Windows Azure SQL Database Strategies


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I've been working with Windows Azure SQL Database (WASD) on and off for about three years. One common mistake I see with WASD deployments is that users don't think of it is a distinct platform from SQL Server. They tend to view it as if it were any other instance (or version) of SQL Server. This usually comes back to haunt those users later.

When I hear stories about folks that tried to migrate to WASD with a brute-force-single-click and failed, I ask several follow up questions. I have found a common pattern in the answers: lack of strategy.

I've compiled a list of eight strategies that you must consider when moving to WASD. Failure to plan is the same as planning to fail, and this list is going to keep your WASD project moving forward. I've also put this list into some slides posted to Slideshare, you can view them at the bottom of this page as well.

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Windows Azure SQL Database Strategies

  1. 1. Windows Azure SQL Database Strategies Thomas LaRock Technical Evangelist Confio Software
  2. 2. Cloud Adoption Rates Increasing 2013 - Cloud adoption rate hits 75% 2013 - IaaS rate increased by 29% over 2012 Biggest adoption rates are seen in USA
  3. 3. Thinking Of Moving Yourself? Moving to WASD requires different thinking Some have moved back because they didn’t plan ahead This deck is meant to help you avoid the unknown
  4. 4. The Strategies DR planning Resource planning Tool testing Breaking changes Connectivity Troubleshooting Performance tuning
  5. 5. Disaster Recovery Planning Determine RPO/RTO Will weekly exports be enough? Daily? Hourly? Create database export WASD has no backup command, but you can export a transactionally consistent copy Save to Storage The export can then be saved to your Azure storage account as a BACPAC file
  6. 6. Resource Planning • Most current skills will transfer • Do not assume you need to hire all new staff • Match existing skills to your WASD needs • Example: You don’t need to hire an ETL expert in WASD; existing ETL skills are likely enough
  7. 7. Tools Testing If hiring new resource, find one with experience in one of the tools you may purchase Test current tools Explore available tools
  8. 8. Breaking Changes Examine list of supported features Do not assume all code will work without issue You are likely going to need to modify existing code
  9. 9. Connectivity • WASD is a high availability platform • Loss of connection is likely due to HA nature • You must have retry logic in your code • Cannot assume you are always connected
  10. 10. Troubleshooting Know the difference between client errors and WASD errors Check to see if Azure datacenters are offline DMOs are available to assist • Firewall • Invalid login • Network latency • Server not found • Idle connection Connectivity • Failover • Quota • Throttling • Feature Not supported • Datacenter WASD Errors
  11. 11. Performance Tuning • Majority of performance issues today are a mixture of bad code and bad design • With WASD, you control both of those! • You don’t control the hardware • DMOs available to assist Hardware (NO TOCAR) Logical Design Code
  12. 12. Understanding Billing • It is free to get data into Azure (ingress) but you have to pay to get out (egress) • Design to minimize data egress • Capacity planning is important; use space wisely • Volume of data flowing needs to be measured • en-us/support/understand-your- bill/
  13. 13. Summary Failure to plan is planning to fail WASD is different, but the majority of your skills will apply Many design considerations for WASD The cost model is different, so it’s important to plan for size and use There are lots of resources to learn about WASD, many free Getting hands on experience is fast and inexpensive
  14. 14. Additional Information • us/library/windowsazure/jj879332.aspx • us/library/windowsazure/hh674495.aspx • rthAmerica/2013 • •