Big Dater – Finding the biggest cheaters with Power BI

Hacking of commercial enterprises is never a good thing and in no way would I condone the dubious logic that was the basis behind the hack and release of the Ashley Madison database. There was no doubt a lot of personal and commercial damage caused.

But with every one of these hacks, there is opportunity. The hack has arguably done more for marriage fidelity than Fatal Attraction and has also given us a chance to relook at data security practices, personal data storage and password management practices.… [Keep reading] “Big Dater – Finding the biggest cheaters with Power BI”

Using Azure Machine Learning to predict Titanic survivors

So in the last blog I looked at one of the Business Intelligence tools available in the Microsoft stack by using the Power Query M language to query data from an Internet source and present in Excel. Microsoft are making a big push into the BI space at the moment, and for good reason. BI is a great cloud workload. So now let’s take a look at one of the heavy hitters at the other end of the BI scale spectrum, Azure Machine Learning.… [Keep reading] “Using Azure Machine Learning to predict Titanic survivors”

Use Excel, PowerQuery and Yahoo Finance to manage your Portfolio

There are some new and powerful Business Intelligence options available to all of us, from scalable cloud platforms to the Excel on the desktop. So its a good time to demonstrate some of them and show where BI and Application Development meet.

Power Query and the language M have been quietly making their way into the Microsoft Business Intelligence stack and in particular Excel for some time. The set of “Power” components (Power Query, Power Pivot and Power BI) all sound a bit like the marketing guys won the naming battle again and don’t really help explain the technology nor where they fit so I avoided it for a long time.… [Keep reading] “Use Excel, PowerQuery and Yahoo Finance to manage your Portfolio”

Do It Yourself Cloud Accelerator – Part III Scaling Out

There’s recently been some interest in the space of accelerating Office 365 SharePoint Online traffic for organisations and for good reason. All it takes is a CEO to send out an email to All Staff with a link to a movie hosted in SharePoint Online to create some interest in better ways to serve content internally. There are commercial solutions to this problem, but they are, well… commercial (read expensive). Now that the basic functionality has been proven using existing Windows Server components, what would it take to put into production?… [Keep reading] “Do It Yourself Cloud Accelerator – Part III Scaling Out”

Do It Yourself Cloud Accelerator – Part II BranchCache

In the last post I introduced the idea of breaking the secure transport layer between cloud provider and employee with the intention to better deliver those services to employees using company provided infrastructure.

In short we deployed a server which re-presents the cloud secure urls using a new trusted certificate. This enables us to do some interesting things like provide centralised and shared caching across multiple users. The Application Request Routing (ARR) module is designed for delivering massively scalable content delivery networks to the Internet which when turned on its head can be used to deliver cloud service content efficiently to internal employees.… [Keep reading] “Do It Yourself Cloud Accelerator – Part II BranchCache”

Do It Yourself Cloud Accelerator

This intro is unashamedly lifted from a Microsoft article but I couldn’t say it any better: “The cloud has enormous potential to reduce operational expenses and achieve new levels of scale, but moving workloads away from the people who depend on them can increase networking costs and hurt productivity. Users expect high performance and don’t care where their applications and data are hosted” Cloud is a journey, to get there takes more than just migrating your workloads to the cloud.[Keep reading] “Do It Yourself Cloud Accelerator”

Simulate moving to the Cloud with NEWT

I’ve blogged a bit in the past about the unique challenges encountered when moving to the cloud and the unavoidable consequence of introducing new network hops when moving workloads out of the data centre. I’m currently working for a unique organisation in the mining industry who are quite aggressively pursuing cost saving initiatives and have seen cloud as one of the potential savings. The uniqueness of the IT operating environment comes from the dispersed and challenging “branch offices” which may lie at the end of a long dedicated wired, microwave or satellite link

Centralising IT services to a data centre in Singapore is all very well if you’re office is on a well serviced broadband Internet link but what of these other data centres with more challenged connectivity.… [Keep reading] “Simulate moving to the Cloud with NEWT”

Do It Yourself Fiddler Service

I recently upgraded to Windows 8.1 which required a full install (upgraded from the 8.1 Preview which annoyingly didn’t support upgrades). A full install of my laptop is getting easier and easier as more of the things I use are delivered as services. The install list is getting smaller due to the combined effect of software as a service and a simpler working life.

I still had to install these:

  • Microsoft Office 2013
  • Microsoft Visio 2013
  • Microsoft Project (yes yes I know but there really is no good alternative yet)
  • LastPass
  • Visual Studio 2013
  • And…Fiddler!
[Keep reading] “Do It Yourself Fiddler Service”

Do It Yourself Web API Proxy

I had promised a couple of blogs on dealing with the challenges of distance that are unavoidable as we adopt a variety of dispersed Cloud deployed services. The first was using a WCF Custom Channel to cache SharePoint content which is now a bit old school. This is the second.

The rate of change at the moment is astonishing. I’ve been sitting on blog number two for quite some time, but when I go to build an example and type it up, something new has come along that is a slightly better way of doing it.… [Keep reading] “Do It Yourself Web API Proxy”