Over the next few days, I’d like to share 3 things to know about some Azure offerings. Today’s topic is Managed Instance which were made generally available in fall 2018.
Although there is quite a bit to know about Managed Instances, here are 3 important things:
1. Managed Instances are very secure. Unlike Azure SQL Databases, Managed Instances do not have a public endpoint. Beyond that, they live in a special subnet and this fulfills a key request from multiple customers who have evaluated security requirements.
However, if you’re a Power BI shop or use other third-party tools that do not join your virtual network, you will need to plan how you will allow access. So, for Power BI, for example, you’ll need to use the Enterprise Gateway on a separate VM within the Vnet which has network access to the Managed Instance to access the content in a Managed Instance in the Power BI dashboard or report.
2. Managed Instances support traditional back-up and restore operations on SQL Server. You’ll need to add the backup file to an Azure blob storage location. Once loaded in storage, you can either use a restore script or use SQL Server Management Studio to restore the database onto your Managed Instance.
This works with multiple versions in addition to SQL Server and it’s a convenient way to migrate your data or to bring data online and test Managed Instances.
3. Managed Instances are version and edition agnostic. They are a Platform as a Service (PaaS), which means there is no ‘version’ or ‘edition’ of Managed Instances. Although they have different service levels, general purpose and business critical, there are no significant functional differences except in-memory or OLTP support.
There are a few other differences related to things like using always on vs the standard 3 copies of storage in the background, so some options that you may want to take advantage of. But once you move to Managed Instances you never have to worry about updating or maintaining your solution.
I think Managed Instances are a great option. Just be aware that Managed Instances are a new thing in SQL Server and they are continuing to improve them and make new things available so keep you eye out for changes/improvements.
If you’d like to implement Managed Instance or to learn more about them or need any other support on Azure, you’re in the right place. Click the link below or contact us – our Azure experts are here to help no matter where you are on your Azure journey.