Category: SQL Server

DP-300 Exam Study Guide Microsoft Azure Database Administrator

DP-300 Study Guide Azure Database Administrator

I am currently preparing for the new Microsoft exam DP-300 Administering Relational Databases on Microsoft Azure. That is why I want to share my new updated DP-300 Microsoft Azure Database Administrator Certification Exam Study Guide with you.  If you are passing the DP-300 exam, you will earn the Microsoft Certified Azure Database Administrator Associate certification, that you understand how to implement and manage the operational aspects of cloud-native and hybrid data platform solutions built with Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Azure Data Services. The Azure Database Administrator uses a variety of methods and tools to perform day-to-day operations, including applying knowledge of using T-SQL for administrative management purposes.

To learn and prepare for the exam, I usually use a couple of online resources, mainly Microsoft Docs and Microsoft Learn, which I am going to share with you. You can find more information about how I prepare for a Microsoft Certification exam on my blog post: How to prepare and pass Microsoft Certification Exam.

Also, check out other Microsoft Azure Certification Exam Study Guides:

Here is my DP-300 Azure Database Administrator Associate Certification Exam Study Guide

It is essential to get familiar with the exam objectives and skills measured first. That is why I recommend reading the description of the exam and the skills measured.

Exam DP-300 Administering Relational Databases on Microsoft Azure

Candidates for this exam are database administrators and data management specialists that manage on-premises and cloud relational databases built with Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Azure Data Services.

The Azure Database Administrator implements and manages the operational aspects of cloud-native and hybrid data platform solutions built on Azure Data Services and SQL Server. The Azure Database Administrator uses a variety of methods and tools to perform day-to-day operations, including applying knowledge of using T-SQL for administrative management purposes.

This role is responsible for management, availability, security and performance monitoring and optimization of modern relational database solutions. This role works with the Azure Data Engineer role to manage operational aspects of data platform solutions.

The high-level view of the skills measured in the exam:

  • Plan and implement data platform resources (15-20%)
  • Implement a secure environment (15-20%)
  • Monitor and optimize operational resources (15-20%)
  • Optimize query performance (5-10%)
  • Perform automation of tasks (10-15%)
  • Plan and implement a High Availability and Disaster Recovery (HADR) environment (15-20%)
  • Perform administration by using T-SQL (10-15%)

You can find more information on the exam website.

Free Online Microsoft Learn DP-300 Exam Study Guide resources

Microsoft Learn provides you with free online training and learning paths for different Microsoft technologies. They not just offer reading material, but also control questions and free online labs. Here are some relevant Microsoft Learn modules and learning paths for the DP-300 Administering Relational Databases on Microsoft Azure Certification Exam. Microsoft Learn is an important part of my DP-300 Azure Database Administrator exam study guide.

The team also just made it easier to prepare with the new DP-300 related learning paths on Microsoft Learn. I highly recommend that you take these for your DP-300 exam preparation.

Microsoft Docs DP-300 Azure Database Administrator study guide resources

One thing I always used to prepare for my Microsoft exams is Microsoft Docs. Here are the relevant Microsoft Docs which I used to prepare and study for the DP-300 exam.



Azure Hybrid Cloud Architectures

How to create Azure Hybrid Cloud Architectures

Hybrid Cloud is important for many companies out there since hybrid cloud will be an end state for many customers and not just an in-between state until they have moved everything into the cloud. But how do we leverage all the hybrid cloud offerings of Microsoft Azure, and how do we build Azure hybrid cloud architectures? That is what we addressed with many new hybrid cloud architectures in the Azure Architecture Center. There you can find Architecture diagrams, reference architectures, example scenarios, and solutions for common hybrid cloud workloads.

These architectures focus on my different topics like:

Azure Hybrid Cloud Architectures

Here are some of the examples we have added to the Azure Architecture Center. You can find more Azure hybrid cloud architectures here.

Hybrid Security Monitoring using Azure Security Center and Azure Sentinel

This reference architecture illustrates how to use Azure Security Center and Azure Sentinel to monitor the security configuration and telemetry of on-premises and Azure operating system workloads. This includes Azure Stack.

Hybrid Security Monitoring using Azure Security Center and Azure Sentinel

Hybrid Security Monitoring using Azure Security Center and Azure Sentinel

You can find the full Hybrid Security Monitoring using Azure Security Center and Azure Sentinel architecture here.



