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Intro to Azure SQL Database

How much do you know about the database options in Azure? Azure has many database options. My last post focused on Azure database for MariaDB. Here, I’ll discuss Azure SQL Database and break it down into the purpose, the platform and the pennies (how you pay for it).

  • Purpose
    • Azure SQL Database is a great option if you’re planning to move SQL Server to the cloud. It’s an easy transition as you are using what your team is already trained in so there’s minimal learning curve.
    • In most cases you get light compatibility for functionality and services, as well as high availability.
    • With the managed instance option, it will give you nearly 100% carry over from what you have on-prem including the ability to store a backup onto Managed Instance.
  • Platform
    • Azure SQL DB is a Platform as a Service (PaaS). This means you have built in high availability and back-ups. Disaster Recovery is a matter of geo locating your processes.
    • As it’s a PaaS, you don’t have to worry about versions; it is version-less.
    • Advanced security is built in, as well as the ability to track issues.
    • The platform has three options, single database, elastic database and managed instance options.
      • Single Database – One database at a time that you manage. Great for small or medium sized businesses or people looking to move or do some new work in SQL. A great opportunity to take advantage of the enterprise feature set that sits in SQL Server in this space.
      • Elastic Database - SQL Elastic Databases are more accurately described as SQL Elastic Database Pools. The idea is that you can place multiple Azure databases into a pool where they all share resources.
      • Managed Instance – Very similar to what you have today with instances on your platform. When you’re looking to add multiple databases, it gives you the opportunity to cross database query and other such things in a more complex scenario with a higher-level compatibility with the on-premise version of SQL Server.
    • Pennies
      • SQL Database started with DTUs (Database Transaction Units) which compile all your memory, your processing and storage into a single unit and you pay as you use it.
      • Now V-core is available and is the preferred option for most. It gives you more flexibility as you can select your size. It separates storage from CPU from performance or compute
      • What makes Azure SQL Database different than other databases or services on the platform is we pay for this if it’s running. There’s no pause so you need to plan for it to run 24/7 as there’s not a good option for starting and stopping it. Keep this in mind from a pricing standpoint.

To review, the 3 main points to remember are: the purpose of Azure SQL Database is to do your SQL database workloads in the cloud; it’s a PaaS platform; and the charge options are DTUs or V-core and with either you are paying for the database as long as it is available, whether you are actively using it or not.

I recently did a webinar with much more detail comparing some of the database options you have, you can check that out here. If you’re looking to learn more about databases in Azure or about Azure in general, our team of experts can work with you to answer your questions, provide a roadmap or with any implementation. Click the link below—we’re here to help.

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