Cloud Databases In Azure - Part One

In my previous articles on Azure, I have explained the IaaS features of Azure, i.e., creating Virtual Machines, databases, etc.

In this article, we will see the introduction to cloud databases, i.e., PaaS side of Microsoft Azure.

First, we will talk about Azure SQL Database (It is a platform) which is in the Cloud, and which is similar to our local SQL Server in terms of creating tables, columns, indexes etc.

Later in this Azure articles series, I will write about Azure Cosmos DB (previously DocumentDB) which is a NoSQL database. Since it is a NoSQL database, CosmosDB does not have tables with columns inside. Instead, it allows storing the documents in JSON format. Hence, there is no database schema in CosmosDB, which leads to its flexibility.

Creating SQL Server in Azure

Let’s create a SQL Server in the Azure Portal. Enter the following details while adding the database in Azure.

  • Database name
  • Subscription
  • Resource group
  • Source – Blank, Adventure Works DB or Backup
  • Server – You can configure the database server

    Azure

Click on “Create a new server” to configure the database server settings.

Azure

Every Azure SQL Database that we create will need to be associated with an Azure SQL Server. However, this will not be a physical server or even a virtual server. In Azure, SQL Server is just a name that we give to a logical container for one or more databases. It has nothing to do with installing SQL Server locally and having an instance of SQL Server running to host multiple databases on a single machine.

So, in SQL Server, we can group the databases and it allows us to create Admin Login that we can use to manage the databases created inside that server.

NOTE

If you want to create multiple databases, then you need to select the proper Elastic Pool.

Azure

The pricing tier is different while creating SQL Databases. The important things to consider now are not CPUs and memory (which is typical while creating Virtual Machines), but database size and the number of DTUs are very much important. A DTU is a data throughput unit. It is a measure of how much power is available in the database.

Below is the image of Standard Plan (DTUs can go from 10-3000 with a maximum storage of 1TB).

Azure

Below is the image of basic plan (It provides 5 DTUs with a storage limit of 2GB).

Azure

NOTE

  1. The Basic plan is ideal for testing and development scenarios, while Standard plan should be used for production sites.
  2. Pricing plans are not per server, they are per database. So, for each database, you have to attach to your server, and in each database that you create in Azure, you have to select the pricing plan.

Once the database is created, it will available in the list of databases, as shown below.

Azure

Summary

In this article, we saw how to create SQL Database in Azure and a small introduction about CosmosDB. In the next articles of this series, we will learn about connecting and querying the database and we will also learn about CosmosDB in detail.

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