Contents tagged with SQL Server

  • Announcing General Availability of HDInsight on Linux + new Data Lake Services and Language

    Today, I’m happy to announce several key additions to our big data services in Azure, including the General Availability of HDInsight on Linux, as well as the introduction of our new Azure Data Lake and Language services.

    General Availability of HDInsight on Linux

    Today we are announcing general availability of our HDInsight service on Ubuntu Linux.  HDInsight enables you to easily run managed Hadoop clusters in the cloud.  With today’s release we now allow you to configure these clusters to run using both a Windows Server Operating System as well as an Ubuntu based Linux Operating System.

    HDInsight on Linux enables even broader support for Hadoop ecosystem partners to run in HDInsight providing you even greater choice of preferred tools and applications for running Hadoop workloads. Both Linux and Windows clusters in HDInsight are built on the same standard Hadoop distribution and offer the same set of rich capabilities.

    Today’s new release also enables additional capabilities, such as, cluster scaling, virtual network integration and script action support. Furthermore, in addition to Hadoop cluster type, you can now create HBase and Storm clusters on Linux for your NoSQL and real time processing needs such as building an IoT application.

    Create a cluster

  • Better Density and Lower Prices for Azure’s SQL Elastic Database Pools

    A few weeks ago, we announced the preview availability of the new Basic and Premium Elastic Database Pools Tiers with our Azure SQL Database service.  Elastic Database Pools enable you to run multiple, isolated and independent databases that can be auto-scaled automatically across a private pool of resources dedicated to just you and your apps.  This provides a great way for software-as-a-service (SaaS) developers to better isolate their individual customers in an economical way.

    Today, we are announcing some nice changes to the pricing structure of Elastic Database Pools as well as changes to the density of elastic databases within a pool.  These changes make it even more attractive to use Elastic Database Pools to build your applications.

    Specifically, we are making the following changes:

    • Finalizing the eDTU price – With Elastic Database Pools you purchase units of capacity that we can call eDTUs – which you can then use to run multiple databases within a pool.  We have decided to not increase the price of eDTUs as we go from preview->GA.  This means that you’ll be able to pay a much lower price (about 50% less) for eDTUs than many developers expected.
    • Eliminating the per-database fee – In additional to lower eDTU prices, we are also eliminating the fee per database that we have had with the preview. This means you no longer need to pay a per-database charge to use an Elastic Database Pool, and makes the pricing much more attractive for scenarios where you want to have lots of small databases.
    • Pool density – We are announcing increased density limits that enable you to run many more databases per Elastic Database pool. See the chart below under “Maximum databases per pool” for specifics. This change will take effect at the time of general availability, but you can design your apps around these numbers.  The increase pool density limits will make Elastic Database Pools event more attractive.


  • Announcing Great New SQL Database Capabilities in Azure

    Today we are making available several new SQL Database capabilities in Azure that enable you to build even better cloud applications.  In particular:

    • We are introducing two new pricing tiers for our  Elastic Database Pool capability.  Elastic Database Pools enable you to run multiple, isolated and independent databases on a private pool of resources dedicated to just you and your apps.  This provides a great way for software-as-a-service (SaaS) developers to better isolate their individual customers in an economical way.
    • We are also introducing new higher-end scale options for SQL Databases that enable you to run even larger databases with significantly more compute + storage + networking resources.

    Both of these additions are available to start using immediately. 

    Elastic Database Pools

    If you are a SaaS developer with tens, hundreds, or even thousands of databases, an elastic database pool dramatically simplifies the process of creating, maintaining, and managing performance across these databases within a budget that you control. 


    A common SaaS application pattern (especially for B2B SaaS apps) is for the SaaS app to use a different database to store data for each customer.  This has the benefit of isolating the data for each customer separately (and enables each customer’s data to be encrypted separately, backed-up separately, etc).  While this pattern is great from an isolation and security perspective, each database can end up having varying and unpredictable resource consumption (CPU/IO/Memory patterns), and because the peaks and valleys for each customer might be difficult to predict, it is hard to know how much resources to provision.  Developers were previously faced with two options: either over-provision database resources based on peak usage--and overpay. Or under-provision to save cost--at the expense of performance and customer satisfaction during peaks.

