TWIL: June 11, 2023

This week I was mostly focused on Azure Arc and Power BI, but I’m also highlighting two very interesting conversations from Lex Fridman’s podcast. I’ve learned a lot from them. Finally, articles on Cosmos DB new backup features, Prompt Flow for Azure ML and Kusto as a vector database. Give it a look!


Lex Fridman Podcast

Episode 378 – Anna Frebel: Origin and Evolution of the Universe, Galaxies, and Stars
Anna Frebel is an astronomer and astrophysicist at MIT. This super interesting conversation spans multiple topics from the Milky Way, to different types of starts and galaxies, also explaining how all the elements in the periodic table appeared.

Episode 380 – Neil Gershenfeld: Self-Replicating Robots and the Future of Fabrication
Neil Gershenfeld is the director of the MIT Center for Bits and Atoms. This conversation goes through a lot of interesting subjects like self-assembling robots, digital fabrication, quantum computing, microfluidic bubble computation, and much more.

Azure Arc

Azure Arc overview
Today, companies struggle to control and govern increasingly complex environments that extend across data centers, multiple clouds, and edge. Each environment and cloud possesses its own set of management tools, and new DevOps and ITOps operational models can be hard to implement across resources. Azure Arc simplifies governance and management by delivering a consistent multicloud and on-premises management platform.

Azure Arc-enabled SQL Server
Azure Arc-enabled SQL Server extends Azure services to SQL Server instances hosted outside of Azure: in your data center, in edge site locations like retail stores, or any public cloud or hosting provider.

Overview of Azure Connected Machine agent
The Azure Connected Machine agent enables you to manage your Windows and Linux machines hosted outside of Azure on your corporate network or other cloud providers.

Arc-Enabled SQL Server: Prerequisites
An Azure Arc-enabled instance of SQL Server is an instance on-premises or in a cloud provider that is connected to Azure Arc. This article explains those prerequisites.

Connected Machine agent prerequisites
This topic describes the basic requirements for installing the Connected Machine agent to onboard a physical server or virtual machine to Azure Arc-enabled servers. Some onboarding methods may have more requirements.

Connected Machine agent network requirements
This topic describes the networking requirements for using the Connected Machine agent to onboard a physical server or virtual machine to Azure Arc-enabled servers.

Plan and deploy Azure Arc-enabled servers
Deployment of an IT infrastructure service or business application is a challenge for any company. In order to execute it well and avoid any unwelcome surprises and unplanned costs, you need to thoroughly plan for it to ensure that you’re as ready as possible. To plan for deploying Azure Arc-enabled servers at any scale, it should cover the design and deployment criteria that needs to be met in order to successfully complete the tasks.

Azure Connected Machine agent deployment options
Connecting machines in your hybrid environment directly with Azure can be accomplished using different methods, depending on your requirements and the tools you prefer to use.

Azure Monitor Agent overview
Azure Monitor Agent (AMA) collects monitoring data from the guest operating system of Azure and hybrid virtual machines and delivers it to Azure Monitor for use by features, insights, and other services, such as Microsoft Sentinel and Microsoft Defender for Cloud. Azure Monitor Agent replaces all of Azure Monitor’s legacy monitoring agents. This article provides an overview of Azure Monitor Agent’s capabilities and supported use cases.

Use Azure Private Link to securely connect servers to Azure Arc
Azure Private Link allows you to securely link Azure PaaS services to your virtual network using private endpoints. For many services, you just set up an endpoint per resource. This means you can connect your on-premises or multi-cloud servers with Azure Arc and send all traffic over an Azure ExpressRoute or site-to-site VPN connection instead of using public networks. Starting with Azure Arc-enabled servers, you can use a Private Link Scope model to allow multiple servers or machines to communicate with their Azure Arc resources using a single private endpoint.

Power BI

Dataset modes in the Power BI service
This article provides a technical explanation of Power BI dataset modes. It applies to datasets that represent a live connection to an external-hosted Analysis Services model, and also to models developed in Power BI Desktop. The article emphasizes the rationale for each mode, and possible impacts on Power BI capacity resources.

Use composite models in Power BI Desktop
Previously in Power BI Desktop, when you used a DirectQuery in a report, no other data connections, whether DirectQuery or import, were allowed for that report. With composite models, that restriction is removed. A report can seamlessly include data connections from more than one DirectQuery or import data connection, in any combination you choose.

Introduction to datamarts
Datamarts help bridge the gap between business users and IT. Datamarts are self-service analytics solutions, enabling users to store and explore data that is loaded in a fully managed database. Datamarts provide a simple and optionally no-code experience to ingest data from different data sources, extract transform and load (ETL) the data using Power Query, then load it into an Azure SQL database that’s fully managed and requires no tuning or optimization.

Azure Cosmos DB

Do more with granular control in new backup features for Azure Cosmos DB at low cost
For a while now, customers who accidentally deleted a container or a database had to restore the deleted resources into another new account and then move the data into the source account. This was cumbersome for most customers, involving the setup of a data transfer mechanism. With In Account Restore (same account restore), now in public preview, you can restore deleted resources to the same existing account where they were deleted from.

 Azure Machine Learning

Harness the power of Large Language Models with Azure Machine Learning prompt flow
Prompt flow is a powerful feature within Azure Machine Learning (AzureML) that streamlines the development, evaluation, and continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD) of prompt engineering projects. It empowers data scientists and LLM application developers with an interactive experience that combines natural language prompts, templating language, a list of built-in tools and Python code.

Vector Search

Kusto as a Vector database
Azure Data Explorer aka Kusto is a cloud-based data analytics service that enables users to perform advanced analytics on large datasets in real-time. It is particularly well-suited for handling large volumes of data, making it an excellent choice for storing and searching vectors.

Have a wonderful week!