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Traditional software development services such as databases, networking, and servers have undergone enormous changes after cloud computing takes the driver’s seat. Cloud services have made software development cost-efficient with improved developers’ productivity, increased access to resources, global distribution, and reduced hardware costs along with associated expenses.
Businesses are also moving their traditional database to the cloud to enjoy the benefits of flexible, affordable, and scalable database management. Azure SQL Database stands out as the best PaaS database engine that handles most of the database management without any user interference. Let’s understand it in detail.
What is Azure SQL Database?
One of the best Azure SQL databases is a relational database service that runs on a stable SQL server database engine. With in-built PaaS capabilities allow developers to focus on critical domain-specific database optimization and administration activities. It enables the creation of a high-performance data storage layer for the applications and modern cloud solutions because it enables the processing of both types of data structure- relational data structure and non-relational data structure. Key capabilities of Azure SQL Database include-
- Scalable performance
- Serverless computing
- Maximize resource utilization with elastic pools
- Advanced monitoring and troubleshooting
- Automatic backups
- Point-in-time restores
- Built-in intelligence
- Adaptive query processing
- Advanced security and threat protection mechanism
With changing market trends and customer demands evolution, the applications must step in with the changes. In the same vein, Microsoft continuously upgrades Azure SQL Database Service to meet the modern application development demands. Here, we have come up with Top Azure SQL Database Upgrade 2022 to know what’s added, modified, and removed in the latest version.
Which are the updates rolled out in the latest Azure SQL Database release?
It’s one of the Best Azure SQL Database feature updates that allow developers to create a continuously synchronized readable secondary database for the primary database. The readable secondary database that’s also referred to as geo-replicas help businesses perform disaster recovery of individual database quickly in the event of unexpected failure or large-scale outage. When geo-replication is set up, geo-failover is initiated anytime either manually or programmatically via the application. Following diagram showcase how geo-redundant cloud configuration leverages active geo-replication.
When if the primary database fails somehow, the geo-failover initiation of any secondary database will promote the secondary database to the primary role, and the rest of the secondary databases get linked to it automatically.
Using the always-on availability group on technology, the active geo-replication asynchronously replicates the transactions log that’s created from the primary replica to all geo-replicas. The secondary databases though a little behind the primary database, but data is always transactionally consistent.
Active geo-replication is also leveraged for application upgrades and data migration, in addition to disaster recovery. Geo-replication also helps with Azure Database Migration Services that enable migrating databases from one server to another with reduced downtime. Also, during application upgrades, geo-replication helps in creating an extra fail-back copy.
Active geo-replication helps with automatic asynchronous replication, planned geo-failover, unplanned geo-failover, creating multiple readable geo-secondaries, user-controlled geo-failover, and geo-replication of databases in an elastic pool. When the app needs a stable connection endpoint and automatic failover support, then auto-failover groups come to the rescue.
Auto-failover groups are designed to simplify the deployment and management of the geo-replicated databases on the top of the active geo-replication feature. It allows developers to best manage failover and replication of a few or all the databases on a logical server.
The geo-failover is initiated either manually or by the Azure SQL Database Service. the latter alternative is more preferred as they automatically recover multiple related databases after the unplanned event or catastrophic failure that results in the loss of databases.
The secondary databases are also used in failover groups to offload read-only workloads by the developers to minimize the traffic to the primary database. The end-points are also provided by auto-failover groups that remain unchanged during and after the geo-failover as connection strings are automatically routed to the primary database.
A failover group in the Best Azure SQL Database includes multiple databases used by the same app. When auto-failover groups are used with the automatic failover policy, the outage impacting databases results in automatic geo-failover. The auto-failover group is configured on the primary server and connected to secondary databases in another region. The diagram below showcases the configuration of the geo-redundant cloud app using an auto-failover group.
Update to ledger has also remained as the top Azure SQL Database Upgrade 2022 that improves data protection by preventing fraudsters or high-privilege users such as cloud administrators, system administrators, or database administrators to tamper with the data. With tamper-evidence and cryptographically attestation capabilities, the ledger helps in ensuring data has not tampered with.
Ledger preserves historical data by maintaining its previous value in the history table and provides a chronicle of all changes made to the database. Ledger functionality comes in two flavors- an updated ledger table or an append-only ledger table. This feature is a great help for digital forensics, streamlining audits, off-chain storage for blockchain, and other processes.
Changed data capture
Change data capture works like its name, that’s it keeps a record of all the changes made to the database. It records all the activities such as addition, updation, or deletion applied to the table using an SQL server agent. Consequently, the detail of changes gets available in relational format. In the latest update, it’s available for Azure SQL Database which helps a ton during migration. Saying the latest update to this feature is a boon for Azure Database Migration Services as it’s easy to access the changes made to data or any errors if it occurs.
The change data capture scheduler feature in the best Azure SQL Database takes the place of SQL server agent for regular capture and cleanup of change data capture tables without taking the help of any external dependency.
Zone redundant configuration
Azure availability zone in Azure SQL Database ensures that the database remains up and running 99.99% of the time irrespective of outages effects, unexpected failures, and maintenance operations glitches. The high availability solutions are engineered to guarantee that no planned downtimes or maintenance windows are required when the database is upgraded.
The introduction of an availability solution to Azure SQL Database enables SQL database to place business-critical database replicas to different availability zones and eliminates a single point of failure with control ring duplication.
The planned maintenance of Azure SQL Database even after availing of Azure Database Migration Services is important, wherein they are subjected to short reconfigurations within respective SLAs. That’s where the maintenance window helps in configuring maintenance schedules and diminishes the impact of maintenance.
The maintenance window helps in gaining more predictability as it’s adjusted according to the Azure region to save time during working hours. The developers are also allowed to configure maintenance notifications for the planned maintenance event.
Storage redundancy for hyperscale database
Storage redundancy is about storing multiple copies of data to protect it from planned and unplanned events such as power outages, hardware failure, natural disasters, or networking issues. The backup storage redundancy is configured to update the database later on, which is created right now. When backup storage redundancy of data gets updated, the changes are reflected within 48 hours.
The backup storage redundancy enables developers to choose any of these options- locally-redundant, zone-redundant, geo-redundant, and geo-zone-redundant storage redundancies for backup.
Microsoft products allow businesses to stay ahead of the game with continuous enhancements. The latest release includes top Azure SQL Database Upgrade 2022 which has brought mesmerizing additions and modifications to the database that improved Azure Database Migration Services at scale. Many features are added by the Microsoft team to Azure SQL Database to preview release and soon we expect them to be available for general availability users.
Till then, let’s wait and watch how developers experiment with these innovative upgrades and bring something valuable and incredible things to the table. Stay tuned to us for more upgrades made to Azure SQL Database in near future.