Monday, April 4, 2022

Online database move and copy for SQL Managed Instance EAP

As you experience growth in the number Azure SQL Managed Instances, databases hosted on them, and workloads, most likely you would need to have more flexibility in moving and copying databases across your fleet of managed instances. In running multiple managed instances perhaps one, or more of your databases have grown too large and you need to re-balance your database portfolio across managed instances. Perhaps you also might have a need to migrate databases across managed instances with minimum downtime for various reasons, such is for example in performing upgrades, changes to your infrastructure, or perhaps moving to managed instance hosted in a different environment. Perhaps you are also looking for the most performant way to copy databases between managed instances with ability to control the specific cutover time when the operation will be completed. At the same time, as you have active workloads, you cannot afford any downtime, and you need to have the move or copy operations seamless for your applications. These are just some of the examples where online database copy and move operations between managed instances might be required.


For this purpose, our team has worked on a feature that uses Always On technology to perform database copy and move operation across managed instances, with customer being in full control of the process. How does it work -- once you start the copy or move operation, the seeding (copying) of your database starts online from one managed instance to the other. Once the seeding has completed, the system enters the catch-up phase. In this phase all new commits to the source (primary) managed instance are copied near real-time to the destination (secondary) managed instance, that is two databases are kept continuously in sync. The system will keep databases in sync waiting for your instruction to perform the cutover. Once you instruct the system to perform the cutover, the operation is completed with minimum downtime. Upon operation completion, you can re-point your application(s) to use the moved or copied database instantaneously without having interruption to your workload.


DB move 01.png


We are currently opening these features to the limited private preview through EAP (Early Access Program) for which you need to sign up. We are looking for customers who could benefit from the above scenarios, having active workloads, and willingness to evaluate the new technology. We are interested to learn more about your usage scenarios, and all the cases where similar types of database mobility between managed instances could be beneficial to you. If selected for EAP, you will work directly with the product group and your valuable feedback might influence and shape the future product.


To apply, submit the following online form with the information required:



We are evaluating new applications on the rolling basis. We are looking forward working with you.


Closing remarks


As our products continuously evolve, please note that features and options presented in this article are subject to change. This article reflects the state of the link feature options available for Managed Instance in April, 2022.


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