Azure Arc enabled SQL Server

How to add an Azure Arc enabled SQL Server

A couple of months ago Microsoft announced a new Hybrid Cloud feature called Azure Arc enabled SQL Server. Azure Arc enabled SQL Server allows you to manage your global inventory of SQL servers, protect SQL Server instances with Azure Security Center or periodically assess and tune the health of your SQL Server configurations. In this blog post, we will cover how you can add SQL Server to Azure Management using Azure Arc.

Azure Arc enabled SQL Server Architecture

Azure Arc enabled SQL Server Architecture

Prerequisites

Before you add an Azure Arc enabled SQL Server, you need to prepare the following prerequisites:

  • A virtual or physical machine running SQL Server. The machine hosting SQL Server must be connected to the internet directly or via a proxy server. Running one of the following operating systems:
    • Windows Server 2012 R2 and higher
    • Ubuntu 16.04 and 18.04 (x64)
    • CentOS Linux 7 (x64)
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 15 (x64)
  • The Connected Machine agent communicates outbound securely to Azure Arc over TCP port 443. If the machine connects through a firewall or a HTTP proxy server to communicate over the Internet, review the network configuration requirements for the Connected Machine agent.
  • A user account with permissions (An user account with local admin rights.
  • Azure PowerShell installed on the computer executing the onboarding script.
  • You need to have the “Microsoft.AzureData” provider namespace registered. You can run the following Azure PowerShell command to do that: “Register-AzResourceProvider -ProviderNamespace Microsoft.AzureData”. You can run that command in Azure Cloud Shell.

To learn more about the prerequisites, check out the following Microsoft Docs page.



Azure Arc enabled SQL Server

Azure Arc enabled SQL Server Preview is now available

As you know, I do a lot of work on Hybrid Cloud topics like Azure Arc, which allows you to extend Azure management and Azure services to any infrastructure. I talk a lot about how you can use Microsoft Azure to manage your servers running on-premises or at other cloud providers, or how you can connect and manage Kubernetes clusters. The Azure Data services team at Microsoft Ignite 2019 also announced the private preview of Azure Arc Data services, which allow you to deploy services like Azure SQL on any infrastructure. This week they had another news to share, and it is the private preview of Azure Arc enabled SQL Server. With Azure Arc enabled SQL Server, you can use the Azure Portal to register and track the inventory of your SQL Server instances across on-premises, edge sites, and multi-cloud in a single view. You can also take advantage of Azure security services, such as Azure Security Center and Azure Sentinel.

Onboarding SQL Server to Azure Arc

Onboarding SQL Server to Azure Arc

The preview of Azure Arc enabled SQL Server Preview includes the following features:

  • Use the Azure Portal to register and track the inventory of your SQL Server instances across on-premises, edge sites, and multi-cloud in a single view.
  • Use Azure Security Center to produce a comprehensive report of vulnerabilities in SQL Servers and get advanced, real-time security alerts for threats to SQL Servers and the OS.
  • Investigate threats in SQL Servers using Azure Sentinel.
Azure Security Center assessment of on-premises SQL Server

Azure Security Center assessment of on-premises SQL Server

You can register any Windows or Linux based SQL Server to track your inventory. Azure Security Center’s advanced data security works on Windows-based SQL Server version 2012 or higher, running on physical or virtual machines and hosted on any infrastructure outside of Azure.

If you are interested in participating in this preview, check out the official blog post. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment.



Azure Stack Migration Series YouTube Playlist

Learn about Azure Stack Migration in this Video Series

Together with Tiberiu Radu from the Azure Stack Product Group, I worked on a series of videos to show how you can migrate workloads to Microsoft Azure Stack. This includes basic workloads like Active Directory Domain Controllers, File Servers, and SQL Servers. We are not only adding videos about Azure Stack Migration, but we also added a couple of tips on how you can take advantage of some of the infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) features on Azure Stack, like Azure Resource Manager templates and extensions.

The journey to the cloud provides many options, features, functionalities, as well as opportunities to improve existing governance, operations, implement new ones, and even redesign the applications to take advantage of the cloud architectures.
This video series was created in the context of the End of Support (EOS) motion for Windows Server 2008/2008R2 and SQL Server 2008/2008R2, with the target to highlight some of the migration options. The EOS program could be a good opportunity to start this process and it’s not only about the lift-and-shift or move your servers and forget about them, instead it could be the start of a modernization journey. As part of the EOS motion, Azure VMs running Windows 2008/R2 and SQL 2008/R2 on Azure and Azure Stack, offer 3 years of free Extended Support Updates. That means you can enable the same operational processes, use ARM templates, and use the infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) platform on both Azure and Azure Stack, to start this journey.
– Tiberiu Radu

Azure Stack Migration Introduction

Check out my Azure Stack Migration introduction video, which will give you a quick overview of migrating workloads to Azure Stack.

