Azure SQL is a centrally managed platform as a service (PaaS) database engine that performs the majority of the administration services given by the database, like backups, patching, updating, and monitoring, with very little interaction from the user.
Azure SQL requires an adequately patched operating system and a reliable installation of SQL Server, preferably the most recent release. In addition, it aids in developing a highly accessible and fast data storage layer.
This post will give you a detailed introduction to Azure SQL databases and how you can begin utilizing them with your apps to get started. Continue reading if you want to learn more about what Azure SQL offers, regardless of whether this is your first time using Azure!
Here’s everything we’ll cover:
- Azure SQL Database Types
- Azure SQL Database
- SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines
- Azure SQL Managed Instance (SQL MI)
- Azure SQL Edge
- Learn Azure SQL Databases on Cloud Academy
Azure SQL Database Types
Following are some types of Azure SQL Databases:
- Azure SQL Database: It is a fully managed cloud-based relational database service. High availability and built-in AI are always maintaining its durability and performance with 99.95% of SLA.
- SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines: This database type helps you migrate your SQL server with the hybrid connectivity and flexibility of Azure. You can register your virtual machines and benefit from automated management and built-in security.
- Azure SQL Managed Instance: An advanced cloud database that combines engine compatibility for the broadest SQL Server and gives the benefits of up-to-date PaaS.
- Azure SQL Edge: It is an IoT edge computing database that combines time series and data streaming with built-in graph features and machine learning.
Azure SQL Database
Azure SQL Database is a relational database service for cloud infrastructures built on Microsoft’s SQL Server technology and offers all the benefits of a traditional SQL Server database, including high performance and scalability, robust security, and rich management capabilities.
Plus, it enables you to take advantage of the cloud’s flexibility and efficiency to scale your database on demand and pay only for the resources you use.
Below are some features of Microsoft Azure SQL Database:
- Automatic tuning: Azure SQL Database automatically tunes itself based on workload patterns, making it easier to maintain performance at scale.
- Dynamic scalability: Microsoft Azure SQL Database can be scaled up and down according to your needs without having to provision or manage any infrastructure.
- High availability: Azure SQL Database provides built-in high availability (HA) and disaster recovery (DR) capabilities to keep your data safe and always available even during an outage or disaster.
- Enterprise security: Microsoft Azure SQL Database offers a comprehensive set of security features to help keep your data safe and secure, including encryption, authentication, and authorization.
- Flexible pricing: With Azure SQL Databases, you can have different pricing options according to your budget and requirements. You can choose a pay-as-you-go or subscription-based pricing model and scale up or down as your needs change.
As I mentioned earlier, Azure SQL Database is a cloud-agnostic relational database service built on Microsoft’s robust and reliable SQL Server technology. It offers all the benefits of an SQL Server, including high availability, security, and scalability. Plus, it’s easy to use and manage, so you can get up and running quickly and focus on your business instead of your database.
There are different use cases for Microsoft Azure SQL Database and some of the most common are:
- Running production workloads: Azure SQL Database is an excellent option for running production workloads in the cloud. It offers high availability and performance and can scale to meet your application’s demands.
- Developing and testing applications: Azure SQL Database can create and test applications. It offers an easy way to provision databases in the cloud and can be quickly scaled up or down as needed.
- Migrating on-premises databases to the cloud: With Azure SQL Database, you can migrate your on-premises SQL databases to the Azure cloud easily. It offers an easy way to lift and shift your database to the cloud and can be quickly scaled up or down as needed.
- Building modern cloud applications: Azure SQL Database is an excellent option for building modern cloud applications. It offers high availability and performance and can scale to meet your application’s demands.
There are three ways to pay for Azure SQL Database:
- Subscription: You can purchase Microsoft Azure SQL Database as a subscription, which allows you to pay as you go. It is the most flexible payment option where you can scale up or down according to your requirements and usage.
- Server-level: You can also purchase Azure SQL Database at the server level, which gives you a fixed amount of storage and compute resources. This option is best for businesses with a predictable workload and doesn’t need the flexibility of a subscription.
- Database-level: Finally, you can purchase Azure SQL Database at the database level, which gives you a set amount of storage options for your database. This option is best for businesses that have a specific need for storage and don’t need the flexibility of a subscription.
