Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Benefit from Azure Arc-enabled SQL Managed Instance, even without a direct connection to Azure

Azure SQL Managed Instance is an intelligent, secure, and scalable cloud database service with the broadest SQL Server engine compatibility with all the benefits of a fully managed and evergreen platform as a service. With Azure Arc, you will now be able to deploy, manage, and monitor Azure SQL Managed Instance in an environment of your choice, outside of Azure. Azure Arc-enabled SQL Managed Instance has near 100% compatibility with the latest SQL Server database engine, and it will enable existing customers to lift and shift their applications to Azure Arc data services with minimal application and database changes while maintaining data sovereignty. 


Azure Arc-enabled SQL Managed Instance can be deployed at the edge, in your own datacenter, and in public clouds using Kubernetes and the infrastructure of your choice. Azure Arc-enabled SQL MI receives updates on a frequent basis, including servicing patches and new features similar to the experience in Azure. You will be able to scale your databases up and down dynamically in very much the same way you would do it in Azure, depending on the available capacity and resources of your Kubernetes clusters. 


Azure Arc-enabled SQL Managed Instance provides also other cloud benefits such as fast deployment and automation at scale. You will also be able to use familiar tools such as Azure portal, Azure Data Studio, and Azure CLI when you deploy, manage, and monitor your Azure SQL Managed Instance in your own environment, and you will be able to use tools like Azure Monitor for comprehensive operational insights across all your databases across hybrid and multicloud environments. 


Directly connected mode is one of the two different connectivity modes in Azure Arc-enabled data services. In this connectivity mode billing and inventory data is sent to Azure automatically. The data in your databases is never sent to Azure. 


How about a scenario where your data center does not allow connectivity to any public internet, or you have an edge location which does not have connectivity to the Internet, or the connectivity may be intermittent with long periods of outages?


In this scenario, you can deploy Azure Arc data controller in indirectly connected mode. Most of the services such as self-service provisioning, automated backups/restore, and monitoring can be run locally in your Kubernetes infrastructure. You would be using tools such as Azure Data Studio, Azure CLI, or Kubernetes native tools for self-service provisioning. Automatic upgrades and patching can be implemented by pulling the container images of Azure Arc-enabled SQL MI from Microsoft Container Registry, and pushing them to a local, private container registry that the data controller has access to. 


Indirectly connected mode supports automatic local backup and restore, and you can use the locally deployed Grafana and Kibana dashboards for monitoring. 


Read more about the connectivity modes of Azure Arc data services and try out Azure Arc-enabled SQL Managed in your own environment!


Marko Hotti

Sr. Technical Product Manager

Azure Arc-enabled SQL MI and SQL Server

Azure Data







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