Tag: SQL

Azure Arc-enabled SQL Managed Instance Landing zone accelerator

Azure Arc-enabled SQL Managed Instance Landing zone accelerator

In this episode of the Azure Enablement Show, I am joined by Lior Kamrat, from the Azure Arc team to discuss the how the Azure Arc-enabled SQL Managed Instance Landing Zone Accelerator, which covers nine critical design areas, will help customers who are operating a hybrid or multi-cloud environment.

Azure Arc-enabled SQL Managed Instance has near 100% compatibility with the latest SQL Server database engine, and enables existing SQL Server customers to lift and shift their applications to Azure Arc data services with minimal application and database changes while maintaining data sovereignty. At the same time, SQL Managed Instance includes built-in management capabilities that drastically reduce management overhead.

If you want to learn more, check out the following links:



Azure Arc enabled Data services video series

Azure Arc enabled Data services video series

With Azure Arc we are not just allowing you to use the Azure control plane to manage resources like servers and Kubernetes clusters outside for Azure, we are also bringing Azure services to the customer hybrid locations on-premises, at the edge, or even other cloud providers. In a video series, I had the chance to talk with Travis Wright (Principal Group Engineering Manager at Microsoft) and Dhananjay Mahajan (Principal Program Manager at Microsoft) about Azure arc enabled data services.

What are Azure Arc-enabled data services?

Azure Arc makes it possible to run Azure data services on-premises, at the edge, and in public clouds using Kubernetes and the infrastructure of your choice. Currently, the following Azure Arc-enabled data services are available:

  • SQL Managed Instance
  • PostgreSQL Hyperscale (preview)

You can learn more about Azure Arc-enabled data services on Microsoft Docs.

Azure Arc-enabled SQL Managed Instance

Azure Arc-enabled SQL Managed Instance has near 100% compatibility with the latest SQL Server database engine, and enables existing SQL Server customers to lift and shift their applications to Azure Arc data services with minimal application and database changes while maintaining data sovereignty. At the same time, SQL Managed Instance includes built-in management capabilities that drastically reduce management overhead.

You can learn more about Azure Arc-enabled SQL Managed Instance on Microsoft Docs.

Choose the right data solution for your hybrid environment

Learn how to understand your hybrid environment and set up the right solution for success. This session covers use cases for Azure Arc – enabled data services in both connected and disconnected scenarios.

Azure Arc – enabled data services in connected mode

Get an overview of the end-to-end experience for deploying Azure Arc – enabled data services in connected mode. This session also covers aspects like high availability, scalability, and monitoring.

Azure Arc – enabled data services in disconnected mode

In this session, you’ll explore the end-to-end experience of deploying Azure Arc – enabled data services in disconnected mode. You’ll also learn about the tools available for managing and monitoring your local environment.

Azure Arc – enabled data services with Azure Stack HCI and Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS)

Explore the comprehensive Azure hybrid solution and how Azure Arc – enabled data services run on top of Azure Stack HCI and AKS.

Learn more:

I hope the Azure Arc enabled Data Services video series was helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below.



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, which 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 Arc Center - Azure Portal

Check out the new Azure Arc Center – Azure Portal

During the Microsoft Ignite 2020 virtual conference, Azure Arc got a couple of enhancements and announcements. For example, Azure Arc enabled servers is now generally available and Azure Arc and Azure Arc enabled data services is now in public preview. If you want to learn more what Azure Hybrid announcements we had at Microsoft Ignite 2020, check out (Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Azure) blog post. One of the enhancements which I find super helpful, but didn’t get a special mention, is the new Azure Arc Center blade in the Azure Portal.

All Azure Arc Resources

All Azure Arc Resources

In the Azure Arc Center, you can now find an overview of all your hybrid cloud resources and services you can use together with Azure Arc. These include different Azure Arc enabled services like:

You cannot just get an overview of different Azure Arc services, but also find an easy way to onboard, connect, and register new hybrid resources. To open the Azure Arc Center Blade, navigate to Azure Arc in the Azure Portal.

I hope this was helpful if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment.



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.



Windows Azure Pack Archtiecture Overview

What’s new Windows Azure Pack Update Rollup 6

Microsoft just released Update Rollup 6 for Windows Azure Pack on April 28. Microsoft fixes some bugs and added some highly requested features from User Voice as well.

