SQL Know How

Configurable Backup Storage Redundancy option for Azure SQL Managed Instance

Published date: 22 September, 2020

Now in general availability, locally redundant storage (LRS) and zone-redundant storage (ZRS) options have been added to backup storage redundancy, providing more flexibility and choice. With this announcement, you now have more cost-effective options for ensuring data is protected in case of planned and unplanned events. Easily configure backup storage redundancy in Azure portal. For more information, see our Tech Community blog.

Azure AD authentication features for Azure SQL DB, Azure Synapse Analytics, and Azure SQL Managed Instance

Published date: 22 September, 2020

Three new features using Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) authentication are currently in preview for Azure SQL Database, Azure Synapse Analytics, and Azure Managed Instance. These features help automate user creation using Azure AD applications and allow individual Azure AD guest users to be created in SQL Database, Azure Synapse Analytics, or SQL Managed Instance.

First, support is being added for Azure AD user creation in SQL Database and Azure Synapse Analytics on behalf of Azure AD applications. This functionality is useful in the Azure AD application automation processes where Azure AD objects are created and maintained in SQL Database and Azure Synapse Analytics without human interaction. Second, users can use cloud groups to manage Directory Readers role assignment in Azure AD. This change will promote ease of use when setting up SQL Database, Azure Synapse Analytics, and SQL Managed Instance to create users. Finally, Azure AD guest users can now be created as database users and set as Azure AD admin without the need to first add them as members of a group created in Azure AD.

These features extend existing functionality, remove user limitations, and provide customers with greater ease of use when setting up the SQL Database, Azure Synapse Analytics, or SQL Managed Instance.

Global virtual network peering support for Azure SQL Managed Instance now available

Published date: 22 September, 2020

To provide you with an easier network configuration, all managed instances created in empty subnets will be hosted on virtual clusters that are enabled for access over global virtual network peering connections, now in general availability. This enables you to pair managed instances in failover group configuration, in an easy and performant way, by simply connecting virtual networks in different regions. By utilizing global virtual network peering for your managed instances, you will save time through easy network configuration and offload your gateways from database replication traffic.

Hosting catalog databases for all supported versions of SSRS in Azure SQL Managed Instance

Published date: 22 September, 2020

Now in general availability, Azure SQL Managed Instance can host catalog databases for all supported versions of SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS). Last year, SQL Server 2019 Reporting Services introduced native support for hosting catalog databases in SQL Managed Instance. Now you can also use SQL Managed Instance to host catalog databases for earlier supported versions of SSRS.

This is especially useful for fast migration of the existing solutions to SQL Managed Instance, without the need to test and adopt the latest version of SSRS. It also helps you get quick business benefits and then modernize further at your own pace.

To learn how to configure your SQL Managed Instance to host catalog databases for earlier supported versions of SSRS, visit the Tech Community blog.

Major performance improvements for Azure SQL Managed Instances

Published date: 22 September, 2020

We are announcing a set of major performance improvements for Azure SQL Managed Instances, which enable you to migrate your more performance-hungry database workloads to Azure SQL Managed Instance.

These improvements include better transaction log write throughput for general purpose and business critical instances and superior data/log IOPS for business critical instances. Increased performance predictability and stability for general purpose service tier through better integration and enhanced tempdb performance are also included.

These improvements are automatically enabled for all existing and future Azure SQL Managed Instances at no extra charge, making Azure SQL Managed Instance the best fully-managed database platform for your mission-critical workloads.

Learn more about major performance improvements for Azure SQL Managed Instances

Machine Learning on Azure SQL Managed Instance in preview

Published date: 22 September, 2020

Machine Learning Services with support for R and Python languages now include preview support on Azure SQL Managed Instance. When using Machine Learning Services with R or Python support in Azure SQL Managed Instance, you can run R and Python scripts to do data preparation and general purpose data processing, train machine learning models in database, and deploy your models and scripts into production in stored procedures.

Azure SQL Managed Instance

Configurable backup storage redundancy options for Azure SQL Database coming soon

Published date: 22 September, 2020

By default, all backups taken on Azure SQL Database are stored on read-access geo-redundant storage (RA-GRS) blobs that are being replicated in paired regions, ensuring data is protected in case of planned and unplanned events. Preview of configurable backup storage redundancy options for Azure SQL DB is coming soon to South East Asia, with additional regions expected in the coming months. This feature will provide you with more flexibility and choice to pick between locally redundant storage (LRS), zone redundant storage (ZRS) or geo redundant (RA-GRS) storage blobs for their backups.

As additional regions are launched in preview, there will be more backup storage redundancy options available to use to meet your data residency requirements or minimize backup costs. You will be able to easily configure backup storage redundancy in the Azure portal. For more information, visit our Tech Community blog.

Enhanced management experience for Azure SQL Managed Instance

Published date: 22 September, 2020

Management operations are an essential part of Azure SQL Managed Instance, covering create, update, and delete scenarios. Most of the management operations In SQL Managed Instance are long-running but did not have operation progress visible. Through the introduction of a new CRUD API version, the SQL Managed Instance resource is now visible from when the create request is submitted. In addition, the new OPERATIONS API adds the ability to monitor management operations, see operation steps, and take dependent actions based on operation progress.

Learn More

Transactionally consistent database copy for Azure SQL Database Hyperscale tier

Published date: 22 September, 2020

Now in preview, the Hyperscale service tier in Azure SQL Database supports generating a transactionally consistent database copy to either the same or different logical server or region, similar to database copy already supported in other service tiers. This enables scenarios where Hyperscale databases have to be copied for various reasons, such as development and testing. If a database copy is created within the same region, it is a fast operation regardless of data size, similar to a point in time restore in Hyperscale. A cross-region database copy is a slower size of data operation.

If you require support for database copy in your workflow, you can now take advantage of unique Hyperscale capabilities such as support for very large databases, fast scaling, and multiple replicas. Learn how to create a database copy and visit our Hyperscale database copy blog for more details.

General availability: Zone redundant configuration for Azure SQL Database in additional regions

Published date: 21 September, 2020

The zone redundant configuration for Azure SQL Database is now generally available in three additional regions:

  • Canada Central
  • West US 2
  • North Europe

The full list of supported regions can be found in this table. The zone redundant configuration is available for Azure SQL Database in the Premium and Business Critical service tiers.

Additional Azure SQL Database gateways changes effective October 12, 2020

Published date: 10 September, 2020

Beginning October 12, 2020, new Azure SQL Database gateways in these regions will start accepting traffic: 

Germany West Central: 51.116.240.0, 51.116.248.0

These new gateways could change the public IP address to which the domain name system (DNS) will resolve for your current and newly created SQL databases. You may be affected if:

  • You’ve hard-coded the IP address for a particular gateway in your on-premises firewall. 
  • You have any subnets using Azure SQL Database as a service endpoint, but can’t communicate with the gateway IP addresses in the region. 
  • You use the zone redundant configuration for your database.

We recommend that you allow network traffic to and from all SQL Database gateways for these regions as outlined in this table.

Read additional details on how traffic will be migrated to new SQL Database gateways in specific regions. 

If you have a support plan and require technical support, please contact us.  

Azure SQL Database Gateway with IP address 23.99.160.139 in Central US will be deactivated on 15th September 2020

Published date: 08 September, 2020

Microsoft periodically refreshes hardware to ensure we provide the best possible customer experience. As part of this process, we are deactivating the Sql Gateway IP address 23.99.160.139 in Central US on 15th September 2020 and it will no longer accept traffic after that date.

Currently none of the Azure SQL Database customers in Central US are being serviced by this IP address. There is no anticipated customer impact.

We recommend that you allow network traffic to and from all SQL Database gateways for these regions as outlined in this table.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact us.  

