April 2012 - Posts


Hi Everyone

Firstly I want to let you know that I finally found the LINQ book prize winners and the list of people at the bottom of this email are owed a LINQ book. This will be given out at next week’s UG meeting

Live meeting with Carolyn Chau, Program Manager at Microsoft on Monday!

It is very rare that we get the opportunity to have a Live meeting with a Program Manager in Redmond. Carolyn Chau will be presenting PowerView next Monday at 8pm. Live meeting details can be found on


Next week’s UG!!

We welcome Mark Broadbent to Manchester next week where he will be presenting his session on SQL Server 2012 on Windows Core. We also hand out the unclaimed prizes. Register at


Chris Webb is in Manchester!!!

Chris Webb will be speaking at the Manchester SQL Server UG on 4th July. He will also be running his Real World Cube Design and Performance Tuning with Analysis Services between the 3rd – 5th July. If you want to attend then you can sign up at the link below


SQLRelay and a Special Prize and Jamie Thomson comes to Manchester!!!!

SQLRelay takes place in Manchester on the 22nd. We have a special guest, after years of asking Jamie Thomson is coming to Manchester. The SSIS Junkie will be gracing us with his presence with a talk on SSIS 2012.

Also we have a prize. Know a friend or colleague who would benefit from SQLRelay? Get them to register at www.sqlserverfaq.com and then register for the event


Then send an email to ctesta-oneill@hotmail.co.uk with the subject of SQLFriend with the name of your friend.

If you are both at the SQLRelay event on the day and your names are pulled out of the hat you will win a PASS 2011 DVD and your friend will win the “Best of PASS DVD 2011” worth  $1000 courtesy of SQLPASS. The draw will take place between 4.30pm – 5pm on the day.

SQLBits feedback!!!!!

Attended SQLBits? We really need to know your opinion. Please fill out the survey for the days you attended

If you attended any of the days at SQLBits please can you all fill out the following survey


If you attended the Thursday Training day then please fill out the following survey:


If you attended the Friday Deep Dives day then please fill out the following survey:


If you attended the Saturday Community day then please fill out the following survey:




Chris and Martin


LINQ BOOK winners

Andrew Birds

Chris Kennedy

Dave Carpenter

David Forrester

Ian Ringrose

James Cullen

James Simpson

Kevan Riley

Kirsty Hunter

Martin Bell

Martin Croft

Michael Docherty

Naga Anand Ram Mangipudi

Neal Atkinson

Nick Colebourn

Pavel Nefyodov

Ralph Baines

Rick Hibbert

saad saleh

Simon Enion

Stan Venn

Steve Powell

Stuart Quinn

Posted by Testas | with no comments

Over the last 5 years I have observed Microsoft persevere with the notion of Self Service BI over a series of conferences as far back as SQLBits V in Newport. The release of SQL Server 2012, improvements in Excel and the integration with SharePoint 2010 is making this a reality.

Business users are now empowered to create their own BI reports through a number of different technologies such as PowerPivot, PowerView and Report Builder. This opens up a whole new way of working; improving staff productivity, promoting efficient decision making and delivering timely business reports.

There is, however; a serious question to answer.

What happens should any of these applications become unavailable? More to the point, how would the business react should key business users be unable to fulfil reporting requests for key management meetings when they require it?  While the introduction of self-service BI will provide instant access to the creation of management information reports, it will also cause instant support calls should the access to the data become unavailable.

These are questions that are often overlooked when a business evaluates the need for self-service BI. But as I have written in other blog posts, the thirst for information is unquenchable once the business users have access to the data. When they are unable to access the information, you will be the first to know about it and will be expected to have a resolution to the downtime as soon as possible.

The world of self-service BI is pushing reporting and analytical databases to the tier 1 application level for some of Coeo’s customers. A level that is traditionally associated with mission critical OLTP environments. There is recognition that by making BI readily available to the business user, provisions also need to be made to ensure that the solution is highly available so that there is minimal disruption to the business.

This is where High Availability BI infrastructures provide a solution.

As there is a convergence of technologies to support a self-service BI culture, there is also a convergence of technologies that need to be understood in order to provide the high availability architecture required to support the self-service BI infrastructure. While you may not be the individual that implements these components, understanding the concepts behind these components will empower you to have meaningful discussions with the right people should you put this infrastructure in place.

