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What is Azure SQL? – Querychat

In this article, we will find out what the Azure SQL is and what its main features are. Also, we will discover the Azure SQL pricing

Azure SQL in a nutshell

Azure SQL is often considered to be SQL Server but in the form of a cloud database. This is not quite right, even though Azure SQL is based on SQL Server.

Azure SQL is a projection of a traditional SQL Server onto the cloud, that provides opportunities for working with a database through Internet services. This technology allows us to store structured and unstructured information, execute relational queries, and also provides functionality for searching, creating analytical reports, integrating, and synchronizing data.

Currently, Azure SQL supports a relational database service called Azure SQL Database.

Azure SQL Database is a cloud-based relational database platform built on SQL Server technologies. Using this platform, we can easily build a relational database project in the cloud with all the advantages provided by any cloud technology. Besides, Azure SQL provides a high level of security with built-in data protection, self-healing, and backup system.

Azure SQL prices

Azure SQL pricing depends on the number of vCOREs and memory size. For example, a single instance with 4 vCOREs and 20.4 GB of memory will cost $736 per month. And the instance with 80 virtual cores and 396 GB of memory will cost us $14,727 per month.

The more detailed information on Azure DB pricing can be found on the official website

Azure SQL features

In Azure SQL, we can use the familiar SQL query language as well as work with ADO.NET libraries, also ODBC and OleDB interfaces.

Azure SQL separates the logical and physical aspects of administration. We can continue to administer the database, manage logins, users, and roles, but Microsoft takes care of the hardware, which allows Azure SQL to provide a highly scalable multi-tenant database service with the highest degree of availability, scalability, safety, and self-healing.

There are some Azure SQL limitations, as it does not carry XML indexing, Analysis Services, Replication, and Service Broker. 

We can connect to Azure SQL from a local Analysis Server and use Azure SQL as a data source or receiver. Microsoft SQL Azure Reporting is a cloud-based reporting service built on SQL Azure, SQL Server, and SQL Server Reporting Services technologies. We can publish, view, and manage reports displaying data from Azure SQL data sources.

Since physical administration is performed by the service, we cannot manage the physical resources using statements. In this case, statements will be blocked by the program (for example, the Resource Governor or file group references). Also, we cannot stipulate server options and SQL trace flags. We also cannot use the SQL Server Profiler and Database Tuning Advisor utilities in Azure SQL.

What is more, Azure SQL automatically replicates all data for high availability, manages load balancing and fault tolerance.

We cannot specify the drive or filegroup where the database or index will be located. Since the file system is not available to us and all data is automatically replicated, the backup and recovery commands available in SQL Server are not available in Azure. The service itself reserves all the databases, but the user cannot do this.

Azure SQL does not support heaps, and all tables must have a clustered index. Otherwise, data cannot be inserted.

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