Actian Blog / Getting Started with Avalanche on Azure

Getting Started with Avalanche on Azure

Businessman Drawing Steps Concept

Actian Avalanche on  Microsoft Azure launched this week with a free cloud storage offer.  This post will walk you through getting set up on Avalanche on Azure. You must first have an Actian account as a customer of Avalanche or have signed up for a free trial 

After you log in to the Avalanche service, you will see the below screen in the center of the Avalanche console: 

To create your first warehouse, click the green Create your first Cluster button, which will load the below screen to get you set up: 

All fields depicted above are required fields. After filling in the name of your cluster and location (e.g. East US for where your cluster will be located), you will also need to provide what size cluster you would like to create and enter an IP address to allow access.  

For the cluster size, Actian uses Avalanche Units (AU) to specify the size of your warehouse. AUs are a representation of the cluster’s size, so 2AUs would be a small cluster, and 4AUs would be a larger cluster. Actian Avalanche offers up to 128AU clusters. AU size of the cluster is not directly linked to the data storage size; your data storage will scale independently of the compute for the cluster. If you are using a trial, Actian recommends using a 2AU cluster to get started, as larger clusters have higher costs. Since the free trial is associated with a specified amount of credits, a 2AU cluster will provide the maximum amount of time for you to work with Avalanche 

For the IP address field, if you will be connecting to the cluster from your current location, you can click the Allow List Application IP(s) field, and a small box will pop up that states Use my IP – if you select that box, your IP will auto-populate into the IP address field. The IP address that needs to be added on the Allow List is the IP address that you will be using to connect to the Avalanche cluster via ODBC, JDBC, or .Net applications. 

Once you are done with filling in the fields, click on the Create Cluster button. You will then be taken to the main dashboard and see the status of your cluster as Creating. 

After the instance is provisioned, which will take about 10-15 minutes, the Creating indicator will change to Running as shown below:

The Avalanche cluster is now available to connect to and perform some of the following activities: loading data, performing ad-hoc querying, using BI tools such as Power BI or Tableau for reportingor loading data into a Spark cluster or into a Data Science workbench. 

To get started on your journey to connect to Avalanche for Azure, you will need to: 

  1. Set a connection password in the Avalanche web interface  
    • On the Avalanche main console, identify the cluster whose password you want to change. 
    • From the cluster’s Manage menu, select Set Connection Password. 
    • The Set/Update Connection Password dialog opens: 
    • Enter and confirm the password for the dbuser user
    • Click Set Connection Password
    • The connection password is now in effect
  2. Download a JDBC or Avalanche client runtime package
    • To download drivers for Avalanche, log in to the web console and click the Driver & Tools link, which opens Electronic Software Delivery (ESD) in a new browser tab
    • The following download packages are available from the RELEASE dropdown for Avalanche
      • Actian Avalanche JDBC (for any platform): includes the JDBC driver to connect to Avalanche from JDBC applications. To download and install this package, see Download the Avalanche JDBC Package. 
      • Actian Avalanche Client Runtime: includes the JDBC driver, ODBC driver, and the Actian SQL Command Line Interface (CLI). To download and install this package, see Download the Actian Avalanche Client Runtime Package. 
    • If you download an RPM package, you must install as root.
    • For more information, refer to the Actian Documentation for Avalanche Drivers and Tools.
  3.  To connect from your favorite BI tools such as Power BI, Tableau, Looker, or your favorite SQL tools such as DBeaver and Squirrel SQL, or an application that uses ODBC/JDBCyou will need information specific to the application to connect. To get the information required, navigate to the cluster that you would like to connect to, and select the Manage menu and then select the Connect button
  4.  After pressing the Connect button, a dialog will appear on-screen that provides the connection details.The connection string can be copied via the copy button on the right of the connection string field. Once copied, the string can be pasted into the tool you plan to connect to Avalanche after the Avalanche driver is installed and connected. 
  5. For more details on how to install the driver for an example application such as DBeaver, please refer to the following how-to link: Install DBeaver and Set Up an Avalanche Driver guide.

The cluster will have sample data available to use for running SQL commands or building visualizations for your favorite query tools. For SQL commands, you can find a set of sample commands here 

The Actian Avalanche documentation can be found here. If you have additional questions on getting set up with Avalanche, please feel free to reach out to the support team.


About Adam Luciano

Adam Luciano is currently Senior Director of Product Management at Actian Corporation. Adam is responsible for management of analytics products inclusive of Avalanche and Vector as well as AI/ML technologies. Adam previously worked at Liberty Mutual Insurance where he built a home grown Data Science Platform. Previous to Liberty Mutual, Adam worked in digital marketing analytics, product management / product marketing in healthcare technology, market research, and investment analytics on Wall Street.

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