Get Certified on SQL Server

T-SQL Tuesday #89 – The times they are a-changing

Thank you to Koen Verbeeck for hosting this month’s T-SQL Tuesday. The topic for this month is the role of the DBA in a cloud based world. Will there be less jobs in the future for the traditional DBA? As with most questions in the data world… It depends. We currently live in the age of disruption where you must adapt to change or fade away. That has always been true in the technology world. I am sure there are still Cobal and Fortran developers out there, but would I base my career on those languages? That is why it is always important to future proof your career. One way to build the skills needed to compete in this cloud first, mobile first world is to get Microsoft Certified on SQL Server. Microsoft has recently streamlined their certifications and have geared many of them towards Azure based technologies. The 70-765 and 70-473 exams are specifically geared towards working with SQL in Azure. I have spoken at several user groups and SQL Saturdays on how to get SQL Server certified, but if you would like to see an overview click here.  Feel free to contact me with any questions and I will be happy to guide you on the path that is right for you.

Cloud Tech Summit – Chicago

I am very excited to be helping others learn new technologies and asisst them in earning new certifications. On January 19, 2017, I will be delivering two exam prep session at the Microsoft Tech Summit in Chicago. The first is for the 70-473: Cloud Data Platform exam and the second session is for the 70-475: Big Data and Analytics Solutions. Click on the appropriate link if you would like to download the powerpoint presentations.

During the session I focus on Microsoft websites, however, if you have a Pluralsight account I would recommend the following video sessions to study for the exams. For the 70-473 exam: SQL Azure by Scott Seely, SQL Server 2016 New Features by Leonard Lobel, Implement Storage for Azure by Tim Warner, and Practical SQL Server HA/DR by Russ Thomas. For the 70-475 exam: Start with the 70-473 videos and then add Applying the Lambda Architecture by Ahmad Alkilani, HDInsight Deep Dive with Elton Stoneman, and Real World Big Data in Azure by Elton Stoneman.

Exam Passed – 473

 Well, that was not as difficult as I thought it would be. I was able to pass the 70-473 exam for the Cloud Data Platform Specialist certification.  The first place to start if you are interested in passing this exam is Microsoft Virtual Academy. It has a great overview of the exam topics with some demonstrations. Next, spend some time with the Azure Documentation to walk through some very excellent tutorials.

Security and SQL Azure

I was doing some research on Security and SQL Azure Databases and found this great article form Joseph D’Antoni (Denny Cherry & Associates Consulting) and Stacia Varga (Data Inspirations) that I highly recommend. The summary states, “This paper details the security and data management features found in Microsoft Azure SQL Database. It first describes the security foundation provided by Microsoft Azure and then explains the techniques and features used to manage data access in SQL Database; to log and monitor database activity; to protect data at rest and in transit; and to build secure applications. By understanding and using these features correctly, you can remain confident that your data in the cloud is protected.”


This is one of those things that the TwitterVerse argues over and I am all for a good TwitterVerse argument. But for some people it does actually matter if you use the correct term when you are refering to servers located at a physical location. So I decided to make this picture for my students so they could visualize the difference between Premise and Premises. Feel free to share with all of your friends, family, and other tweeple.

Azure Exam Discounts

I am starting to work on the 70-473 exam and normally the exam would cost $165. With my MCT discount it would only be $82.50. However, right now Microsoft has a deeply discounted offer for select Azure exams. With this discount I was able to get not only the exam voucher for the 70-473 exam, but also the Measure Up Practice exam, and a free re-take for only $99. There is an even deeper discount if you are going to take 3 exams. Found out more here.

Cloud Wars

 During this 30-minute webinar from January 13, 2016, Jeremy Cioara, Garth Schulte, and Ben Finkel compare and contrast Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure — three of the leading cloud platforms on the market. You’ll learn what features the three share, what features help them stand out, and how they can benefit you and your organization.

IT Pro Cloud Essentials

Microsoft is currently offering two new ways to support IT professionals and their companies in a smooth transition to the cloud: Microsoft IT Pro Cloud Essentials and Microsoft IT Pro Career Center. The IT Pro Cloud Essentials and the IT Pro Career Center are the two newest programs to help IT professionals familiarize themselves with Microsoft’s available cloud technologies and sharpen their IT skills. The free annual subscription to IT Pro Cloud Essentials offers IT professionals direct access to cloud services, including training, support and certification. Other benefits of the free IT Pro Cloud Essentials annual subscription include:

Free Cloud Virtual Training

VirtualClassroomBannerWant to develop your cloud skills? Attend one of these expert-led, virtual classes to get hands-on experience on the latest Microsoft cloud technologies for free. These engaging live sessions will help you learn how to work with Microsoft’s cloud products and services through step-by-step instructions in a practice environment. Find a topic below that interests you and register for a date that works for you. Space is limited for each class so reserve your virtual seat today.

Extend your Datacenter to the cloud with Microsoft Azure In this training, you will learn how you can integrate Azure into your existing datacenter to create a hybrid cloud infrastructure through flexible, cross-platform management toolsets.
Modernize your data platform with Microsoft SQL Server 2016 In this training, you will learn about break-through missional-critical capabilities with in-memory performance, built-in advanced analytics, new advanced security technology, and new hybrid cloud scenarios.
Empower employee productivity with Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite In this training, you will learn how to manage mobile productivity and how to deploy and manage applications on premises or in the cloud using Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite.

Microsoft Azure Security

12717841_10154579941974867_7504852617848177652_nLast year (2015) was a big year for Azure Security. Microsoft released a number of new security capabilities such as Azure Disk Encryption, Azure Key Vault, SQL Transparent Data Encryption (TDE) and Column Level Encryption (CLE), Storage Client-side Encryption, and more. On the product/service side we introduced the public preview of Azure Security Center. The year passed like a whirlwind and the pace of change in Azure kept us all on our toes. Let’s take a look at what the Azure Security team and other partners have published last year to help you keep up to date.

Microsoft Azure Stack

azurestack Azure Stack extends the Azure vision by bringing the cloud model of computing to every datacenter. Azure Stack is a new hybrid cloud platform product that enables organizations to deliver Azure services from their own datacenter in a way that is consistent with Azure. To see a short video by Jeffrey Snover and Mark Russinovich you can click here or visit the Microsoft Mechanics to take an early look. Still not sure, check out Azure Stack Technical Preview here.