Visit Azure SQL pricing details to know more about how much Azure SQL database can cost you.
Why should you choose Azure SQL Database?
There are many reasons why you should choose Azure SQL Database:
- It offers a highly scalable and reliable platform for your data storage needs.
- Azure SQL Database provides comprehensive security features to protect your data.
- Azure SQL Database offers several convenient features that make it easy to manage your data.
SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines
You can run complete installations of SQL Server in the cloud using Microsoft SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines, all without the hassle of maintaining any physical servers. When you use SQL Server VMs, and a pay-as-you-go license, model and licensing expenses are also simplified.
The features include:
- Deploy SQL Server in minutes
- Choose from different instance sizes and pricing options
- Enjoy built-in high availability and disaster recovery
- Get enhanced security with virtual machine isolation
- Benefit from Azure’s world-class infrastructure and 24/7 support
Visit the provider’s website to learn more about SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines.
Some of the key benefits of running SQL Server on an Azure VM include:
- High Availability: Azure VMs offer built-in redundancy and fault tolerance, ensuring that your SQL Server instance is always available.
- Scalability: Azure VMs can be easily scaled up or down to meet changing demand, making them perfect for applications that experience fluctuating workloads.
- Cost-effective: Azure VMs provide a cost-effective way to run Microsoft SQL Server in the cloud, with pay-as-you-go pricing that can save you money on your overall IT costs.
The use cases for SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines are:
- Take more control over your database environment than Azure SQL Database offers.
- Take advantage of features only available in the full version of SQL Server, such as In-Memory OLTP or column store indexes.
- Use the Windows Authentication option to connect to your database.
- Run an older version of SQL Server incompatible with Azure SQL Database.
- Deploy an Always-On Availability Group to provide HA and DR capabilities.
SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines pricing varies depending on the size and type of virtual machine you select and the region in which it’s located. You can save money by using Azure Reserved VM Instances, which offer up to 72 percent savings compared to pay-as-you-go prices.
Why should you choose SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines?
There are several reasons to choose SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines. Here are just a few:
- Cost savings: With SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines, you can save money on your infrastructure costs.
- Flexibility: With SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines, you can scale up or down as needed, making it easy to adjust your capacity to meet changing demands.
- High availability: With SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines, you can achieve high availability for your mission-critical applications.
- Disaster recovery: With SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines, you can quickly recover from disasters with little or no data loss.
Azure SQL Managed Instance (SQL MI)
Regarding cloud services, this database is an advanced and scalable option, providing the benefits of a completely managed and ever-upgraded platform as a service that combines engine compatibility for the broadest SQL Server.
Azure SQL Managed Instance provides many features unavailable in the Basic tier, Standard, and Premium service tiers. These features include:
- SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) compatibility: SSIS is a tool that helps you build ETL (extract, transform, load) solutions. With Azure SQL Managed Instance, you can use your existing SSIS packages to load data into Azure SQL Database.
- Polybase Query Service for external data: Polybase Query Service lets you query data stored in Hadoop or Azure Blob Storage using T-SQL. With Azure SQL Managed Instance, you can use Polybase to query data stored in Hadoop or Azure Blob Storage without having to install and configure a Hadoop cluster.
- Stretch Database for near-infinite scale and availability: Stretch Database lets you dynamically stretch your database to Azure so that your data is always available and up-to-date. With Azure SQL Managed Instance, you can use Stretch Database to scale your database on demand and keep your data safe during an outage.
- TDE with BYOK support: TDE with Bring Your Own Key (BYOK) is a feature that encrypts your database files at rest. With Azure SQL Managed Instance, you can use TDE with your key, which allows you to keep your encryption keys safe and secure.
The benefits of Azure SQL Managed Instance include:
- Near-complete compatibility with the latest version of Azure with SQL Server, including all significant features such as Always Encrypted and In-Memory OLTP.
- Built-in high availability and disaster recovery capabilities.
- Easy to deploy and manage, with no need to install or maintain any infrastructure.
- Highly scalable, allowing you to quickly add or remove storage capacity according to your needs.
- Cost-effective, with pay-as-you-go pricing that includes all software and infrastructure costs.
Some of the most common include the following:
- Web applications: Azure SQL Managed Instance is an excellent choice for powering web applications. It offers high availability and scalability, so you can quickly meet the demands of even the most popular websites. In addition, Azure SQL Managed Instance provides built-in security features that can help keep your web application safe from attacks.
- Mobile applications: Azure SQL Managed Instance can also be used for mobile applications. It offers the same high availability and scalability as it does for web applications, so you can easily support many users. Azure SQL Managed Instance also provides built-in security features that can help protect your mobile application from attacks.
- Enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications: Azure SQL Managed Instance is an excellent choice for powering ERP applications because it offers high availability and scalability. Azure SQL Managed Instance also provides built-in security features that can help keep your ERP application safe from attacks.
The Azure SQL Managed Instance pricing depends on the number of instances you create, the storage size, and the region where you deploy your model. Visit the Azure pricing page to see the current Azure SQL Managed Instance prices.
Why should You choose Azure SQL Managed Instance?
Now that you know what a managed instance is, let’s look at why you might want to choose Azure SQL Managed Instance for your database needs.
- First, managed database instances offer greater flexibility than traditional SQL databases. With a managed model, you can quickly scale up or down as needed without worrying about complex provisioning or management tasks.
- Second, managed instances provide built-in HA and DR features where your data and mission-critical apps will always be available, even in an outage or significant incident.
- Third, managed database instances improve performance and security over traditional SQL databases. With a managed model, you’ll get the benefits of advanced query optimization and enhanced security features while paying only for the resources you use.
Azure SQL Edge
An IoT and IoT Edge implementation can benefit significantly from Azure SQL Edge; a relational database engine tuned explicitly for use in such scenarios. It enables the development of an IoT application or solution’s high information storage and processing layer.
Azure SQL Edge is built on the same technologies as Azure SQL Database and offers all of the same features, including:
- Automatic performance tuning: Azure SQL Edge automatically tunes database performance based on workload patterns.
- Built-in high availability: With multiple replicas of your database running in different regions, Azure SQL Edge provides built-in high availability and disaster recovery.
- Global distribution: Azure SQL Edge databases can be deployed in multiple regions worldwide, providing low-latency access to data no matter where it is located.
Azure SQL Edge brings the benefits of cloud-based data management to the edge, allowing organizations to manage and analyze data closer to where it is generated. By bringing the power of the cloud to the edge, Azure SQL Edge helps organizations reduce latency, minimize bandwidth costs, and improve security and privacy.
There are many potential use cases for Azure SQL Edge, including:
- Deploying a database engine on devices with limited resources, such as embedded systems;
- Collecting data from IoT devices and storing it in a centralized location;
- Running real-time analytics on streaming data from IoT devices;
- Building mobile apps that need offline access to data; and
- Creating a failover solution for on-premises databases.
Pricing for Azure SQL Edge is based on the number of databases you create and the amount of storage resources used by each database. There are no additional charges for features like high availability or real-time analytics. For more pricing information, visit Azure SQL Edge here.
Why should you choose Azure SQL Edge?
There are several reasons to choose Azure SQL Edge for your data needs, including:
- First and foremost, Azure SQL Edge is incredibly scalable and can handle large data without any performance issues.
- Azure SQL Edge is highly secure and ideal for handling sensitive data.
- Finally, AzureSQL edge is highly flexible and can be used in several ways to incorporate your particular requirements.
Learn Azure SQL Databases on Cloud Academy
Now that we’ve looked at Azure SQL Databases let’s take a moment to summarize what we’ve learned.
Azure SQL Databases are an excellent option for those looking for a cloud-based database solution that is highly available, scalable, and secure. With Azure SQL Databases, you can focus on developing your application rather than worry about managing the infrastructure.
If you’re considering moving your database to the cloud or are just starting with cloud-based databases, Azure SQL Databases is worth checking out.
Azure SQL is a powerful database platform that you can use to build and scale your applications. With Cloud Academy, you can learn how to use Azure SQL to create and implement Azure SQL databases, query data, and more.
I hope this blog post helped you understand Azure SQL Databases’ multiple aspects and features. If you have thoughts or questions, feel free to leave a comment or contact Cloud Academy.
Thanks and Happy Learning!