  • Tenants can now create a checkpoint of a Virtual Machine and restore it at will when needed.
  • VMM Users can now deploy and manage Generation 2 VMs through VM Roles using WAP and the corresponding UR6 SPF Resource Provider
  • Added support to maintain Data Consistency between the SQL Resource Provider configured properties for resources with the actual provisioned resources on the SQL Server Hosting machine(s).
  • Added support for Webjobs in Windows Azure Pack Websites. This functionality offers creation of Webjobs to be executed manually or continuously in the background.
  • Tenants can now use deployment slots associated to their websites. Web app content and configurations elements can be swapped between two deployment slots, including the production slot.
  • Administrator can take advantage of DSC to deploy the update across a distributed environment.
  • Windows Azure Pack Websites can now take advantage of the HttpPlatformHandler to host Java and other runtimes.
  • Updates to Management Pack
    • Synthetic Transactions
    • Resource Governor Error Monitors
    • Monitor Certificate Validation Disabled
  • High Priority Bug Fixes


System Center Logo

System Center 2012 R2 and Azure Pack get supports for SQL Server 2014 in Update Rollup 5

Microsoft just released System Center 2012 R2 Update Rollup 5, which includes a lot of new features and fixes. The update also brings support for SQL Server 2014 as a database server for most of the System Center 2012 R2 components. There will be support for the rest of the System Center components in the Update Rollup 6.

Supports SQL 2014 now:

Operations Manager
System Center Orchestrator
Service Management Automation
Service Provider Foundation
Virtual Machine Manager
Windows Azure Pack

Will support SQL 2014 in UR6:

Service Reporting
Service Manager
Data Protection Manager

For information check out the Microsoft System Center Team Blog.

 



Microsoft Exam 70-533 Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions

Passed Microsoft Exam 70-533 Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions

A couple of weeks ago I passed Microsoft Exam 70-533 Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions, which is focused on implementing and designing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure solutions such as Azure Websites or Azure Virtual Machines (IaaS). I think taking this exam and preparing for it was a great idea. Even if I have already done a couple of projects on Azure I still learned a lot during the preparation and you can find some of the best practices. Since Azure is a huge beast and the rapid deployment of new features, you will definitely find some new stuff you didn’t know before during the preparation for the exam. And of course taking new Microsoft Certifications early helps you to stand out in the IT Pro or Developer world. Of course passing exams alone does not make you an expert, but if you have know-how on a topic it’s is always got to have some kind of paper to prove it.

So what are the skills measured for this exam. The exam 70-533 focuses on 6 topics, Azure Websites, Virtual Machines, Cloud Services, Storage, Azure Active Directory and Virtual Networks. To my surprise I got a really good score on Azure Websites and of course Virtual Machines, since I used to run several of them on Azure. I also found out that Azure Active Directory is one of the parts I have to invest a little more.

Skills measured

Implement websites (15-20%)

  • Deploy websites
    • Define deployment slots; roll back deployments, configure and deploy packages, deploy web jobs, schedule web jobs
  • Configure websites
    • Configure app settings, connection strings, handlers, and virtual directories; configure certificates, custom domains, and traffic manager; configure SSL bindings and runtime configurations; manage websites by using Windows PowerShell and Xplat-CLI
  • Configure diagnostics, monitoring, and analytics
    • Retrieve diagnostics data; view streaming logs; configure endpoint monitoring, alerts, and diagnostics; monitor website resources
  • Configure scale and resilience
    • Configure auto-scale using built-in and custom schedules; configure by metric; change the size of an instance
  • Manage hosting plans
    • Create hosting plans; migrate websites between hosting plans; create a website within a hosting plan

Implement virtual machines (15-20%)

  • Deploy workloads on Azure virtual machines (VMs)
    • Identify supported Microsoft workloads; deploy and connect to a Linux VM; create VMs
  • Implement images and disks
    • Create specialized and generalized images for Windows and Linux; copy images between storage accounts and subscriptions; upload VHDs
  • Perform configuration management
    • Automate configuration management by using PowerShell Desired State Configuration and custom script extensions; enable puppet and chef extensions
  • Configure VM networking
    • Settings include reserved IP addresses, access control list (ACL), internal name resolution, DNS at the cloud service level, load balancing endpoints, HTTP and TCP health probes, public IPs, firewall rules, direct server return, and Keep Alive
  • Configure VM resiliency
    • Scale up and scale down VM sizes; auto-scale; configure availability sets
  • Design and implement VM storage
    • Configure disk caching; plan storage capacity; configure operating system disk redundancy; configure shared storage using Azure File service; configure geo-replication; encrypt disks
  • Monitor VMs
    • Configure endpoint monitoring, alerts, and diagnostics

