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My latest presentations

I frequently present at user groups, and always try to create a brand new presentation to keep things interesting.  We all know technology changes so quickly there is no shortage of topics!  There is a list of all my presentations with slide decks and videos in some cases.  Here are the new presentations I created the past few months:

Implement SQL Server on an Azure VM

This presentation is for those of you who are interested in moving your on-prem SQL Server databases and servers to Azure virtual machines (VM’s) in the cloud so you can take advantage of all the benefits of being in the cloud.  This is commonly referred to as a “lift and shift” as part of an Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) solution.  I will discuss the various Azure VM sizes and options, migration strategies, storage options, high availability (HA) and disaster recovery (DR) solutions, and best practices. (slides)

Relational databases vs Non-relational databases

There is a lot of confusion about the place and purpose of the many recent non-relational database solutions (“NoSQL databases”) compared to the relational database solutions that have been around for so many years.  In this presentation I will first clarify what exactly these database solutions are, how they compare to Hadoop, and discuss the best use cases for each.  I’ll discuss topics involving OLTP, scaling, data warehousing, polyglot persistence, and the CAP theorem.  We will even touch on a new type of database solution called NewSQL.  If you are building a new solution it is important to understand all your options so you take the right path to success. (slides)

Big Data: It’s all about the Use Cases

Big Data, IoT, data lake, unstructured data, Hadoop, cloud, and massively parallel processing (MPP) are all just fancy words unless you can find uses cases for all this technology. Join me as I talk about the many use cases I have seen, from streaming data to advanced analytics, broken down by industry. I’ll show you how all this technology fits together by discussing various architectures and the most common approaches to solving data problems and hopefully set off light bulbs in your head on how big data can help your organization make better business decisions. (slides) (video)

Cortana Analytics Suite

Cortana Analytics Suite is a fully managed big data and advanced analytics suite that transforms your data into intelligent action.  It is comprised of data storage, information management, machine learning, and business intelligence software in a single convenient monthly subscription.  This presentation will cover all the products involved, how they work together, and use cases. (slides)

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 (JamesSerra.com) 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.

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