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Introduction to SQL Server Data Services

By James Hippolite, in , posted: 23-Feb-2009 12:35

WhenThursday 19 February @ 5:30pm
WhereWellington SQL Server User Group, Intergen Offices, Plunket House, Lambton Quay
WhatI presented on SQL Server Data Services

Was well received.

I started with a question; whether the audience would prefer the presentation I'd prepared, or the Microsoft presentation I had received that morning.  They chose my prepared presentation.  I was a little disappointed because the Microsoft presentation had flash graphics, and I couldn't be blamed for being under-prepared!  Nevertheless, there was a fruitful to-and-fro with the audience:

  • Matty was insightful, as usual.
  • Clive was incredulous and unimpressed with the lack of features provided thus far.
  • Adrian asked a pertenant question afterwards, which I'd like to answer here as it's very relevant to the entire discussion.  He was honest about his (and I suspect many people's) confusion about Azure vs. SSDS.

Think of Azure as like a Cloud O/S.
Think of SSDS as like a Cloud DB.

Yes, you could store blobs and entities to Azure, but over time you really shouldn't be, because Microsoft is going to add more functionality to SSDS to enable relational queries, backup, restore, and BI.

My slides are here.
Microsoft's slides are here.

Other related posts:
GeekPost Weekly Newsletter Volume 4 Issue 7
MSDN Unplugged Roadshow Wellington
Right Sizing Agile Development - MSDN Magazine Webinar

Comment by Chris Auld, on 24-Feb-2009 00:08

Not so sure that I agree that you "probably shouldn't" store BLOBs in Azure storage.

For high scale large binary storage Azure storage is, I think (and with a little knowledge of where SDS will probably go), the most sensible options. It has mechnisms for support the efficient upload of very large files (chunking of > 64MB files). It provides a RESTful interface to return the BLOB data directly to the client and it's likely that it will support edge caching well before the SQL team get around to it.

The way I prefer to describe it is that

Windows Azure Storage == Shared high scale, high availability file system

SQL Data Services == The Genesis of a Cloud Hosted Relational Database based on SQL Server and long may we hope that many of the things we know and love about MSSQL end up in the cloud.

Are you coming to the Windows Azure training event in Sydney 2nd week of March? If not ping me an email next week and we'll have coffee and I'd love to chat Cloud stuff with you.

Author's note by JamesHip, on 9-Mar-2009 12:17

Hi Chris, and thanks for your comment.  I tried responding to your Synergy email but it bounced, so here's what I wrote:

No I won't be at the Sydney training ni the 2nd week of March.  Is this the same Live Services Jump Start they had in Sydney in December?  I went to the one instead.

Yep, let's talk Cloud.

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James Hippolite
New Zealand

Welcome to my technical blog. 

Here, I attempt to distill the Microsoft Certified Professional Developer knowledge I have accumulated since first qualifying MCP in 1996.  This blog started on 13 September 2007 as an off-shoot from my mixed up personal blog.  But it took a shot in the arm from Scott Hanselman's talk at TechEd New Zealand 08 "32 Ways To Make Your Blog Suck Less".