TWIL: January 22, 2023

This week I focused mostly on Microsoft Purview, but also on Power BI, Azure Database for PostgreSQL and copying files between Azure Storage Accounts. Also, I’m highlighting three very interesting podcast episodes and two interesting articles, one of them explaining Reinforcement Learning from Human Feedback, one of the algorithms used in ChatGPT. Enjoy!


The Azure Podcast

Episode 451: Landing Zones
Jack Tracey, a Cloud Solutions Architect from the Customer Architecture and Engineering team talks to us about the work his team does to create the Landing Zones which can form the foundation for any well-designed Azure platform. He explains what they are and best practices to consume them in your cloud strategy.

.NET Rocks

Episode 1828: Azure API Management with Tom Kerkhove
API Management has evolved! Carl and Richard talk to Tom Kerkhove about his new role working on Azure API Management. Tom talks about using Azure Arc to deploy the API Management service into your on-premises services. The conversation digs into more of the fundamentals around API management with rate limiting, authentication and authorization, billing, testing, and more. A good API can make your company money – executed poorly and it’s a massive headache. Use the tools available to make it easier!

Episode 1829: Fusion Development with Vishwas Lele
What is fusion development, and why do you want some? Carl and Richard talk to Vishwas Lele about his work with teams using the Microsoft Power Platform, including Power Apps and Power Automate. Vishwas talks about getting domain experts more involved in the development process – not just as advisors to the process but as co-creators. The role of professional developers is vital, making effective APIs and even custom-UX components for Power App development. The conversation also dives into the potential of Power Fx, an open-source language that is very much like Excel functions, providing programmability to domain experts – and perhaps a migration path for those company critical spreadsheets!

Power BI

Track user activities in Power BI
Knowing who is taking what action on which item in Power BI can be critical in helping your organization fulfill its requirements, like meeting regulatory compliance and records management. This article discusses two options to track user activity: The Power BI activity log and the unified audit log.

Real-time streaming in Power BI
Power BI with real-time streaming helps you stream data and update dashboards in real time. Any visual or dashboard created in Power BI can display and update real-time data and visuals. The devices and sources of streaming data can be factory sensors, social media sources, service usage metrics, or many other time-sensitive data collectors or transmitters. This article shows you how to set up and use real-time streaming datasets in Power BI.

Microsoft Purview

Create and manage a self-hosted integration runtime
The integration runtime (IR) is the compute infrastructure that Microsoft Purview uses to power data scan across different network environments. A self-hosted integration runtime (SHIR) can be used to scan data source in an on-premises network or a virtual network. The installation of a self-hosted integration runtime needs an on-premises machine or a virtual machine inside a private network.

Connect to your Microsoft Purview and scan data sources privately and securely
In this guide, you will learn how to deploy account, portal and ingestion private endpoints for your Microsoft Purview account to access purview account and scan data sources using a self-hosted integration runtime securely and privately, thereby enabling end-to-end network isolation.

Configure and verify DNS Name Resolution for Microsoft Purview private endpoints
Accurate name resolution is a critical requirement when setting up private endpoints for your Microsoft Purview accounts. You may require enabling internal name resolution in your DNS settings to resolve the private endpoint IP addresses to the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) from data sources and your management machine to Microsoft Purview account and self-hosted integration runtime, depending on scenarios that you are deploying.

Connect to and manage an Azure SQL Managed Instance in Microsoft Purview
This article outlines how to register and Azure SQL Managed Instance, as well as how to authenticate and interact with the Azure SQL Managed Instance in Microsoft Purview.

Troubleshoot the on-premises data gateway
This article discusses some common issues when you use the on-premises data gateway.

Monitor and optimize on-premises data gateway performance
To monitor performance, gateway admins have traditionally depended on manually monitoring performance counters through the Windows Performance Monitor tool. We now offer additional query logging and a Gateway Performance PBI template file to visualize the results. This feature provides new insights into gateway usage. You can use it to troubleshoot slow-performing queries.

Azure Database for PostgreSQL

Azure Database for PostgreSQL – Flexible Server
Azure Database for PostgreSQL – Flexible Server is a fully managed database service designed to provide more granular control and flexibility over database management functions and configuration settings. In general, the service provides more flexibility and server configuration customizations based on the user requirements. The flexible server architecture allows users to collocate database engine with the client-tier for lower latency, choose high availability within a single availability zone and across multiple availability zones. Flexible servers also provide better cost optimization controls with ability to stop/start your server and burstable compute tier that is ideal for workloads that do not need full compute capacity continuously.

Azure Database for PostgreSQL Single Server
Single Server is a fully managed database service with minimal requirements for customizations of the database. The single server platform is designed to handle most of the database management functions such as patching, backups, high availability, security with minimal user configuration and control. The architecture is optimized to provide 99.99% availability on single availability zone. It supports community version of PostgreSQL 10 and 11. Single servers are best suited for cloud native applications designed to handle automated patching without the need for granular control on the patching schedule and custom PostgreSQL configuration settings.

Comparison chart – Azure Database for PostgreSQL Single Server and Flexible Server
Azure Database for PostgreSQL Flexible Server is the next generation managed PostgreSQL service in Azure. It provides maximum flexibility over your database, built-in cost-optimizations, and offers several improvements over Single Server.

Azure Storage

Copy blobs between Azure storage accounts by using AzCopy
You can copy blobs, directories, and containers between storage accounts by using the AzCopy v10 command-line utility. AzCopy uses server-to-server APIs, so data is copied directly between storage servers. These copy operations don’t use the network bandwidth of your computer.

Synchronize with Azure Blob storage by using AzCopy
You can synchronize local storage with Azure Blob storage by using the AzCopy v10 command-line utility. You can synchronize the contents of a local file system with a blob container. You can also synchronize containers and virtual directories with one another. Synchronization is one way. In other words, you choose which of these two endpoints is the source and which one is the destination. Synchronization also uses server to server APIs.

Interesting Stuff

What New Terms Like ‘Goblin Mode’ Reveal about Work in 2023
Are you quiet quitting, or just embracing JOMO? Timeboxing, or adapting to the Triple Peak workday? From productivity paranoia to asynchronous collaboration, the language we use to describe work is changing as quickly as work itself—The Economist even declared “hybrid work” the 2022 word of the year, noting that it would reshape everything from how we use cities to what we consider free time.

Reinforcement Learning from Human Feedback (RLHF) – a simplified explanation
Maybe you’ve heard about this technique but you haven’t completely understood it, especially the PPO part. This explanation might help. We will focus on text-to-text language models, such as GPT-3, BLOOM, and T5. Models like BERT, which are encoder-only, are not addressed. Reinforcement Learning from Human Feedback (RLHF) has been successfully applied in ChatGPT, hence its major increase in popularity.

Have an awesome week!

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