Implement cloud services (15-20%)

  • Configure cloud services and roles
    • Configure instance count and size, operating system version and family, upgrade and fault domains, ACLs, reserved IPs, and network access rules; configure local storage; configure dedicated and co-located caching, local and cloud configurations, and local disks; configure multiple websites; configure custom domains
  • Deploy and manage cloud services
    • Upgrade a deployment; VIP swap a deployment; package a deployment; modify configuration files; perform in-place updates; perform runtime configuration changes using the portal; scale a cloud service; create service bus namespaces and choose a tier; apply scalability targets
  • Monitor cloud services
    • Monitor service bus queues, topics, relays, and notification hubs; configure diagnostics

Implement storage (15-20%)

  • Implement blobs and Azure files
    • Read data; change data; set metadata on a container; use encryption (SSL); perform an async blob copy; configure a Content Delivery Network (CDN); implement storage for backup and disaster recovery; configure Azure Backup; define blob hierarchies; configure custom domains; configure the Import and Export Service
  • Manage access
    • Create and manage shared access signatures; use stored access policies; regenerate keys
  • Configure diagnostics, monitoring, and analytics
    • Configure retention policies and logging levels; analyze logs
  • Implement SQL databases
    • Choose the appropriate database tier and performance level; configure point in time recovery and geo-replication; import and export data and schema; design a scaling strategy
  • Implement recovery services
    • Create a backup vault; deploy a backup agent; back up and restore data

Implement an Azure Active Directory (15-20%)

  • Integrate an Azure AD with existing directories
    • Implement DirSync, O365 integration, and single sign-on with on-premises Windows Server 2012 R2; add custom domains; monitor Azure AD
  • Configure the Application Access Panel
    • Configure single sign-on with SaaS applications using federation and password based; add users and groups to applications; revoke access to SaaS applications; configure access; federation with Facebook and Google ID
  • Integrate an app with Azure AD
    • Web apps (WS-federation); desktop apps (OAuth); graph API

Implement virtual networks (15-20%)

  • Configure a virtual network
    • Deploy a VM into a virtual network; deploy a cloud service into a virtual network; configure static IPs; configure internal load balancing; design subnets
  • Modify a network configuration
    • Modify a subnet; import and export a network configuration
  • Design and implement a multi-site or hybrid network
    • Choose the appropriate solution between ExpressRoute, site-to-site, and point-to-site; choose the appropriate gateway; identify supported devices and software VPN solutions; identify networking prerequisites; configure regional virtual networks and multi-site virtual networks

Preparation

To prepare for the exam I used several different resources such as Microsoft Virtual Academy, TechNet, Channel9 and of course Microsoft Azure it self. I also found some great community blogs which have some link summaries:

If you are going to take this exam I wish you good luck.

Update: Microsoft retired some of the Azure exams and replace them by new ones. One of the is the AZ-100 series, which will give you the Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator, and is addressing the 70-533.



Windows Azure Pack IaaS

Add Domain User or Group to Azure Pack Administrators

When you install and configure Windows Azure Pack (WAP) you will have set your install user to the administrators list in Azure Pack, so you can login to the Azure Pack Admin Portal. If you want to use other users you can add them via PowerShell. To add a domain user or group to the Windows Azure Pack Admins you can use the following PowerShell commands. Of course it does make a lot of sense to create a security group in your domain, where you add all the WAP administrators, and add this group to the Azure Pack administrators.

With the following command you can check who is in the admin list right now.

 
$connectionstring = 'Server=SQL01.cloud01.thomasmaurer.ch\WAP01;Initial Catalog=Microsoft.MgmtSvc.Store;User ID=sa;Password=Passw0rd'
Get-MgmtSvcAdminUser  -ConnectionString $connectionstring

With the following command you can add an user group to the Azure Pack Admin list

 
$connectionstring = 'Server=SQL01.cloud01.thomasmaurer.ch\WAP01;Initial Catalog=Microsoft.MgmtSvc.Store;User ID=sa;Password=Passw0rd'
Add-MgmtSvcAdminUser -ConnectionString $connectionstring -Principal 'Cloud01\WAPAdminGroup'