SQL Server in Virtual Machines: Myth or Reality?
As Microsoft continues to develop and promote their cloud-based SQL services, database administrators will have to become adept at administering their company’s Azure-based assets. If you’re a “reluctant DBA” – someone tasked with managing databases just because you’re “the Microsoft person” in your environment and not because you have any DBA training – Azure can … Continue reading How to Administer a SQL Azure Database?
The boss is yelling. Users are grumpy. SQL Server’s performance is tanking, and it’s making all of your organization’s line-of-business applications slow. And it’s your problem, just because you’re the “Microsoft person” in your environment. What’s a “reluctant DBA” to do? There are three straightforward things you can do to improve performance on almost any … Continue reading Three Easy Ways to Improve Performance in Any SQL Server Database
If you’re a “reluctant DBA” supporting SQL Server, in an environment that uses SharePoint Server, you may sometimes find yourself wondering how you can get better performance out of the combination. SQL Server is the back-end for SharePoint, so better SQL Server performance equals better SharePoint performance. Of course, you don’t have full control over … Continue reading 3 Tips for Tweaking SQL Server’s SharePoint Performance