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James Serra's Blog

James is a big data and data warehousing technology specialist at Microsoft. He is a thought leader in the use and application of Big Data technologies, including MPP solutions involving hybrid technologies of relational data, Hadoop, and private and public cloud. Previously he was an independent consultant working as a Data Warehouse/Business Intelligence architect and developer. He is a prior SQL Server MVP with over 30 years of IT experience. James is a popular blogger ( and speaker, having presented at dozens of PASS events including the PASS Business Analytics conference and the PASS Summit. He is the author of the book “Reporting with Microsoft SQL Server 2012”. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.

Fast-Track Data Warehouse for Windows Azure

Microsoft has introduced an image into the Windows Azure Virtual Machine Gallery that is pre-optimized for a Fast Track Data Warehouse (FTDW) workload.  FTDW is a reference configuration optimized for data warehousing.  Not only is there an image for SQL Server 2012 SP1 (rated for 400GB database warehousing workloads), but also for SQL Server 2014 CTP2 (rated for 1TB database warehousing workloads).  View the details at Cloud.

So now users can provision a highly tuned data warehouse image within minutes without any knowledge of Azure storage configurations nor needing expertise on how to optimize SQL Server for data warehousing workloads.  This is an ideal solution for customers who want a data warehouse quickly without managing a hardware infrastructure.

More info:

Windows Azure Data Series: SQL Server Fast-Track Data Warehouse (FTDW)

SQL Server Data Warehousing in Windows Azure Virtual Machines

Fast Track Data Warehouse Reference Guide for SQL Server 2012

Cloud Data Warehousing – The Fastest Time To Value

Deploy a SQL Server Data Warehouse in Windows Azure Virtual Machines

Deep-dive on New Azure FastTrack VM image (FTDW)

New Azure FastTrack VM image for SQL Server 2014 CTP2 (FTDW)


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