There are 7 worlds that you will have to understand to successfully implement a highly available BI infrastructure


1.       Server/Virtualised server hardware/software

2.       DNS

3.       Network Load Balancing

4.       Active Directory

5.       Kerberos

6.       SharePoint

7.       SQL Server

I have found myself over the last 6 months reaching out to knowledge that I learnt years ago when I studied for the Windows 2000 and 2003 (MCSE) Microsoft Certified System Engineer. (To the point that I am resuming my studies for the Windows Server 2008 equivalent to be up to date with newer technologies) This knowledge has proved very useful in the numerous engagements I have undertaken since being at Coeo, particularly when dealing with High Availability Infrastructures.

As a result of running my session at SQLBits X and SQL Saturday in Dublin, the feedback I have received has been that many individuals desire to understand more of the concepts behind the first 6 “worlds” in the list above.

Over the coming weeks, a series of blog posts will be put on this site to help understand the key concepts of each area as it pertains to a High Availability BI Infrastructure. Each post will not provide exhaustive coverage of the topic. For example DNS can be a book in its own right when you consider that there are so many different configuration options with Forward Lookup, Reverse Lookups, AD Integrated Zones and DNA forwarders to name some examples. What I want to do is share the pertinent points as it pertains to the BI infrastructure that you build so that you are equipped with the knowledge to have the right discussion when planning this infrastructure.

Next, we will focus on the server infrastructure that will be required to support the High Availability BI Infrastructure, from both a physical box and virtualised perspective.




Posted by Testas | with no comments

Quick announcement

Microsoft Learning today announced the certification tracks for the upcoming SQL Server 2012 exams.

You begin by acheiving the MCSA - Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (Not to be confused by the old Microsoft Certified System Administrator)

If you are starting out this includes taking the following three exams:

  • Exam 70-461: Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012
  • Exam 70-462: Administering Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Databases
  • Exam 70-463: Implementing a Data Warehouse with Microsoft SQL Server 2012

If you have an MCTS in SQL Server 2008 already you can take the following path

  • A pass in a SQL Server 2008 (MCTS) Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist exam
  • Exam 70-457: transisitioning your MCTS on SQL Server 2008 to MCSA on SQL Server 2012 part 1
  • Exam 70-458: transisitioning your MCTS on SQL Server 2008 to MCSA on SQL Server 2012 part 2

Once you have achieved you MCSA status you can then start for your MCSE - Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert certification

You have a choice, to do the MCSE: SQL Server 2012 Data Platform, MCSE: SQL Server 2012 Business Intelligence or you could do both

MCSE: SQL Server 2012 Data Platform involves

  • Obtain your SQL Server 2012 MCSA
  • Exam 70-464: Developing Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Databases
  • Exam 70-465: Designing Database Solutions for Microsoft SQL Server 2012

There is also an upgrade path

  • A pass in a SQL Server 2008 (MCITP) Microsoft Certified IT Professional Database Administrator or Database Developer Certification
  • Exam 70-457: transisitioning your MCTS on SQL Server 2008 to MCSA on SQL Server 2012 part 1
  • Exam 70-458: transisitioning your MCTS on SQL Server 2008 to MCSA on SQL Server 2012 part 2
  • Exam 70-459: transisitioning your MCITP on SQL Server 2008 Database Administrator or Database Developer to MCSE:Data Platform

MCSE: SQL Server 2012 Business Intelligence involves

  • Obtain your SQL Server 2012 MCSA
  • Exam 70-466: Implementing Data Models and Reports with Microsoft SQL Server 2012
  • Exam 70-467: Designing Business Intelligence Solutions with Microsoft SQL Server 2012

The upgrade path involves:

  • A pass in a SQL Server 2008 (MCITP) Microsoft Certified IT Professional Business Intelligence Certification
  • Exam 70-457: transisitioning your MCTS on SQL Server 2008 to MCSA on SQL Server 2012 part 1
  • Exam 70-458: transisitioning your MCTS on SQL Server 2008 to MCSA on SQL Server 2012 part 2
  • Exam 70-460: transisitioning your MCITP on SQL Server 2008 Business Intelligence Developer to MCSE:Business Intelligence

As a result if you want to achieve the MCSE in either Data Platform or Business Intelligence and you are starting from scratch there will be 5 exams to take

If you have the ability to upgrade your certification because you have an MCITP already then it will be three exams

Full details and questions can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/cert-sql-server.aspx



Posted by Testas | with no comments