We are in an era where more companies are beginning to adopt cloud computing more than ever before. We can boldly say cloud computing is here to stay and Microsoft Azure is now one of the leading platforms for enterprise solutions and more companies are storing their data in the Microsoft Azure SQL database.
The question then is what then is Microsoft Azure and what are the various applications.
What is Microsoft Azure?
Azure is a public cloud computing platform from Microsoft. It offers computing, analytics, storage, and networking as well as other cloud services. Users can choose from these services to build and grow new apps or run existing apps in the cloud.
Now we have a simple definition of Microsoft Azure, the next question should be what then are some of the use cases.
A cloud database family that offers a variety of migration, upgrading, and development options for applications.
Why Azure SQL?
- Scalability and Beyond: Azure SQL offers a variety of service levels to satisfy the needs of both large and small businesses.
- High speed and little downtime: Azure SQL is never unavailable unless the entire Azure cloud is down, which is usually for a short period of time.
- Easy Migration: Increase your productivity using SQL Database is now easier than ever and completely free. By syncing gigabyte-sized tables, SQL Data Sync allows you to either sync or migrate your SQL Server-stored data without having to worry about migration expenses.
- Little or no supervision: Azure SQL is fully managed and always up to date with the latest releases and fixes.
- Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery: Azure SQL has a strong backup system that allows for easy data recovery.
Azure SQL Architecture:
Azure SQL Architecture is in 4 layers which I would explain in the diagram below.
- Client Layer: The Client layer provides an interface for programs to communicate with the SQL Database, where the client layer can either be on-premises or on Microsoft Azure. Data is transferred between the SQL Database and applications via the Tabular Data Stream (TDS).
- Service Layer: The Service layer acts as a gateway between the Client and Platform layers.
This layer is responsible for the following applications:
- Provision of SQL database.
- User Authentication and Validation of database.
- Enforcing Security (Firewalls).
- Billing and metering of SQL database.
- Routing connections from the Client layer to the physical server.
- Platform Layer: Physical servers host SQL databases in data centers, which make up the Platform layer. Each SQL database is stored on a single physical server and replicated on two more servers.
- Infrastructure Layer: This layer is in charge of managing the physical hardware and operating system.
Microsoft Azure offers four flavors of SQL Server:
- Azure SQL Database:
Azure SQL Database is a fully managed platform as a service (PaaS) database engine that takes care of most database maintenance tasks, such as backups, patching, updating, and monitoring, with very little user participation.
It is an up-to-date relational database service built for the cloud. It automatically scales to meet your apps’ requirements and keeps them running with up to 99.995% availability.
Azure SQL Database allows you can create a highly available and high-performance data storage layer for the applications and solutions in Azure.
- Azure SQL Managed Instance:
SQL Managed Instance is a cloud database service that combines the broadest SQL Server engine compatibility with all of the advantages of a fully managed and evergreen platform as a service.
It can also be said to be a fully-managed deployment option for SQL migrations that provides near-perfect compatibility.
- Azure Server on Azure VM:
SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines allows you to run full versions of SQL Server in the cloud without having to worry about managing on-premises hardware. SQL Server virtual machines (VMs) also simplify licensing costs when you pay as you go.
- Azure SQL Edge:
Azure SQL Edge is a relational database engine targeted for Internet of Things and Internet of Things Edge installations. It enables IoT applications and solutions to construct a high-performance data storage and processing layer.
Azure SQL Database Model
Deployment Models in the Azure SQL Database
The Azure SQL Database provides 3 deployment options for a Database.
- Single Database:
This is similar to a SQL server confined database. This type of database is useful for cloud applications and microservices that need a single and reliable database.
- Elastic Pool:
A collection of single databases with a shared set of resources managed through a database server. Elastic Pool allows you to move a single database in and out. Elastic pools are a low-cost method of managing the performance of many databases with varying consumption patterns.
What is Azure SQL Database Server
This can be used to manage multiple instances of Elastic Pool or Single Databases. Act as a central administrative point for multiple single or pooled databases, logins, firewall rules, auditing rules, threat detection policies, and failover groups are all managed by the database servers.
Azure Purchasing Model
Azure SQL Database lets you easily purchase a fully managed platform as a service (PaaS) database engine that fits your performance and cost needs.
- vCore-based purchasing model: Both Azure SQL Database and Azure SQL Managed Instance have this feature.
- DTU-based purchasing model: is available for Azure SQL Database.
Azure SQL Database Service Tiers are created for a variety of uses, which are listed below:
- General Purpose or Standard Tier:
The General Purpose service tier is a default service tier in Azure SQL Database and Azure SQL Managed Instance that is designed for most of the generic workloads. Link
- Business Critical or Premium Service Tier:
The Business Critical service tier model is based on a cluster of database engine processes. This service is
intended for OLTP applications that require both high transaction rates and low-latency I/O services. Link
- HyperScale Service Tier:
The Hyperscale service tier in Azure SQL Database is the newest service tier in the vCore-based purchasing model. This service tier is offered for a very large OLTP database, and it also aids in storage autoscaling and fluidity computation. Link
Firstly, I would say congratulations on making it this far. Stay tuned to our blog where I would show you how to create an Azure SQL Database and connect it to Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio SSMS.
Would advise you have the SSMS installed on your computer before we release the next blog.