    Microsoft created elastic database pools specifically to help developers solve this problem.  With Elastic Database Pools you can allocate a shared pool of database resources (CPU/IO/Memory), and then create and run multiple isolated databases on top of this pool.  You can set minimum and maximum performance SLA limits of your choosing for each database you add into the pool (ensuring that none of the databases unfairly impacts other databases in your pool).  Our management APIs also make it much easier to script and manage these multiple databases together, as well as optionally execute queries that span across them (useful for a variety operations).  And best of all when you add multiple databases to an Elastic Database Pool, you are able to average out the typical utilization load (because each of your customers tend to have different peaks and valleys) and end up requiring far fewer database resources (and spend less money as a result) than you would if you ran each database separately.

  • Azure: Machine Learning Service, Hadoop Storm, Cluster Scaling, Linux Support, Site Recovery and More

    Today we released a number of great enhancements to Microsoft Azure. These include:

    • Machine Learning: General Availability of the Azure Machine Learning Service
    • Hadoop: General Availability of Apache Storm Support, Hadoop 2.6 support, Cluster Scaling, Node Size Selection and preview of next Linux OS support
    • Site Recovery: General Availability of DR capabilities with SAN arrays

    I've also included details in this blog post of other great Azure features that went live earlier this month:

  • Azure: New DocumentDB NoSQL Service, New Search Service, New SQL AlwaysOn VM Template, and more

    Today we released a major set of updates to Microsoft Azure. Today’s updates include:

    • DocumentDB: Preview of a New NoSQL Document Service for Azure
    • Search: Preview of a New Search-as-a-Service offering for Azure
    • Virtual Machines: Portal support for SQL Server AlwaysOn + community-driven VMs
    • Web Sites: Support for Web Jobs and Web Site processes in the Preview Portal
    • Azure Insights: General Availability of Microsoft Azure Monitoring Services Management Library
    • API Management: Support for API Management REST APIs

    All of these improvements are now available to use immediately (note that some features are still in preview).  Below are more details about them:

    DocumentDB: Announcing a New NoSQL Document Service for Azure

    I’m excited to announce the preview of our new DocumentDB service - a NoSQL document database service designed for scalable and high performance modern applications.  DocumentDB is delivered as a fully managed service (meaning you don’t have to manage any infrastructure or VMs yourself) with an enterprise grade SLA.

    As a NoSQL store, DocumentDB is truly schema-free. It allows you to store and query any JSON document, regardless of schema. The service provides built-in automatic indexing support – which means you can write JSON documents to the store and immediately query them using a familiar document oriented SQL query grammar. You can optionally extend the query grammar to perform service side evaluation of user defined functions (UDFs) written in server-side JavaScript as well. 

    DocumentDB is designed to linearly scale to meet the needs of your application. The DocumentDB service is purchased in capacity units, each offering a reservation of high performance storage and dedicated performance throughput. Capacity units can be easily added or removed via the Azure portal or REST based management API based on your scale needs. This allows you to elastically scale databases in fine grained increments with predictable performance and no application downtime simply by increasing or decreasing capacity units.

    Over the last year, we have used DocumentDB internally within Microsoft for several high-profile services.  We now have DocumentDB databases that are each 100s of TBs in size, each processing millions of complex DocumentDB queries per day, with predictable performance of low single digit ms latency.  DocumentDB provides a great way to scale applications and solutions like this to an incredible size.

    DocumentDB also enables you to tune performance further by customizing the index policies and consistency levels you want for a particular application or scenario, making it an incredibly flexible and powerful data service for your applications.   For queries and read operations, DocumentDB offers four distinct consistency levels - Strong, Bounded Staleness, Session, and Eventual. These consistency levels allow you to make sound tradeoffs between consistency and performance. Each consistency level is backed by a predictable performance level ensuring you can achieve reliable results for your application.

    DocumentDB has made a significant bet on ubiquitous formats like JSON, HTTP and REST – which makes it easy to start taking advantage of from any Web or Mobile applications.  With today’s release we are also distributing .NET, Node.js, JavaScript and Python SDKs.  The service can also be accessed through RESTful HTTP interfaces and is simple to manage through the Azure preview portal.

