In this Data Point, Andy bumps into some familiar faces on the way to the PASS 2019 Welcome Reception where Grant Fritchey kicks off the festivities.

Fun fact: I used to work with Grant Fritchey back in the 90s at a large investment bank on Wall Street.

Small World.

Video version available at:

Press the play button below to listen here or visit the show page at



Here’s a great collection of Jupyter notebooks that explore all the new features of SQL Server 2019.

Here are some of the ones that caught my attention.

SQL Server 2019 Querying 1 TRILLION rows

  • OneTrillionRowsWarm.ipynb – This notebook shows how SQL Server 2019 reads 9 BILLION rows/second using a 1 trillion row table using a warm cache,
  • OneTrillionRowsCold.ipynb – This notebook shows how SQL Server 2019 performs IO at ~24GB/s using a 1 trillion row table with a cold cache.

Big Data, Machine Learning & Data Virtualization

  • SQL Server Big Data Clusters – Part of our Ground to Cloud workshop. In this lab, you will use notebooks to experiment with SQL Server Big Data Clusters (BDC), and learn how you can use it to implement large-scale data processing and machine learning.
  • Data Virtualization using PolyBase – The notebooks in this SQL Server 2019 workshop cover how to use SQL Server as a hub for data virtualization for sources like OracleSAP HANAAzure CosmosDBSQL Server and Azure SQL Database.
  • Spark with Big Data Clusters – The notebooks in this folder cover the following scenarios:
    • Data Loading – Transforming CSV to Parquet
    • Data Transfer – Spark to SQL using Spark JDBC connector
    • Data Transfer – Spark to SQL using MSSQL Spark connector
    • Configure – Configure a spark session using a notebook
    • Install – Install 3rd party packages
    • Restful-Access – Access Spark in BDC via restful Livy APIs
  • Machine Learning
    • Powerplant Output Prediction – This sample uses the automated machine learning capabilities of the third party H2O package running in Spark in a SQL Server 2019 Big Data Cluster to build a machine learning model that predicts powerplant output.
    • TensorFlow on GPUs in SQL Server 2019 big data cluster – The notebooks in this directory illustrate fitting TensorFlow image classification models using GPU acceleration.

Socratica explores Abstract Algebra.

What is Abstract Algebra?

Abstract Algebra is very different than the algebra most people study in high school. This math subject focuses on abstract structures with names like groups, rings, fields and modules. These structures have applications in many areas of mathematics, and are being used more and more in the sciences, too

In my final article for MSDN, I explore the nuts and bolts of face detection.

Detecting Faces It’s important to point out two distinct terms that are often used interchangeably: face detection and face recognition. Face detection, as the name implies, is limited to detecting the presence of faces in an image. Face recognition involves discerning unique facial characteristics (such as location and shape […]

If you ever wanted to up your home networking game with backup to Dropbox and secure remote access from everywhere through your own VPN, all based on Docker containers, then check out what Andreas Spiess has done.

In this video, he covers:

  • Install Docker with many containers like Mosquitto, Node-Red, Grafana, influxDB, Postgres, Portainer, and Adminer
  • Increase the live expectancy of your SD card by disabling swapping and by installing log2ram- Automatically backup all valuable data to the cloud, in our case, to Dropbox
  • Setup PiVPN to remotely and securely access our home network from anywhere in the world- Besides that, you will learn a lot of useful things about Docker containers

Links & Code: