Microsoft’s Commitment to Azure

Azure
For several years, many of us who were involved with working in Azure from the early days, were concerned that Microsoft had bet the farm and could possibly lose it all. They may well have bet the farm, but more and more it's extremely clear that there is zero likelihood of them losing the farm. In fact, it's looking more and more like, while using farming analogies, they're turning into an agro-corp. Azure is taking off. You need to start working on adding Azure knowledge to your skill set. If you have access to an MSDN license, getting into Azure is easy because of the credits available. However, not everyone works for a company that provides MSDN or has purchased a license. In that case, getting into Azure, just for…
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I Don’t Care

Azure
It's funny how certain sentences can both accurately reflect a situation and communicate entirely the wrong message. When thinking about cloud-based data management, things come down to a simple, if misleading, statement; I don't care. I don't care about operating systems or servers or disks. I need to have a database and it needs to be available and I need a reasonable assurance of performance. Within those parameters, I just don't care if the OS is patched or not, if the SAN is configured perfectly. I could care less if there are appropriate alerts on the internal network switches. None of that matters to me a whit. I just don't care about any of that because I'm focused on building a database and writing code and getting an app online. The infrastructure just needs to…
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A Little Azure Fun on Friday

Azure, TSQL
You know how we've always heard that sp_msforeachtable and other similar undocumented functions may not be supported in future versions of SQL Server? Have you tried running something like this on any of your Windows Azure SQL Databases yet: [crayon-5a6c2d1aeb83f195611286/] Try it out.
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PASS Summit 2013 is Looking Cloudy

Azure, PASS
No, this isn't some complaint about PASS or the Summit. This is an announcement that not only will I be speaking at the PASS Summit, but I'm speaking about Azure... a lot. First up, I'm going to be doing an all-day pre-conference seminar specifically aimed at getting you into Azure. No, I don't want you to drop your on-premise databases and infrastructure. Are you nuts? No, wait, you think I am. OK, fair point. But what I actually want you to realize is that some pieces of your work are better done in the cloud. There are all kinds of terribly fun and cool things you can get done there, as an addition to your existing infrastructure. There are way, way too many things that are better done locally to ever think you'd move…
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Execution Plans in Azure SQL Database

Azure
Microsoft has stated pretty clearly that they're putting code on Azure first, ahead of the desktop. Which makes one wonder when we're going to start to see some of this cool stuff within SSMS. What cool stuff you ask? Well, let me explain. Let's start with a query: [crayon-5a6c2d1af130b900168558/] When I run this on Windows Azure SQL Database (WASD) I get the following execution plan: Kind of weird, kind of useful, right? First thing new that I can do is zoom in using that slider bar you seen in the lower left and then graphical part of the plan looks like this: The icons have shifted into the corner and you get the costs of every operator. You also get text describing what the operator does. You can scroll around…
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Pro SQL Server 2012 Practices: Chapter 12

Azure
I was very privileged to get the opportunity to write a chapter in a book with some of my friends and SQL Family, Pro SQL Server 2012 Practices . Just as each of us took a chapter to write, each of us going to take a chapter to review. But, being the greedy sort, I'm going to review two. First up, Chapter 12, "Windows Azure SQL Database for DBAs", by Herve Roggero (b|t) Personally, I love Azure. And I love Azure SQL Databases. But, I get the fear and trepidation they might cause. I also get the urge to write about them, but I never really felt like I should approach them from a book. Everything changes so much, so quickly in Azure and books just take a while to…
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Execution Plans on Azure SQL Database Portal

Azure
If you've been working with the Azure SQL Database portal, you know that you have a query window. Within the query window you can run queries against your server. You'll get back results, timing, everything you need to observe behavior within the system. What's that? You never heard of this? Let's figure it out real quick. Here's my portal to my Azure SQL Databases: [caption id="attachment_2296" align="alignnone" width="150"] Azure SQL Database Portal showing usage overview[/caption] Yes, all sorts of things you can do from here, but we're focused on the bottom of the screen at the Manage button. Clicking this button will open up the Management portal window, part of which you can see below: [caption id="attachment_2298" align="alignnone" width="150"] Part of the Azure SQL Management Portal showing some of what…
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SQL Azure Deployments

Azure
You’ve set up your access to a SQL Azure site so you’re ready to go. Now how do you get your database up there? Well, TSQL works just fine, so you can script it all out to a file or set of files and apply them. Because you can connect with SSMS, you could use the GUI to build out your database. You can also use the Azure development platform and it’s web based GUI to create your database structures. Personally, the scripting method doesn’t seem too bad to me because you can get your code into source control that way. But, Microsoft has something additional in mind. It’s called Data-tier Applications or DAC for short (and yes, there are other things called DAC in SQL Server, what can I…
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SQL Azure Cost

Azure
We’ve all heard the scary stories. A developer starts testing Azure and then suddenly gets a thousand dollar bill on their credit card. The whole idea behind Azure works of the premise that you are not paying for the infrastructure. Instead of buying servers and disks and racks and switches and routers, you just pay for access and storage. It’s a great model. That model is  especially applicable to small businesses that just can’t  afford the outlay, or to a larger company that wants to perform cheap experiments, or any number of other places where purchasing and maintaining hardware just doesn’t make sense. But what are the costs? That’s a little tricky to answer, truth be told. SQL Azure is charged a monthly fee based on the size and number…
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SQL Azure

Azure
If you’ve talked to anyone from Microsoft recently you had to have heard the phrase “all in.” It’s been made very clear. Microsoft is all in on the cloud. What’s that mean? My understanding of it means they are really, seriously committed to building a viable and large presence there. Part of that presence is SQL Azure. Say the word “cloud” and watch DBAs flinch, wince or moan, sometimes all three at once. I have been one of them. I looked at the list of restrictions on a cloud database, snickered, and moved on. But you know what? They’re wrong and I was too. The cloud is absolutely coming. Microsoft is not alone in believing this. Look at the offerings from Google and Amazon and others. It really is becoming…
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