Azure SQL – Saving Costs

When moving to a cloud model for your database stack no doubt you will be involved in a costing exercise. The good news is if you have Software Assurance with your existing licenses then expect some cost savings when moving to the cloud. You can save up to 70% cost when compared to a pay as you go model.

Continue reading

Azure SQL Database – Contained user Model

I always follow a contained user model when setting up users within my Azure SQL Database. I do this so the user in question has access to only specific database(s) and does not have a login to the server. It becomes even more apparent the importance of this when you design a solution based on failover groups.

When a failover occurs to the secondary, I want a pleasant experience for the user. With the contained user model, the user goes with the database. I don’t want to do admin work on the new primary (post failover). Let’s see.

Continue reading

Azure SQL Database and Long-Term Backups

There is a new (ish) interface to looking and configuring backups for your Azure SQL Database. This can be found within the settings section of the SQL Server.

As you can see, by default we have 7 days retention to allow for PITR – Point In Time Recovery, anything longer you will need to setup long term retention.

Continue reading

Azure SQL Database and Memory

There are many factors to consider when you are thinking about the move to Azure SQL Database (PaaS) – this could be single databases (provisioned compute or serverless) to elastic pools. Going through your head should be how many vCores do you want? What are the I/O requirements, do we need access to certain features like in-memory OLTP? But what about the memory requirements? This has always been a key requirement for SQL Server – those wonderful words – Min / Max memory settings.

How does this relate to Azure? Well it all depends on your vCore count and the generation of hardware we select during the build process.

There are currently 4 hardware generations ( each has its own purpose) :Gen4, Gen5, Fsv2-series and M-series. Each type has xGB per vCore up to a certain max. So it is important to remember this when sizing your workloads. (screen shot summarising is below) https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/azure-sql/database/service-tiers-vcore?tabs=azure-portal

So, for example I select a provisioned Azure SQL Database – 12 vCore on Gen 4 means I will have 84GB memory available for my workload.

Azure Defender for SQL

If you have been following me or generally topics around Azure SQL Database and security you would know that it is important to leverage Advanced Data Security (ADS) for Azure SQL Database, if you remember this meant having tools such as advanced threat protection, vulnerability scans at your finger tips.

Continue reading

Automating DBCC CHECKDB for Azure SQL DB with Azure Functions

Warning, this is a longer post from me than usual.

The title is a mouthful and so is this post. In the past I have linked to blog posts from Microsoft that say consistency checks for Azure SQL Database is the responsibility of Microsoft. (https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/blog/data-integrity-in-azure-sql-database/)

Continue reading

Azure SQL Database for the DBA

Last month I gave a presentation to The PASS Hybrid VG https://hybrid.pass.org/. Now is a good time to become “cloud ready” as a DBA and my presentation gives a nice quick tour of Azure SQL DB.

Abstract for the presentation being ” During this presentation you will get to see the differences in security, high availability, performance, and monitoring of this cloud-first solution. You will also learn about the different service tiers and performance levels that are specific to Azure SQL Database and learn about the different ways that you could migrate to Azure”.

I do cross into many topics such as DBCC CHECKDB , extended events etc, all very useful when wearing your “DBA” hat.

The recording can be found here – https://hybrid.pass.org/Meeting-Details/EventID/15614