User-initiated failover for application fault resiliency in Azure SQL Managed Instance is now generally available

Published date: 02 September, 2020

High availability is a fundamental part of the SQL Managed Instance platform; it is important to perform end to end testing of your database applications for fault resiliency in case of planned or unplanned events before deploying to production. To enhance your testing capabilities, user-initiated failover is now generally available, providing you with the capability to manually initiate an automatic failover using PowerShell, CLI commands, and API calls.

Azure SQL Database gateways changes effective September 15, 2020

Published date: 19 August, 2020

Beginning September 15, 2020, new Azure SQL Database gateways in these regions will start accepting traffic: 

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-au/updates/azure-sql-database-gateways-changes-effective-september-15-2020/

Additional Azure SQL Database gateways changes effective September 10, 2020

Published date: 06 August, 2020

Beginning September 10, 2020, new Azure SQL Database gateways in these regions will start accepting traffic: 

West Central US: 13.78.248.43

South Africa North: 102.133.120.2

These new gateways could change the public IP address to which the domain name system (DNS) will resolve for your current and newly created SQL databases. You may be affected if:

  • You’ve hard-coded the IP address for a particular gateway in your on-premises firewall.
  • You have any subnets using Azure SQL Database as a service endpoint, but can’t communicate with the gateway IP addresses in the region.
  • You use the zone redundant configuration for your database.

We recommend that you allow network traffic to and from all SQL Database gateways for these regions as outlined in this table.

Read additional details on how traffic will be migrated to new SQL Database gateways in specific regions. 

If you have a support plan and require technical support, please contact Microsoft.  

SQL Server FCI on Shared Disks for SQL Server on virtual machines

Published date: 05 August, 2020

Azure Shared Disks for SQL Server Failover Cluster Instance (SQL FCI) on Azure IaaS is now in general availability. Azure Shared disks for SQL FCI enables lift and shift migrations for the most commonly used high availability configuration on-premises to Azure IaaS.

Visit the Tech Community blog to learn more about this announcement.

Backup storage cost savings for Azure SQL Database and Managed Instance

Published date: 05 August, 2020

Azure SQL Database and Managed Instance provide point in time restore (PITR) with ability to recover databases within a minute granularity. Today, you can set the PITR backup retention period to as low as one day for active, and zero days for deleted databases compared to the previous seven days minimum. Automated compression of backups for databases with transparent data encryption(TDE) is now up to 30 percent more efficient in backup storage space consumption.

Learn how to fine tune your backup storage costs.

Configurable backup storage redundancy option for Azure SQL Managed Instance

Published date: 05 August, 2020

Now in public preview, locally-redundant (LRS) and zone-redundant (ZRS) storage options have been added to backup storage redundancy, providing more flexibility and choice. With this announcement, you now have more cost-effective options for ensuring data is protected in case of planned and unplanned events. Easily configure backup storage redundancy in Azure portal. For more information, see our Tech Community blog.

Azure SQL Database gateways changes effective September 2020

Published date: 03 August, 2020


North Europe: 13.74.104.113 

West US2: 40.78.248.10 

West Europe: 52.236.184.163 

South Central US: 20.45.121.1, 20.49.88.1 

Beginning September 1, 2020, this existing Azure SQL Database gateway in the Japan East region will start accepting traffic: 

Japan East: 40.79.192.5, 40.79.184.8

These new gateways could change the public IP address to which the domain name system (DNS) will resolve for your current and newly created SQL databases. You may be affected if:

  • You’ve hard-coded the IP address for a particular gateway in your on-premises firewall.
  • You have any subnets using Azure SQL Database as a service endpoint, but can’t communicate with the gateway IP addresses in the region.
  • You use the zone redundant configuration for your database.

We recommend that you allow network traffic to and from all SQL Database gateways for these regions as outlined in this table.

