Forrester names Windows Azure SQL Database an Enterprise Cloud Database Leader

by Shijaz Abdulla on 16.11.2012 at 22:45

Windows AzureWindows AzureWindows Azure

Forrester Research, Inc. has positioned Microsoft as a Leader in The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Cloud Databases, Q4 2012. Microsoft received the highest scores of any vendor in Current Offering and Market Presence. Forrester describes its rigorous and lengthy Wave process: “To evaluate the vendors and their products against our set of criteria, we gather details of product qualifications through a combination of lab evaluations, questionnaires, demos, and/or discussions with client references.” You can read the full report for free here:

Forrester notes that “cloud database offerings represent a new space within the broader data management platform market, providing enterprises with an abstracted option to support agile development and new social, mobile, cloud, and eCommerce applications as well as lower IT costs.”

Within this context, Forrester identified the benefits of Windows Azure SQL Database as follows: “With this service, you can provision a [SQL Database instance] easily, with simplified administration, high availability, scalability, and its familiar development model,” and “although there is a 150 GB limit on the individual database size with SQL Database, customers are supporting multiple terabytes by using each database as a shard and integrating it through the application.”

If you’d like to read a few examples of customers taking advantage of these features, I’d suggest the following from the Microsoft case study site:

  • Fujitsu System Solutions: “Developers at Fsol can also rapidly provision new databases on SQL Database, helping the company to quickly scale up or scale down its databases, just as it can for its compute needs with Windows Azure.”
  • Connect2Field: “With SQL Database, the replication of data happens automatically…. For an individual company to run its own data replication is really complicated.… If we were to lose any one of our customer’s data, we would lose so much credibility that we wouldn’t be able to get any more customers. Data loss would destroy our customers’ businesses too.”
  • Flavorus: “By using sharding with SQL Database, we can have tons of customers on the site at once trying to buy tickets.”

The best way to try out SQL Database and Windows Azure is through the free trial. Click here to get started


Windows AzureWindows AzureWindows Azure

Partners: Earn up to 30% incentive with Microsoft solutions

by Shijaz Abdulla on 20.10.2011 at 18:19

The Solution Incentives reward partners for driving sales of specific Microsoft solutions, chosen for their growth and market potential. The program creates opportunities for partners to build new sustainable revenue streams and increase their value to customers.

What partner types can participate?
Solution incentives are customer segment and partner-type agnostic. Partners need to meet eligibility requirements and each opportunity being registered needs to meet the eligibility criteria described in the Program Guide, to be eligible for incentives.

What if the Solution Partner also transacts the order?
Whether the Partner is only advising the customer, or advising and transacting, there will be no difference in the solution incentives calculation and payment.

For more information, check out the following documents:

Management and Virtualization

Windows 7

Application Platform (Microsoft SQL Server)

Microsoft Lync

New to PSX? Check out the PSX resources here.

Microsoft Business Intelligence Roadshow

by Shijaz Abdulla on 18.04.2010 at 11:06


Meet Tech·Ed Middle East’s Top Voted Speaker at the Business Intelligence Roadshow.

Rafal Lukawiecki, International Business Intelligence speaker, will be telling you all about simplifying performance management and business intelligence.

Join us at this exclusive event as he demonstrates to you how these solutions can easily be used in your day-to-day business scenarios.

With a special focus on Microsoft® SQL Server 2008 R2 and Microsoft® Office System 2010, this will be a full day seminar with exciting presentations and live videos from the business intelligence performance management expert.


April 26, 2010

The Westin, Dubai
Serdaal Ballroom


April 28, 2010

Four Seasons Hotel


April 29,2010

Mövenpick Hotel & Resort Al Bida’s
Al Bida’s Ballroom


clip_image001[10] clip_image001[12]

Platform of Choice: Most Mission Critical apps use Microsoft

by Shijaz Abdulla on 30.01.2010 at 15:48

Results have just been announced from an IDC study on “Mission Critical Applications”. The survey gathered information from over 900 enterprise customers located across the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Germany.

I found the results very interesting, and they provide strong evidence to support the leadership of Microsoft’s platform.

The Facts:

  • Windows Server has #1 server OS share (52.7%) for deployed mission-critical applications Microsoft sign @Redmond.
  • Windows Server and .NET are the #1 (54.1%) deployed application server
  • .NET usage exceeds Java across all sizes of enterprises
  • Windows Server is the #1 OS used (46%) by deployed mission critical Java applications
  • SharePoint leads (over IBM WebSphere) as the #1 portal used by enterprises’ primary mission-critical application
  • SQL Server leads (over Oracle) as the #1 database used by enterprises’ primary mission-critical application
  • BizTalk Server leads (over Oracle) as the #1 process integration technology used by enterprises’ primary mission-critical application
  • Microsoft leads as the #1 (58.6%) vendor for service oriented architectures

For more information, and to view the complete report, click here.

SharePoint Server 2010 needs 64-bit SQL Server

by Shijaz Abdulla on 14.05.2009 at 15:51

64 bitSharePoint Server 2010 will require a 64-bit edition of SQL Server – more specifically either SQL Server 2005 or SQL Server 2008 running on Windows Server 2008.

