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July 2009

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Trends and Applications

As organizations grow and evolve, they must implement technology changes to accommodate evolving infrastructure needs, often within complex systems running business-critical applications. Along with this, there frequently is an increased demand to reduce the costs of technology by sharing hardware and software resources, a demand many companies try to meet by establishing virtual environments. Virtualization balances the often underutilized physical machines by consolidating them into a single physical host that runs multiple Virtual Machines (VMs) sharing the four core resources—CPU, memory, disks and network cards—of one physical host.

Data encryption performs two purposes: it protects data against internal prying eyes, and it protects data against external threats (hacking, theft of backup tapes, etc.) Encryption in the database tier offers the advantage of database-caliber performance and protection of encryption keys without incurring the overhead and additional cost of using a third-party encryption tool in an application tier.

Using historically standard analysis techniques related to file placement on disks within the Unisys 2200 environment, it is possible to significantly improve the performance and capacity without significant additional outlays for hardware. Definitions of disk usage and file placement have been identified on a general basis as no longer relevant, as a means of following the "understanding" that modern disks provide sufficient native speed that file placement no longer matters. This is not a valid assumption.

Columns - Applications Insight

Predictive Analytics - sometimes referred to as Predictive Data Mining - is a branch of Business Intelligence that attempts to use historical data to make predictions about future events. At its simplest, predictive analytics utilizes statistical techniques, such as correlation and regression, which many of us have encountered in college or even high school. Correlation analysis determines if there is a statistically significant relationship between two variables. For instance, height and age are highly correlated, while IQ and height are very weakly correlated. Regression attempts to find an equation between the two or more variables, so that you can predict one from the other.

Columns - Database Elaborations

While good database design is always necessary, the value of good design is reinforced by such endeavors as service-oriented architecture. The semantics-laden engineering of service-oriented tactics used in creating solutions melds seamlessly into the semantics-laden world of data modeling. Although one aspect does not necessarily build on top of the other, each works as part of a team in braiding solutions that grow in usefulness as they emerge. The processes surface as a method to further define the meaning of an object, and the object serves as a harbinger of the processes that must exist. Business rules much more advanced than today's simple constraints may one day reside within the database itself as a built-in function of a some future DBMS. Therefore, data architects should never try to wall themselves behind a veneer of thinking only in terms of data without a thought regarding the processes that touch the data. As a database designer, working within projects that use service-oriented architecture approaches can be exhilarating.

Columns - DBA Corner

Protecting the data in our enterprise databases is extremely important. But what exactly does that mean? Oh, at one level we have the database authorization and roles built directly into the DBMS products. You know what I'm talking about: GRANT and REVOKE statements that can be used to authorize access to database objects, resources and statements. Many organizations have adopted policies and products to migrate this type of security out of the DBMS and into their operating system security software.

Columns - SQL Server Drill Down

At a rather muted Microsoft TechEd in Los Angeles in May, the crowds were diminished and the educational content was slimmed down. In the past, SQL Server sessions were so abundant that you'd have trouble choosing which of several you might want to attend. This year, the state of the economy was reflected in many ways, including the one, or, in just a few cases, two sessions per time slot allotted SQL Server professionals. Despite the low ebb, the Microsoft SQL Server team made an exciting announcement about the upcoming availability of the SQL Server 2008 R2 CTP (Community Technology Preview).

MV Community

Execu-Sys, an IT recruiting/consulting firm and authorized U2 reseller, and Entrinsik, a provider of operational reporting and analysis solutions, have formed a partnership through which Execu-Sys will provide its clients with Informer Web Reporting, a web-based reporting solution.

Plans are underway now for the U2 University 2009, the premier U2 technical event for IT executives, managers, professionals, DBAs, developers and business partners.

Revelation Software plans to hold a users conference next year, from April 27 through April 30, 2010, at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas. The company has also announced its fall 2009 training classes.