    Provisioning a DocumentDB account

    To get started with DocumentDB you provision a new database account. To do this, use the new Azure Preview Portal (, click the Azure gallery and select the Data, storage, cache + backup category, and locate the DocumentDB gallery item.


    Once you select the DocumentDB item, choose the Create command to bring up the Create blade for it.

  • Azure: Virtual Machine, Machine Learning, IoT Event Ingestion, Mobile, SQL, Redis, SDK Improvements

    This past month we’ve released a number of great enhancements to Microsoft Azure.  These include:

    • Virtual Machines: Preview Portal Support as well as SharePoint Farm Creation
    • Machine Learning: Public preview of the new Azure Machine Learning service
    • Event Hub: Public preview of new Azure Event Ingestion Service
    • Mobile Services: General Availability of .NET support, SignalR support
    • Notification Hubs: Price Reductions and New Features
    • SQL Database: New Geo-Restore, Geo-Replication and Auditing support
    • Redis Cache: Larger Cache Sizes
    • Storage: Support for Zone Redundant Storage
    • SDK: Tons of great VS and SDK improvements

    All of these improvements are now available to use immediately (note that some features are still in preview).  Below are more details about them:

    Virtual Machines: Support in the new Azure Preview portal

    We previewed the new Azure Preview Portal at the //Build conference earlier this year.  It brings together all of your Azure resources in a single management portal, and makes it easy to build cloud applications on the Azure platform using our new Azure Resource Manager (which enables you to manage multiple Azure resources as a single application).  The initial preview of the portal supported Web Sites, SQL Databases, Storage, and Visual Studio Online resources.

    This past month we’ve extended the preview portal to also now support Virtual Machines.  You can create standalone VMs using the portal, or group multiple VMs (and PaaS services) together into a Resource Group and manage them as a single logical entity. You can use the preview portal to get deep insights into billing and monitoring of these resources, and customize the portal to view the data however you want.  If you are an existing Azure customer you can start using the new portal today:

    Below is a screen-shot of the new portal in action.  The service dashboard showing service/region health can be seen in the top-left of the portal, along with billing data about my subscriptions – both make it really easy for you to see the health and usage of your services in Azure.  In the screen-shot below I have a single VM running named “scottguvstest” – and clicking the tile for it displays a “blade” of additional details about it to the right – including integrated performance monitoring usage data:


    The initial “blade” for a VM provides a summary view of common metrics about it.  You can click any of the titles to get even more detailed information as well. 

    For example, below I’ve clicked the CPU monitoring title in my VM, which brought up a Metric blade with even more details about CPU utilization over the last few days.  I’ve then clicked the “Add Alert” command within it to setup an automatic alert that will trigger (and send an email to me) any time the CPU of the VM goes above 95%:

  • Azure: 99.95% SQL Database SLA, 500 GB DB Size, Improved Performance Self-Service Restore, and Business Continuity

    Earlier this month at the Build conference, we announced a number of great new improvements coming to SQL Databases on Azure including: an improved 99.95% SLA, support for databases up to 500GB in size, self-service restore capability, and new Active Geo Replication support.  This 3 minute video shows a segment of my keynote where I walked through the new capabilities:


    Last week we made these new capabilities available in preview form, and also introduced new SQL Database service tiers that make it easy to take advantage of them.

  • Windows Azure July Updates: SQL Database, Traffic Manager, AutoScale, Virtual Machines

    This morning we released some great updates to Windows Azure. These new enhancements include:

    • SQL Databases: Support for Automated SQL Export and a New Premium Tier SQL Database option
    • Traffic Manager: New support for managing Windows Azure Traffic Manager in the HTML Portal
    • AutoScale: Support for Windows Azure Mobile Services, AutoScale rules for Service Bus Queue Depth, Alerts on AutoScale actions
    • Virtual Machines: Updates to the IaaS management experiences in the Management Portal

    All of these improvements are now available to use immediately (note: some are still in preview).  Below are more details about them.

  • Entity Framework 6: Alpha2 Now Available

    The Entity Framework team recently announced the 2nd alpha release of EF6.   The alpha 2 package is available for download from NuGet. Since this is a pre-release package make sure to select “Include Prereleases” in the NuGet package manager, or execute the following from the package manager console to install it: