Microsoft Azure SQL Database nears parity with SQL Server

SEATTLE — After a two-year development effort to address its technical limitations, Microsoft Azure SQL Database is finally poised to become a more viable alternative to on-premises SQL Server systems for users who want to shift database applications to the cloud.

Microsoft’s R&D work is culminating in a flurry of new features and product offerings. For example, the vendor on Dec. 1 plans to launch a high-end version of its Azure SQL Database Managed Instance cloud platform for business applications with heavy-duty I/O requirements. Managed Instance is an implementation of Microsoft Azure SQL Database that’s almost functionally equivalent to SQL Server, according to Microsoft, which released a general-purpose version of the service at the start of October.

At PASS Summit 2018, Microsoft also made available a public preview of its Machine Learning Services software running in the core Azure SQL Database platform. That follows preview releases in October of two other new technologies: a Hyperscale service tier that eliminates Azure SQL Database’s 4 TB limit on database size, and an Accelerated Database Recovery feature built to speed up the process of recovering databases after a system failure.

Hyperscale supports databases with up to 100 TB of data — an increase that was welcome news to Azure SQL Database user Mark Freeman, a senior database administrator at tax, audit and management consulting services company BDO Global.

“Right now, we’re limited to 4 TB databases, and they just kind of blew the roof off of that,” Freeman said at the conference.

PASS Summit 2018 in Seattle
Updates to Azure SQL Database were detailed and discussed at PASS Summit 2018.

Separation policy on Azure databases

Brussels-based BDO runs hundreds of databases on Microsoft Azure SQL Database, said Freeman, who works at the company’s office in Columbus, Ohio. But the IT team had to split up larger databases because of the PaaS technology’s previous size restriction, he added. As a result, operational data for individual countries can be spread across as many as seven separate databases, according to Freeman.

Right now, we’re limited to 4 TB databases, and they just kind of blew the roof off of that.
Mark Freemansenior DBA, BDO Global

“Now we can put it all together in one place without having to worry about recovering all of the databases,” he said.

Azure SQL Database also may now be able to handle older applications that BDO runs on Microsoft’s SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines platform because of their size, Freeman said. The latter technology is cloud-based, too, but it’s an IaaS offering that requires database administrators (DBAs) to handle configuration, patching and other management tasks that Azure SQL Database automates.

Until now, DBAs looking to migrate existing applications to the cloud typically had to use SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines. Microsoft Azure SQL Database was primarily geared to run new cloud-native applications due to the database size limitation and its lack of support for some key SQL Server features, such as the SQL Server Agent job scheduler. That dampened its appeal to the installed base.

“We knew there were some challenges with Azure SQL Database,” said Rohan Kumar, corporate vice president of engineering for Azure data services and SQL Server at Microsoft.

Speaking in the opening keynote session at PASS Summit 2018, Kumar added that Azure SQL Database Managed Instance aims to reduce the “friction” on cloud migrations that existing users encountered. SQL Server applications can be moved to a Managed Instance environment without any changes, he said. And the high-end Managed Instance Business Critical version will enable users “to run their most mission-critical SQL Server workloads in Azure,” Kumar claimed.

A familiar feel for SQL Server users

The Managed Instance technology is still a work in progress, said Denny Cherry, founder and principal consultant at Denny Cherry & Associates Consulting in Oceanside, Calif. But in an interview at the conference, Cherry said he expects user demand for Managed Instance deployments to increase once the Business Critical service tier is available.

“It’s kind of the SQL Server you know,” said Mike Walsh, president of Straight Path IT Solutions, a SQL Server consulting services company in Milton, N.H.

The Managed Instance implementation of Microsoft Azure SQL Database can be pricey, Walsh noted during a conference session. On Microsoft’s website, he set up a sample configuration with a compute cost of $150,000 per month for the maximum number of 80 vCore logical CPUs. But users can get discounts of up to 55% if they convert an existing SQL Server license to the cloud system, Walsh said.

Beautycounter, a multilevel marketing company that sells skin care, makeup and bath products, runs SQL Server on the AWS cloud instead of Azure. In the past, the Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) for SQL Server offered more functionality and options than Microsoft Azure SQL Database did, said Steve Rezhener, a database engineer at Beautycounter, which is based in Santa Monica, Calif., and formally known as Counter Brands LLC.

Azure SQL Database Managed Instance doesn’t fully change that, Rezhener said in an interview at the conference. “But at least the features are on par with RDS,” he added. “It looks like it’s on-premises SQL Server.”

At PASS Summit 2018, the annual conference of the Professional Association for SQL Server user group, Microsoft also launched the second release of SQL Server 2019 under its Community Technology Preview program. CTP 2.1 adds the ability to run R and Python applications in the big data clusters that SQL Server 2019 supports, plus other new features. Microsoft’s goal is to release a preview every month, Kumar said.

For Sale – Powermac G4 Quicksilver

Next to get shot of is a Powermac G4 Quicksilver from 2001/2002. In excellent condition for it’s a age, running a clean OSX Panther 10.3.

733MHz CPU
256MB RAM (1 slot free)
80GB IDE HDD
3 free PCI slots
CD drive
Boots to desktop with known admin acc and password.

No box and weighs a tonne so collection only.

No idea what this is worth so am open to offers.

Price and currency: 35
Delivery: Goods must be exchanged in person
Payment method: Cash, BT or PPG
Location: North Essex
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I prefer the goods to be collected

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

Kids get ‘eye-opening’ classroom lessons through video calls that span millions of miles – Stories

Horio and her students, in turn, have shared their knowledge of what to do during natural disasters, as they did in a Skype session on earthquake safety with Tran Thi Thuy’s class in rural Vietnam.

Tran, a teacher who says she was raised in the poorest family in her village, bought her own Wi-Fi router to bring the world to her students through Skype. She says the sessions, which are in English, take her kids beyond the grammar and vocabulary that are traditionally taught, to actually speak the language themselves, even though they’re in an area where native speakers are rare. Talking with people in other regions helps students learn to understand different accents as well, Horio adds.

Darlene Colon
Students at the Escuela del Deporte San Juan school in Puerto Rico broke out in spontaneous music jams over Skype calls with classes around the world when the electricity came back on after Hurricane Maria. Photo provided by their teacher, Darlene Colon.

Darlene Colon, who teaches technology and English as a second language to middle schoolers at a public school for athletes in Puerto Rico, has started a monthly rotation of Spanish and English sessions with classes in Texas and Kentucky. The kids are helping each other with pronunciation, she said — a welcome diversion for her students, who are still struggling from the impact of Hurricane Maria last year.

Colon’s school building was destroyed in the hurricane, about two months before last year’s Skype-a-Thon. A hallway in a neighboring school became her classroom, and even though the area still didn’t have electricity, she found a way to charge her computer and boosted the data service on her phone so she could connect her class for the event.

“The kids didn’t have anything, no electricity or water. Some had lost their homes, family members and friends, and they were very stressed,” she says. “So this helped them forget their troubles and just enjoy themselves.”

When the electricity came back on in time for Christmas, her students’ joy was so infectious that a spontaneous music jam and dance broke out during a Skype session with a class in New York.

“Everyone was so happy, and even though all the news was about the chaos here, we were able to show that wasn’t necessarily the whole story,” she says. “Even though it was difficult for us, we were willing to continue and participate.”

Above all, teachers say the Skype sessions highlight how much the kids have in common with each other – such as Horio’s Japanese students discovering they had the same favorite Dragon Ball comic book character as a class in Spain.

“We’ve had sessions with 78 different countries,” says Kumar, the STEM teacher in India. “But in spite of all that diversity, the sense of commonality is what comes through to the kids. When they laugh and share things, that’s what they identify: oneness within diversity.”

Kids get ‘eye-opening’ classroom lessons through video calls that span millions of miles – Stories

Horio and her students, in turn, have shared their knowledge of what to do during natural disasters, as they did in a Skype session on earthquake safety with Tran Thi Thuy’s class in rural Vietnam.

Tran, a teacher who says she was raised in the poorest family in her village, bought her own Wi-Fi router to bring the world to her students through Skype. She says the sessions, which are in English, take her kids beyond the grammar and vocabulary that are traditionally taught, to actually speak the language themselves, even though they’re in an area where native speakers are rare. Talking with people in other regions helps students learn to understand different accents as well, Horio adds.

Darlene Colon
Students at the Escuela del Deporte San Juan school in Puerto Rico broke out in spontaneous music jams over Skype calls with classes around the world when the electricity came back on after Hurricane Maria. Photo provided by their teacher, Darlene Colon.

Darlene Colon, who teaches technology and English as a second language to middle schoolers at a public school for athletes in Puerto Rico, has started a monthly rotation of Spanish and English sessions with classes in Texas and Kentucky. The kids are helping each other with pronunciation, she said — a welcome diversion for her students, who are still struggling from the impact of Hurricane Maria last year.

Colon’s school building was destroyed in the hurricane, about two months before last year’s Skype-a-Thon. A hallway in a neighboring school became her classroom, and even though the area still didn’t have electricity, she found a way to charge her computer and boosted the data service on her phone so she could connect her class for the event.

“The kids didn’t have anything, no electricity or water. Some had lost their homes, family members and friends, and they were very stressed,” she says. “So this helped them forget their troubles and just enjoy themselves.”

When the electricity came back on in time for Christmas, her students’ joy was so infectious that a spontaneous music jam and dance broke out during a Skype session with a class in New York.

“Everyone was so happy, and even though all the news was about the chaos here, we were able to show that wasn’t necessarily the whole story,” she says. “Even though it was difficult for us, we were willing to continue and participate.”

Above all, teachers say the Skype sessions highlight how much the kids have in common with each other – such as Horio’s Japanese students discovering they had the same favorite Dragon Ball comic book character as a class in Spain.

“We’ve had sessions with 78 different countries,” says Kumar, the STEM teacher in India. “But in spite of all that diversity, the sense of commonality is what comes through to the kids. When they laugh and share things, that’s what they identify: oneness within diversity.”

Surface Go with LTE Advanced available now – Microsoft Devices Blog

The Surface for Business portfolio – now with Surface Go with LTE Advanced – gives businesses the flexibility and capabilities to meet their needs.

In July we introduced Surface Go, our lightest, most compact Surface yet. Since then, we have seen strong momentum for Surface Go. Business customers tell us they love Surface Go because it is compact, performant, manageable, affordable, and offers advanced security with Windows 10 Pro. Surface Go is a great device for Firstline Workers who are out in the field, directly interacting with customers. In K-8 classrooms, Surface Go provides a versatile device for sparking creativity and inspiring exploration.
Today, we are excited to announce that Surface Go with LTE Advanced is available for pre-order in select markets.
Surface Go with LTE Advanced for Business offers organizations the perfect balance of performance, portability and connectivity[1] their Firstline Workers need to get the job done in the field. Imagine:

No more dependence on Wi-Fi at a jobsite—construction project managers can input real-time assessments and photos of contractor progress into their cloud system
No more reliance on a client’s home Wi-Fi network—insurance claims adjusters can submit damage reports and receive quotes while assessing a vehicle
No more tethering with reduced speeds and depleted phone batteries—census takers can upload household demographic information in real time

Surface Go with LTE Advanced devices also are great for organizational management and security. For example, removing field worker dependency on guest Wi-Fi reduces security risks from unsecured networks. LTE connected devices make it easier for IT administrators to manage rolling out business-critical updates and new device deployments.

Surface Powers Business
Surface Go with LTE Advanced for Business is the latest in our expanding portfolio of enterprise-grade and optimized Surface devices. This comprehensive family of devices has contributed to the growth in the Surface business, bringing Surface from introducing the 2-in-1 category just six years ago to joining the top five global companies in US PC market share, according to Gartner.
Based on customer feedback, we created Surface for Business, products tailored specifically for commercial and education customers. On Surface Pro 6 for Business and Surface Laptop 2 for Business, we have designed our products and services to include: a higher-performing, faster 8th Gen Intel Core processor on the i5 configuration; advanced security with Windows 10 Pro; premium support[2] at no additional cost; and readiness for Microsoft 365.
We continue to be amazed by how our commercial and education customers are transforming their industries using Surface for Business devices. Here are a few recent examples:

Goldcorp is focused on responsible mining practices throughout the Americas. In addition to Power BI and Microsoft 365, Goldcorp standardized on Microsoft hardware and modern workplace solutions gaining performance insights, improving security, reducing costs and building a foundation for the future of technology-enabled mines. Deploying more than 1,400 Surface devices, Goldcorp selected the fan-less Surface Pro for miners to use in the mines, as well as a variety of Surface devices throughout headquarters, including Surface Pro, Surface Book 2 and Surface Studio.
John Holland, a Melbourne-based infrastructure, building and rail leader, selected 1,200 Surface Pro with LTE Advanced devices to power its field workers across large geographical construction zones. Using cellular and Wi-Fi, the Surface devices seamlessly connect workers with key information like blueprints and documents at project sites. With this change, John Holland is helping deliver a better experience to employees and a higher standard to customers.
Mashreq Bank, based in Dubai, is a regional market leader with an international presence. To keep ahead of evolving industry trends, the bank recently switched to Microsoft Surface Pro with LTE Advanced devices, implemented Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365, and replaced their security offering with Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection. The results have included a more than 50 percent increase in digital transactions, an annual savings of $250,000 USD in security spending, a stronger mobile workforce, and an acceleration of company growth.
For New York City Administration for Children’s Services, Surface Pro with LTE Advanced devices will provide frontline staff with greater access to critical documents and case history while out in the field. Additionally, new software will automatically identify and flag high-risk cases that need additional review by managerial staff.

Surface Go with LTE Advanced is available now for pre-order in select markets starting at $679 USD[3] for consumers, and $729 USD[3] for commercial customers. By Nov. 22, Surface Go with LTE Advanced will be available in 23 markets and we expect even more in the coming months.
For more information, please visit https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/surface/business or reach out to an authorized retailer to place an order.

[1] Service availability and performance subject to service provider’s network. Contact your service provider for details, compatibility, pricing, SIM card, and activation. See all specs and frequencies at surface.com.
[2] Advanced Exchange Service (AES) is available in supported markets only. Surface Pro 6 and Surface Laptop 2 commercial devices are eligible for AES at no additional charge. Restrictions apply. See Surface for Business warranty page for AES terms and conditions at product general availability.
[3] Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price

Updated November 12, 2018 6:55 am

Collaborate with others and keep track of to-dos with new AI features in Word – Microsoft 365 Blog

Focus is a simple but powerful thing. When you’re in your flow, your creativity takes over, and your work is effortless. When you’re faced with distractions and interruptions, progress is slow and painful. And nowhere is that truer than when writing.

Word has long been the standard for creating professional-quality documents. Technologies like Editor—Word’s AI-powered writing assistant—make it an indispensable tool for the written word. But at some point in the writing process, you’ll need some information you don’t have at your fingertips, even with the best tools. When this happens, you likely do what research tells us many Word users do: leave a placeholder in your document and come back to it later to stay in your flow.

Today, we’re starting to roll out new capabilities to Word that help users create and fill in these placeholders without leaving the flow of their work. For example, type TODO: finish this section or <> and Word recognizes and tracks them as to-dos. When you come back to the document, you’ll see a list of your remaining to-dos, and you can click each one to navigate back to the right spot.

Animated screenshot of a Word document open using the AI-powered To-Do feature.

Once you’ve created your to-dos, Word can also help you complete them. If you need help from a friend or coworker, just @mention them within a placeholder. Word sends them a notification with a “deep link” to the relevant place in the document. Soon, they’ll be able to reply to the notification with their contributions, and those contributions will be inserted directly into the document—making it easy to complete the task with an email from any device.

Over time, Office will use AI to help fill in many of these placeholders. In the next few months, Word will use Microsoft Search to suggest content for a to-do like <>. You will be able to pick from the results and insert content from another document with a single click.

These capabilities are available today for Word on the Mac for Office Insiders (Fast) as a preview. We’ll roll these features out to all Office 365 subscribers soon for Word for Windows, the Mac, and the web.

Get started as an Office for Mac Insider

Office Insider for Mac has two speeds: Insider Fast and Insider Slow. To get access to this and other new feature releases, you’ll need a subscription to Office 365. To select a speed, open Microsoft Auto Update and on the Help menu select Check for Updates.

As always, we would love to hear from you, please send us your thoughts at UserVoice or visit us on Twitter or Facebook. You can also let us know how you like the new features by clicking the smiley face icon in the upper-right corner of Word.

Talkdesk iQ provides AI analytics, monitoring in contact center

Talkdesk unveiled this week a suite of new AI tools for its cloud-based contact center platform, following the lead of competitors, including Genesys and Five9. The startup also told enterprise customers it could now guarantee that its IP-based calling service would work 100% of the time.

Talkdesk iQ, the AI platform, analyzes and reports on contact center trends in real time. The vendor’s API-based analytics dashboard charts trending topics and alerts managers to potential problems. It also lets businesses compare their performance to that of other Talkdesk customers.

Talkdesk’s contact-center-as-a-service offering supports several communications channels, including SMS, web chat, email, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Twitter. Talkdesk iQ monitors the conversations in those channels and recommends actions to customer service agents.

Talkdesk is also giving businesses the tools to build their own AI-based chatbots and interactive voice response systems. The Talkdesk Self-Service SDK will support the development of self-help interfaces for Android and iOS mobile devices, while Talkdesk Studio will help businesses determine how customer inquiries get routed without having to write code.

“It looks like they’re hitting on all the key areas that IT and business leaders cited as crucial for [customer experience] transformations,” said Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, based in Mokena, Ill. “Analytics is, by far, the most important.”

Talkdesk has won the business of more than 1,400 companies since it launched in 2011, mostly in the midsize market. The vendor has sought to differentiate itself through offering one-click installation, flexible billing and free trials.

Talkdesk’s main rivals in the cloud contact center market — a group that includes Five9, Nice inContact and Genesys — have all been developing AI technologies similar to Talkdesk iQ. Several of those vendors have also partnered with Google to deliver contact center AI to their customers through the consumer giant’s cloud.

Also this week, Talkdesk committed $10 million — 10% of its recent $100 million Series B financing round — to the development of products for the customer service industry.

Talkdesk announces 100% uptime SLA

Talkdesk said it would offer a service-level agreement (SLA) of 100% uptime for its voice over internet protocol (VoIP) calling plans for enterprises.

The vendor said it would rely on partnerships with multiple service providers globally to ensure their customers always have phone service. Talkdesk now provides phone numbers in more than 100 countries.

SLAs typically require a vendor to provide monetary compensation if promises aren’t kept. A Talkdesk representative said the company would provide “an appropriate credit” whenever it fails to meet the 100% uptime guarantee.

If service cuts out, Talkdesk will also provide customers with an incident analysis and explain how it plans to avoid the same problem in the future.

For Sale – Gigabyte Brix i3 GB-XM12-3227

Discussion in ‘Desktop Computer Classifieds‘ started by Bkane, Oct 17, 2018.

  1. Bkane

    Bkane

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    This is the device.

    Comes with 4gb ram and 240gb mSata hard drive. Also included is a wifi module and a USB 3.0 hub.

    Used with Linux but will be running Windows 10 if you prefer.

    Will add mDp to DP cable aswell.

    Open to offers.

    Price and currency:
    £145 £135
    Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
    Payment method: BACS
    Location: Oldham
    Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
    Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

    ______________________________________________________
    This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
    By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
    Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

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    • Name and address including postcode
    • Valid e-mail address

    DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018

  2. Bkane

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  3. GingerRocky

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  4. Bkane

    Bkane

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    A bit lower than I’d prefer tbh.

    Ask me again in a week, I’ll probably have a different answer by then.

  5. GingerRocky

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    NP. it was a punt. GLWS

  6. Bkane

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    Price drop bump

  8. CleanandShiny

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    £120 delivered By good to you? To be used for my kids to play web based games on!

  9. CleanandShiny

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    Offer withdrawn as no reply

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