Using Covering Indexes to Avoid Hashes and Sorts

In the previous installment, we saw that covering indexes can reduce the number of page reads required to satisfy specific queries, thereby improving performance for those queries. We’ll turn our attention now to some more subtle applications of covering indexes. For this, we will use the ContosoRetailDW sample database, which is considerably larger than the […]
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Machine Learning using Spark and R

R is ubiquitous in the data science community. Its ecosystem of more than 8,000 packages makes it the Swiss Army knife of modeling applications. Similarly, Apache Spark has rapidly become the big data platform of choice for data scientists. Its ability to perform calculations relatively quickly (due to features like in-memory caching) makes it ideal […]
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Don’t Let Governance Threaten Your Agile Transformation

Governance seems to be one of those frightening words that threatens to stop an Agile transformation effort dead in its tracks. I’ve been hearing it whispered, and even screamed once or twice, quite a lot recently. There’s no big surprise here. As the big corporations and Government agencies get increasingly fascinated by frameworks like Scrum, […]
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How to Verify Windows File Integrity with Hashes

As I write this, I am developing a skill (app) for Amazon’s Alexa voice service. A couple of days into the development I thought I’d accidently corrupted a critical file. Fortunately, I hadn’t, but it reminded me of the practice of discovering file changes by comparing file hash values against a baseline. The basic idea […]
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Why Every Small Company Needs a Disaster Recovery Plan

Does your company have a Plan B? Small company owners often don’t give enough thought to how they would respond to an unexpected natural disaster, data loss, or financial emergency, and when the unthinkable happens, they are left scrambling for a solution. Chances are that solution, however, will prove ineffective. Here are a few sobering […]
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