Alexander Arvidsson

Information & Communications Technology

sql server Azure SQL Server Azure Azure Data Platform Azure SQL Database Azure Data Lake Microsoft Power BI Power BI Dataflows

Linköping, Östergötland, Sweden

Alexander Arvidsson

Star Wars fan extraordinaire

Alexander is a principal solutions architect at Attollo in Sweden. Nobody really knows what it means to be a principal solutions architect, but he spends his days teaching courses or helping clients of all shapes and sizes to take better care of their data.
He has spent the last 25 years poking around with data, databases and related infrastructure services such as storage, networking and virtualization, occasionally emerging from the technical darkness to attend a Star Wars convention somewhere in the world.
He is a Data Platform MVP, frequent international speaker, podcaster, Pluralsight author, blogger and a Microsoft Certified Trainer, focusing on the Microsoft data platform stack.

Current sessions

Muddy Waters - Azure Synapse Analytics Pools by Example

Azure Synapse has been around for quite a few years by now, but it is still somewhat shrouded in mystery. According to the marketing it is a limitless analytics service with unmatched time to insight. That means it is the single analytics tool to solve all analytics challenges, then? Unfortunately it is not quite that simple. Azure Synapse Analytics is not one single entity, but a collection of tools for solving very different problems. Take the serverless pool, for instance - it can't be that different from the dedicated pool, can it? And what is a Spark pool, again? While seemingly similar, they really could not be more different. This session will walk through what the different pools are used for, how they differ from each other in terms of both architecture and use case, discuss when you may, or may not, want to use them, as well as give examples of real-world applications of the individual technologies. Let us make sense of the analytics platform of the future!


Not my Problem(?) - Azure Networking 101 for Azure SQL Server DBAs

The unofficial scapegoats of the IT world has always been "the network" or "the database". The traditional way of doing things on-prem has unfortunately added to this divide - either you're a networking specialist or a DBA, and very rarely will the same person do both jobs.
As an on-prem DBA, chances are that you never had to think twice about which network the database was in, what kind of endpoint was used for the traffic or how the firewall was configured. In Azure, things can get rather complex pretty quickly - especially when working with the platform-as-a-service (PaaS) version of Azure SQL Server. That is why it is important to have a solid understanding of basic networking in general and how it relates to the platform as a service in particular.
This session will walk you through the basics of networking, explore the concept of virtual networks and firewalls, and explain the use of endpoints - all from the perspective of how they relate to Azure SQL Server. We will be looking at both how the technical components work, and also why one would choose a specific design in favor of another.
If you've been reluctant to fiddle with the networking settings of Azure SQL Server, then this is the session for you!


Not My Problem(?) - Azure Networking 101 for Azure SQL Server DBAs

The unofficial scapegoats of the the IT world has always been "the network" or "the database". The traditional way of doing things on-prem has unfortunately added to this divide - either you're a networking specialist or a DBA, and very rarely will the same person do both jobs.
As an on-prem DBA, chances are that you never had to think twice about which network the database was in, what kind of endpoint was used for the traffic or how the firewall was configured. In Azure, things can get rather complex pretty quickly - especially when working with the platform-as-a-service (PaaS) version of Azure SQL Server. That is why it is important to have a solid understanding of basic networking in general and how it relates to the platform as a service in particular.
This session will walk you through the basics of networking, explore the concept of virtual networks and firewalls, and explain the use of endpoints - all from the perspective of Azure SQL Server. We will be looking at both how the technical components work, and also why one would choose a specific design in favor of another.
If you've been reluctant to fiddle with the networking settings of Azure SQL Server, then this is the session for you!


Talking to Myself(?) - Lessons Learned From Presenting Online

If you had asked me a month ago if it was possible to speak or conduct training via the internet I would have said "sure, it's doable, but it's different and it's going pale in comparison to an in-person delivery".
Then the world went off the rails.
Suddenly everyone had to adapt to being in quarantine or lockdown and not going to any conferences or trainings for the foreseeable future. I was forced to figure out a way to conduct technical training using tools that I didn't believe in, by to people that I couldn't see - without it sucking.
I had to figure out how to position myself to be able to use my hands, how to seamlessly switch between PowerPoint and the Azure portal and how to gauge my students' information retention - all in about a week. It turns out that there are a lot more hours in a week than the 40 most people are used to working.
This session walks through what I've learned from speaking and conducting training over the internet the last few weeks - both what works well and what ... doesn't.


Boring is stable, stable is good – best practices in practice

Have you ever wondered why there are so many, sometimes contradictory, best practices for SQL Server on the internet? Have you considered creating your own but didn't know where to begin? Then this is the session for you.
Everybody is talking about best practices, and like standards, most everybody has them. But why do they look like they do, and why would you use a specific set of "best practices" that someone has put together? This session goes through my set of best practices that I've accumulated over 20 years of DBA work, disassembles each and every one of them to see how they came about and discuss why I still use them - or don't.
There are no such things as the "ultimate" best practices, but I aim to provide the attendee with as much food for thought as possible in order to let each and everyone decide on their own path forward. The session covers primarily SQL Server 2012 to 2016, with SQL Server 2017 and 2019 thrown in for good measure.


The Untruthful Art - Five Ways of Misrepresenting Data

In this age of information it is imperative to be able to be able to clearly, simply and accurately explain and communicate sometimes complex data.
Right at the intersection of journalism and statistics lies visual communication - the art of using data, charts and maps to convey information. This has been called "the truthful art" as it is an extremely powerful tool that must be wielded with the utmost care.
Just like any other tools, however, it can be used for sinister purposes. This session is all about exploring ways that data can be misrepresented to further a goal - while still seem perfectly reasonable. It is intended as an eye opener for anyone interested in the how and why of data deception. We will walk through five stories and explore where the trickery is hidden, discuss a more honest way of communicate the information as well as look at ways to spot potential foul play with data.


SQL Server hates you(?) - what the DBAs never told the developers

Have you had performance tank despite the code working fine in another environment? Maybe heard that some SQL is bad but not why? If so, this is the session for you!
This session will start with a walkthrough of some of the basic settings in SQL Server and how they affect you as a developer. It follows with key tips on what settings to change, why some code will wreak havoc on your performance and how isolation levels matter (and why NOLOCK can be an exceptionally bad idea!) The session is led by a 20-year DBA veteran who decided to try to help developers understand performance issues by seeing things from his perspective.
If you want to explore how default settings kill your performance, investigate why harmless SQL might not be quite so harmless and gain insight into how isolation levels affect function and performance, then this session will provide you with the tools to think outside the box and incorporate database engine knowledge into your developer prowess!


Building an Empire - Implementing Power BI Step by Step

Trying to implement a BI project can be extremely tedious, take unreasonable amounts of time and in the end turn out to be something that the users didn't want.
This session goes through how to use Power BI and dataflows to iteratively build a BI solution - starting from the absolute beginning with just an excel file, moving to combining data from several data sources, and finally explaining how to use Power BI dataflows and shared datasets to deliver maximum analytical power to the right users with a minimum of wasted time. You will walk away with new ideas how to start and grow your BI projects as well as an insight into Power BI dataflows and its uses.