November 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011

There are number of Business intelligence software available in the market from 0 to thousands dollar cost but what if you just have to analyze your data and use business intelligence feature for free – we will outline some details of Microsoft offering something in business intelligence domain. And we will import data from MS SQL Azure which is handy too, if you are familiar with cloud computing then it will more easy for everyone to import data from Microsoft SQL Azure and work with the business intelligence technology for free. 
We are assuming this- your organization is dealing with millions of rows of data –such data may be stored in legacy system, in flat file, or in other system- and you need to analyze it anyhow- so you just need to do the following.
Download Power Pivot for free from Microsoft and install office 2010 and using excel 2010 you can import data from MS SQL Server or you have any system you can import data inside excel using power pivot for detail analysis.
In this scenario we need:
  • Microsoft SQL Azure database on cloud
  • Power Pivot free
  • Excel 2010
Once you have installed office then install Power Pivot component which is free and create a connection to MS SQL Azure- just point your location to Data (Excel 2010)- Add connection to azure and select ODBC option to connect to MS SQL Azure environment.

If you already have taken space for azure database otherwise subscribe for MS SQL Azure database and you will be given further instruction in email from Microsoft.

You can create, copy and work with T-SQL using Microsoft SQL Azure environment, there are few SQL Azure limitation in statements they are not supported in SQL Azure environment.

You can connect to SQL Azure environment using SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) having full support of SQL Azure environment, if you want to access SQL Azure database from visual using so the some part of the code will be replaced – you can change provider username with SQL Azure login id it all depends on what type of format you are using- for example it can be [email protected] and so on. Your ODBC connection setting or azure connection string providername could be something like
  "Server=tcp:[sqlazureserver] "

As SQL Azure compliant with 3rd party application –and allow them to connect with MS SQL Azure environment. You also can use ODBC and ASP.NET and to connect with SQL Azure- so this time we are assuming you have taken ODBC connection approach to connect with Excel 2010 Power Pivot and then you can import/export data to azure. As of now you are able to understand the entire azure connection functionality then with the help of proper credential you can connect with MS SQL Azure via ODBC connect option in Excel 2010 data menu. If you have configured it then your data from legacy system available on excel sheet – can be exported to SQL Azure or can be imported to excel using power pivot if you want to import your data from SQL Azure to Excel 2010 via power pivot.

Conclusion About Microsoft SQL Azure:

We have taken ODBC approach to access SQL Azure database from Excel 2010 with a plug-in Power Pivot to import data from Azure – with the same approach you can export data. Our objective was to transfer data from old database to Microsoft SQL Azure or vice versa.
Leave comments for any issue or idea.

Monday, November 21, 2011

If you are clear with the understanding of virtualization then we will go ahead with virtual desktop  infrastructure and discuss how it’s very important and  this technology includes what.
Virtualizing means virtual not physical very simple to understand - you are doing something with your desktop virtually not physically is -desktop virtualization-, so there are different terms used for virtualization -one is desktop virtualization is the idea of providing desktop with virtual concept and another aspect is desktop virtualization infrastructure- as its name says infrastructure includes hardware, network resources and OS as well, so VDI is the mechanism of creating a computing environment with hardware resources virtually.

Why VDI?
Managing IT infrastructure and operation in any organization is a tedious job, whenever organization have new employee in then he needs a provision of desktop and application etc, if you consider a scenario where you have to manage more than 1000 desktop without virtualization then what you would do, means very simple desktop virtualization helps you maximize your hardware resources utilization by just VDI model.

On the other hand - everyone wants their application access on diversified devices like mobile, laptop and access application from anywhere, so one point which is quite prominent here – you can easily access your desktop if you are using VDI technology. Where you will be having your windows and the entire desktop for you to start work from anywhere. There should be mechanism of managing desktop easily and in a centralized place to face desktop challenges like we have in the form of new employee.

Another aspect of using VDI is – once you work with application and there are number of application setting you need to do -so imagine without desktop virtualization you are spending time on configuring all those data and setting on different desktop for your new employee. Even when the same employee accessing application from other network or pc then he needs that same application setting there if he wants to access application from there, one of the example of application setting is environment variable – you need to set these variable when you access your application from other PC’s or devices. Another example is user’s profile which can be stored in centralized data center. Once your application and data is stored in centralized data center so you can take backup easily.

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure technology can give you secure and centrally managed desktop environment – it’s just simplifying delivery of desktop with application and providing complete os, application and users setting and data in virtual machine which resides in data base center.
So far Microsoft and vm ware has provided various tools for desktop virtualization and citrix also representing few tools for virtualization.

Microsoft technology for VDI:
Hyper v is used for creating multiple os on hosted server machine where you can create multiple desktops for other users whenever it is required. Microsoft System center, App V, Remote desktop services Windows 2008 R2 are tools for creating and managing virtual environment and infrastructure.

HP is also providing Virtual Desktop Infrastructure technology other vendor includes Citrix, VMware and IBM.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

If you are quite familiar with oracle and been maintaining oracle-based application and its database you may be thinking of exporting your oracle's database on cloud – here we have little overview- how you could go a head with this thinking. Your oracle application may be running fine and but if you have decided to migrate your database from oracle to somewhere on cloud you need to consider such technique to follow.

Technically we call it platform migration- because you are migrating your database- based on oracle from oracle developer to web based cloud computing environment, let me add few words about oracle developer it’s a java based tools and free for all, additionally- if you come up with the idea which cloud is better so can go ahead with Amazon RDS service to manage your relational database on cloud and can follow the procedure below with this hope that will be a perfect for migrating database from desktop oracle client/oracle server to cloud environment.
There are many ways to export data from oracle database and dump it on cloud computing environment, in which you can use Oracle Import/Export utility, and it’s ideal to use this tool if you have small database and limitation of data types, on the other hand you can use oracle developer to import /export database from oracle.
Oracle developer tool is ideal for small databases from oracle desktop to cloud environment.
Whereas another option is sql loader will help you to do the same task means to import/export data from oracle, this process will export data from oracle into a flat file and then so on you can create a control file where you write DDL statement in it.
If you have decided to run your database on cloud from oracle server/ oracle client so you can now think of selecting any other services that are compatible to run oracle database on cloud, we have done little research and seen oracle itself offering Oracle cloud but quite expensive model they have- you also can do the same thing and we have seen Amazon RDS is quite impressive for all small business people to migrate their databases from oracle server/client to cloud environment.

Little overview of Amazon RDS:
A services designed by Amazon to operate, access and manage oracle databases on cloud environment, it’s a services to scale up you relational databases on oracle engine, this is ideal for any organization using oracle developer database desktop /server environment to move your database from single user interface and move your database from client.

You need to get amazon RDS web service and register on amazon site for this service if you are happy with management console workspace of aws then you can go ahead.
You need to create database instance on cloud environment using your own oracle developer client tool or you can do such kind of activity from amazon management console.
Now you have fantastic interface with you that is oracle developer and you are connected with your database instances on cloud environment side by side. In first step you will create database and its table in cloud computing environment using oracle developer client tool or you can use it from amazon management console workspace. You will create database instance and then dump data into it but we would recommend just creating a snapshot instance is quite safe step and then go ahead with data import option.
As an option you can use import/export utility or sql loader option for data import/export.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

You can combine two cells in Excel and make it one cell, like that you can combine two technologies into one, it’s a mixture of tow element – a hybrid cloud computing environment is mixture of two or more cloud models that are independent but linked together where at least one private cloud and other could be public cloud to form a partnership with each other.

Hybrid Cloud Computing:

is a model in which organizations provide and manage resources in-house and other resources are manages externally or as out- sourced.
In the light of above definition of hybrid cloud -you can be on safe side while selecting better cloud model for your organization.

There are many services available by public cloud providers and you ideally can consume them and have another private cloud environment to store data where you can manage your hybrid cloud. That is why we call it hybrid cloud.

If your organization using storage or backup services from public cloud environment then you can store your data in private cloud environment. Another example could be managing emails on public cloud – many cloud providers like Microsoft too – offering storing and managing your emails on public cloud and you can archive them on your private cloud environment to form a hybrid cloud.
You can consider consuming public cloud services and store your application’s data on private cloud to form a hybrid cloud.
Hybrid Cloud Computing
Hybrid Cloud Computing Example

You can consider sharepoint on public cloud and some workload in private cloud environment and it’s data to form a hybrid cloud environment.
You can consider consuming some services on public cloud and maintain cluster servers nods on private cloud to make it a hybrid cloud.

Conclusion of Hybrid Cloud Computing:

 Hybrid Cloud Computing environment gives you full control over your data and application and you have fewer dependencies over public cloud environment. By implementing this strategy you are securing your data on cloud environment. You are just combing resources and accessibility on cloud environment.
Please let us know your comments.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

We are addressing the cloud computing concerns so you could decide about the better cloud provider-
If you have taken a decisive step towards your application and data to be resided as outsource entity on server on-line we call it the cloud then review some aspects before selecting the cloud vendor how that vendor is handling your data, you need to make sure some aspects as given below for selecting better cloud vendor
one thing is important to know whether your cloud computing provider is allowing you to the data movement from one cloud to another, it all depends on which type of services you want to take from other cloud vendor. So this is very important to know if your existing provider can allow you to move your data to other cloud provider so specific service can be consumed.

Encryption of structured and non-structured data:
Another aspect is how encryption is done to move data, whether vendor enables unstructured or structured encryption or not, and in storage encryption is enabled or not.
Data can leak out on cloud, you need to consider what tools are available at your cloud vendor side and you also can explore tools for data leakage and how to be secure.

Cloud Infrastructure:
You need to consider the infrastructure of cloud is it secure or not, this may happen you are paying for dedicated server and your server is being shared among other customers, not only server – network resources or backup devices are being shared among others or not- you need to make sure if you are paying for dedicated cloud resources then they should be dedicated to your organization.
You need to consider on physical security of cloud provider, for example you have taken some space on cloud and checking email using exchange online, now you need to make sure what security software are there for your data to be secure etc.
You may require data for your internal processes you need to make sure is that compliance enough to satisfy your own regularity requirement.

In our views one point is having weight among all those point –that is privacy of data – and you need to know how the personal information will be used they are not using such data for marketing purposes, another aspect before selecting cloud provider is- make sure for how long cloud vendor has been in the market, better ask for some customers already using that service.
Please let us know your inputs.