Recently announced was general availability of Azure SQL Database Managed Instance. I am excited by how much easier it is nowadays to reduce your workload by migrating to Azure SQL Database, and lifting and shifting to Managed Instance.
What is this flavor of Azure and SQL Server?
Let’s step back.
Imagine a world where you have an application talking to SQL Server. It’s happy, you’re happy. Well, except for one thing: You hate patching.
Just ping me if you really like patching. That’s almost never true.
Also, what about upgrades? That also is downtime. High Availability? Can be a bit of effort. What other things could you do with your time if you didn’t have to patch?
To help solve these issues, Microsoft offers a variety of options to help you migrate to Azure, and to reduce your workload.
Our Platform as a Service (PaaS) offerings, like Azure SQL Database, are self-managing for the most part, do backups themselves, and can even auto tune!
Some legacy applications however, require too much rework to go to Azure SQL DB. So, what can we do?
Virtual Machines with SQL Server on Azure work, but require… you guessed it, PATCHING. Yes, we have tooling to help there. Additionally, HA options in SQL Server in VMs requires a bit of setup.
Azure SQL Database Managed Instance has most of the features you need from SQL Server, such as multiple databases on a server, SQL Server agent, .NET CLR for extended stored procedures, and a few other things.
This makes lifting-and-shifting with minor adjustments to Azure relatively simple. Here is a guide on how to migrate your database to Azure SQL DB Managed Instance.
To configure a Managed Instance, you will need to understand vnets in Azure. Also, you will have to configure the vnet to accept other connections, or set up a VPN into the vnet. This article has topics that span this area and others in the form of how-to guides.
Once you get the Managed Instance up and running, you will need to connect your application. This guide will help you, whether the application is in Azure, or crosses on-premises.
New Note: Public endpoints are now available, via a powershell script.
If you wish to do a little more refactoring, migrating your application to use Azure SQL Database can be more efficient. You will need to decide that trade-off. Here are some articles on how to use a single database in Azure SQL Database service.
Here is a presentation I made to the New England SQL users group on Managed Instance.
Feel free to reach out to me for more information.