SharePoint Server 2010 will not support Internet Explorer 6. Users will have to use Internet Explorer 7 or above. However, non-Microsoft  browsers such as FireFox 3.x (on Windows & non-Windows platform) and Safari 3.x (on non-Windows platform) will be supported.

The Office 2010 beta will be available in July, but SharePoint Server 2010 beta will not be made available at that time.

Enterprise Search in Office 2010 has been improved, with Microsoft’s recent acquisition of Fast Search & Transfer.

This information was revealed during the TechEd conference.

IT Evolution 08 @Abu Dhabi

by Shijaz Abdulla on 04.11.2008 at 15:40

The IT Evolution 08 event was held today at the Corniche Sheraton, Abu Dhabi. There were several informative sessions on Microsoft Virtualization technologies in the IT Pro track such as Hyper-V and Application Virtualization with SoftGrid/MDOP. The developer track included presentations on SQL Server 2008, Visual Studio .NET 2008 and Silverlight.

Partner presence included HP, Dell and Citrix. Yusuf Bismilla, Anton Delsink, Shahid Gaglani, and Amr El Garhy of Microsoft presented various topics.

Attendees were also given a chance to have their picture taken with the gaming character Master Chief from the Halo 3 game from Microsoft Game Studios.

Me with Master Chief of Halo 3 (left)

Adding a node on a SQL 2005 cluster

by Shijaz Abdulla on 18.09.2008 at 23:22

In the absence of a dedicated SQL DBA at the place where I work, I take care of the SQL Servers too. (No comment.)

One of the passive nodes of a SQL Server 2005 cluster had died a sudden death (hard drive and RAID failed under mysterious circumstances) which necessitated a total rebuild of the failed node.

So I went ahead and evicted passive node from the Cluster Administrator on the surviving active node. After the server rebuild was over, I configured Windows clustering on the second node using Cluster Administrator. Next, I started setup on the active node (from Control Panel –> Add/Remove Programs –> SQL Server 2005 –> Change).

I reached the point in the setup wizard where I choose to add a node to the existing virtual server/cluster. After a while I get the following error message:

Setup failed to start on the remote machine. Check the Task scheduler event log on the remote machine.

Upon checking the Task Scheduler event log on the node being rebuilt, I found this:

"SQL Server Remote Setup .job" (setup.exe) 9/18/2008 11:36:24 PM ** ERROR **
    Unable to start task.
    The specific error is:
    0x80070005: Access is denied.
    Try using the Task page Browse button to locate the application.

Now that’s very helpful, isn’t it?

A few minutes of head-scratching and web-searching yielded what I was missing – I was working on the servers connected via Remote Desktop! For the installation to start successfully on the remote (new) node, it should not have any active remote desktop sessions on it. I went ahead and closed all RDP sessions on the new node being rebuilt using Task Manager (Users tab) and also logged off the session that I was connected to.

Another retry from the first node, and setup now progressed without any errors.

TechNet Roadshow

by Shijaz Abdulla on 23.10.2007 at 14:38

It’s that time of the year again – the MSDN and TechNet roadshows are coming soon to your city!

The event will focus a first look on technologies like Windows Server 2008, System Center Configuration Manager (new version of SMS), System Center Data Protection Manager, System Center Virtual Machine Manager and SQL Server.

You will also be among the first to see us unveil the new Unified Communications technologies from Microsoft – a solution that will revolutionize the way people communicate and collaborate in the workplace.

If you’re an IT Professional or a Developer looking to gain insight and an edge over others, then you’ve got no excuse to miss out on this event! You may even walk away as the lucky winner of the new X-box 360 Elite!

Microsoft has announced that the event will be held on November 19th at The Sheraton in Bahrain, Dec 4th & 5th at Habtoor Grand Hotel, Dubai and the 9th of December at the Intercontinental Doha.

To register for the event, click here.

Microsoft pulls plug on SQL Server 2000 SP3 support

by Shijaz Abdulla on 27.05.2007 at 08:09

Microsoft has officially announced that it will no longer support SQL Server 2000 Service Pack 3 from July 10, 2007. Microsoft Customers who are running their systems on SQL Server 2000 Service Pack 3a or an earlier Service Pack (*yikes!*) should consider upgrading to Service Pack 4 or better still, SQL Server 2005.

“That Microsoft again, forcing customers to buy new software”, I hear you say. Well, there comes a time when you just need to give away with the old, and bring in with the new. 🙂

SQL Server 2005 without any Service Pack installed will also be “not supported by Microsoft from July 10, 2007”.

Other products joining the “not supportable” bandwagon include SUS 1.0 and SUS 1.0 Service Pack 1 on July 10, 2007. Microsoft will stop supporting Microsoft Business Solutions Great Plains 8 from October 9, 2007.

Microsoft has also announced that Exchange Server 2003 Service Pack 1 support will cease on January 8, 2008. So those of you out there still running Exchange 2003 Service Pack 1 will need to install SP2 to get Microsoft to support you.

Windows XP (Pro, Home, Media Center, Tablet, Pro x64), Office 2003 and Exchange Server 2003 will transition from ‘Mainstream support’ to ‘Extended support’ starting from April 14, 2009, which means you need to pay extra to Microsoft if you want them to continue supporting you past this date. There’s still enough time 😉

Happy upgrading!