Video Series

You can find the full playlist with the complete Azure Stack Migration video series on YouTube.

Azure Stack Migration Series YouTube Playlist

Azure Stack Migration Series YouTube Playlist

If you want to read more, check out my blog post on ITOpsTalk.com. There we have some detailed blogs on these videos. I also recommend that you check out the IaaS blog series from the Azure Stack team, which includes different features around running virtual machines on Azure Stack.

If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments.



Azure Reservations Reserved Instances and reserved capacity

How to Save Money on Azure using Azure Reservations

I wanted to quickly share something which existing for quite some time but talking with customers still a lot of people don’t know about it yet. And since yesterday the Azure team also shared some news on it, so it is the perfect time to have a look at Azure Reservations (Azure Reserved VM Instances or Reserved capacity). Usually, you pay Azure services in a Pay-As-You-Go model, which gives you the pricing flexibility and agility you expect from the cloud. But, a lot of customers have services like virtual machines or databases which need to run continuously for the next years. With purchasing reservations for these Azure services, you give the Azure team visibility into your one-year or three-year resource needs in advance, and this allows the Azure team to be more efficient with capacity planning. In return, reservations will give you back these savings to you as discounts of up to 72 percent.

The significant change which was announced yesterday is that there are now monthly payment options available for Azure reservations. Which means you can now pay reservations upfront or on a monthly basis. You can find more information about Azure Reservations on Microsoft Docs.

Azure Reservations Chart

Azure Reservations Chart

No worries, you can mix Azure reservations for your predictable capacity needs, with the Pay-As-You-Go model for your unpredictable capacity needs. While purchasing reservations is only a few simple steps in the Azure portal, we also understand that your workload and application needs may change, and exchanging reservations is easy. You can even cancel your reservation at any time and get the remaining months returned for a termination fee.

Azure Reservations are currently available as Azure reserved instances (RIs), for Windows and Linux virtual machines. As well as Azure reserved capacity for Azure data services, like Azure SQL Database, Azure Cosmos DB and Azure SQL Data Warehouse. But there are also a lot of other services available.

Azure Reservations Reserved Instances and reserved capacity

Azure Reservations Reserved Instances and reserved capacity

Combining the Azure Reserved VM Instances and the Azure Hybrid Benefit, you even can save up to 80 percent. To learn more about Azure RIs or reserved capacity, check out the following pages:

To find out more about reservations, check out the Azure reservations page. You should also have a look at the lastest new options like the Azure Dedicated Host and VMware solutions on Azure. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments.



Extended Security Updates for SQL Server and Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 on Azure Stack

Extended Security Updates for SQL Server and Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 on Azure Stack

SQL Server and Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 will both be out of extended support within the next 12 months (detailed dates below). This means if you have these versions, you’ll need to migrate to newer versions of SQL Server or Windows Server or buy Extended Support soon to maintain support and receive security updates and fixes. Buying Extended Support is not cheap. Customers with active Software Assurance or subscription licenses can purchase Extended Security Updates annually for 75 percent of the full license cost of the latest version of SQL Server or Windows Server. A lot of customers should start migrating to newer versions of these products to avoid these extra costs.

Extended Support dates

  • Extended Support for SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 will end on July 9, 2019.
  • Extended Support for Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 will end on January 14, 2020.

However, in mid-2018 Microsoft announced a new option for SQL Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 End of Support. Customers running 2008 or 2008 R2 versions of SQL Server and Windows Server in Azure virtual machines will get Extended Security Updates for free. This will give customers some extra time to migrate to newer versions of SQL Server and Windows Server. Or even better, to Azure PaaS and serverless computing like Azure Functions.

Extended Security Updates on Azure Stack

If you are thinking to migrate to the cloud, this new option will bring down costs for you. However, not everyone is fully ready to move all their servers to the public cloud. You might still need or want to run some servers on-premise in your datacenter. This will leave you with buying Extended Support or what a lot of people don’t know; you can also run your SQL Server and Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 on Azure Stack and get Extended Security Updates for free since it is Azure!

This is great, especially since Azure Stack also comes with great IaaS capabilities. And if you are thinking about using Azure in the mid-term, Azure Stack provides you with Azure capabilities, but still allows you to stay in your datacenter.