Read additional details on how traffic will be migrated to new SQL Database gateways in specific regions. 

If you have questions or concerns, please contact us

New memory optimized and compute optimized hardware options in Azure SQL Database

Published date: 23 July, 2020

Now generally available, M-series and Fsv2-series are new hardware options in Azure SQL Database specialized for workloads requiring very high compute or memory scale, or very fast CPU speed. M-series is memory optimized for workloads demanding more memory and higher compute limits than any other hardware generation in SQL Database.  Fsv2-series is compute optimized to deliver low CPU latency and high clock speed for the most CPU demanding workloads.  Smaller compute sizes in M-series and Fsv2-series are also now available for added price-performance flexibility.

Learn more about M-series and Fsv2-series in Azure SQL Database.

Machine Learning services on Azure SQL Managed Instance is in limited preview

Published date: 21 July, 2020

Machine Learning services with support for R and Python languages now include limited preview support on Azure SQL Managed Instance. When using Machine Learning services with R or Python support in Azure SQL Managed Instance, you can run R and Python scripts to do data preparation and general purpose data processing, train machine learning models in database, and deploy your models and scripts into production in stored procedures. Depending on demand, access to the preview may be limited. To learn more and sign up for the limited preview, please see our documentation.

New Azure SQL Database gateways in Australia East, Canada Central, and West US 2

Published date: 13 July, 2020

Starting on August 10, 2020, new Azure SQL Database gateways are being added to the following regions:

  • Australia East : 13.70.112.9
  • Canada Central : 52.246.152.0, 20.38.144.1
  • West US 2 : 40.78.240.8

These new gateways could change the public IP address to which the domain name system (DNS) will resolve for your current and newly created SQL databases. You may be affected if:

  • You’ve hard-coded the IP address for a particular gateway in your on-premises firewall.
  • You have any subnets using Azure SQL Database as a service endpoint, but can’t communicate with the gateway IP addresses in the region.
  • You use the zone redundant configuration for your database.

Microsoft recommend that you allow network traffic to and from all SQL Database gateways for Australia East, Canada Central, and West US 2 as outlined in this table

Additional details on how traffic will be migrated to new SQL Database gateways in specific regions can be found in our guide. If you have questions or concerns, please contact Microsoft.  

Azure SQL Database serverless compute auto-scaling limits increase more than twofold

Published date: 11 June 2020

The maximum vCore limit for Azure SQL Database serverless has increased more than twofold from 16 vCores to 40 vCores. The higher limits provide greater compute auto-scaling headroom for serverless databases with more demanding workloads.

Azure SQL Database serverless optimizes price performance and simplifies performance management for databases with intermittent, unpredictable usage patterns. Serverless automatically scales compute for single databases based on workload demand and bills for the amount of compute used per second.

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-au/updates/azure-sql-database-serverless-increases-compute-autoscaling-limits-over-2x/

Transparent data encryption with customer-managed keys for Azure SQL Database Hyperscale

Published date: 10 June, 2020

Transparent data encryption (TDE) helps protect Azure SQL Database, Azure SQL Managed Instance, and Synapse SQL in Azure Synapse Analytics against the threat of malicious offline activity by encrypting data at rest.

For the Hyperscale service tier in Azure SQL Database, TDE with bring your own key (BYOK) support is now available in preview. TDE with BYOK gives full and granular control over usage and management of the database encryption key and enables central management of keys in Azure Key Vault.

Read more about the announcement.

Machine Learning on Azure SQL Managed Instance limited preview available

Published date: 10 June, 2020

Machine Learning services with support for R and Python languages now include limited preview support on Azure SQL Managed Instance. When using Machine Learning services with R or Python support in Azure SQL Managed Instance, you can run R and Python scripts to do data preparation and general purpose data processing, train machine learning models in database, and deploy your models and scripts into production in stored procedures. Depending on the demand, there may be limited access during the preview.

To join the limited preview program, please read the documentation.

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