Category Archives: Azure

Notes: Be a Successful DBA in the World of Cloud and On-Premise Data (Grant Fritchey)

Notes from 24-hours of PASS webinar:

Grant Fritchey
Product Evangelist
Works for Red Gate

What is Azure?
– Database as a service?
WA Data Management:
Non-Relational Storage:
–  Blob Storage
–  Tables
–  HDInsight
Relational Storage:
–  SQL Server in a VM (WA VM)
–  Windows Azure SQL Database (WASD)
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS):
–  SQL Server in a WA VM
Platform as a Service (PaaS):
–  Windows Azure SQL Database (WASD)

Today’s Agenda:
Why consider Azure?
Speed of delivery
– 45 seconds to a database
– 3 to 5 minutes to a server
– self-service development and POC
Easy to provision
– automate provisioning
– epand and contract on demand
–  Pay only for what you need
–  Reduced licensing costs
–     Only if you use their images for VMs
–  Radically reduced service overhead
–     reduce hardware and facilities costs, reduced infrastructure
Smooth Integration
–  Virtual Network
–  Use your own VMs
–  Direct Integrations

Will I lose my Job?
–  No, Maybe, if  you don’t change with the coming changes.
Technologies that were supposed to kill DBA position, but didn’t:
– NoSQL, SSD, Object-Relational Mapping, Cloud Computing, Self-Tuning, ColumnStore

Won’t the training take a long time?
–  WASD has all types except SQL Variant
–  PowerShell should be on training map
– It is SQL Server and T-SQL
– DMO are mostly available
–  database level wait stats are available instead of servr level
– Full functionality
–  Automation handled by PowerShell
– Manage WASD with PS
– Manage Windows and SQL Server with PS
–  Yes there will be a learning curve, but it shouldn’t be overwhelming

WASD management with a team?
–   Need to have a Windows Live ID, but can set permissions per live ID
Point-in-Time restore with WASD? 
–  No, no backup mechanism currently, but you can export a bacpak which is not transactionaly consistent.  Need to create a copy and then export bacpak to have transactionaly consistent export
– can schedule exprot processes as of two weeks ago
Optimizations needed?
– not necessary to optimize for most system
– high performance, high control systems are not good for Azure
– defined resources in Azure is now available, but may still not work for high performance systems
Hyper-V supported, but not VMWare.
How does Azure work for development?
– depends on how you are developing
– not as good for large data sets
–  good for POCs with small datasets, throwaway
– good for web based development
– data going up is free, but pulling it down costs
– it is an additional tool in the toolbox
Do you need to know VM management to use SQL Server on VM?
– No, but depends on system
– Availability groups will require additional knowledge
Database size limitations:
150 GB in WASD, need to shard data to go large
VM is 16 TB
Azure Tools?
3rd party and SSMS



Azure SQL Database Service (formerly SQL Azure)

24 Hours of PASS: SQLCAT: Windows Azure Data Platform

Premium version has been released for non shared resource utilization.  This will allow for high performance databases to use ASDS.

ASDS provides a primary database and two replicas. Failover to the replica is automated and will generally happen within 30 seconds of primary DB going down

SQL Azure Federations used for scale out (range based)
– requires additional round-trips causing increased latency
Custom sharding – done at development
–   generally using sharding with parition mapping.

Start small “lone database” when moving to cloud.

WA SQL Database will sometimes throttle connections until it can rebalance the system across the cluster.
– soft throttling will tell to retry
– hard throttling will kill connection
– Transient Fault handling application block added to provide retry functionality
–   It allows devleopers to set retry counts and retry intervals

An ISV in Asia is currently hosting 10s of 1000s of databases with 100s of 1000s of users

How are ASDS backups handled.  Don’t provide data recovery via backups.  An export is required to have data secured.

Data warehousing capabilities available via WA VM.  Office 365 and Power BI give BI capabilities.  Warehousing may come later as platform matures.


SQL Server 2012 SP1 CU2 and SQL Server 2014 support Azure backups using To URL.

Tools and Utilities Support:
Business Continuity in Windows Azure SQL Database: