Serverless Compute with Azure SQL

Organizations are increasingly migrating their IT ecosystem comprising of applications, data repositories, and services to the cloud from on-premises or private datacenter to reduce capital and operational expenditure on hardware and infrastructure. In the context of SQL Server as the database server, businesses can select from a wide range of options in the Azure SQL service portfolio to modernize and extend their SQL Server applications to the cloud. In this article, let us delve into Azure SQL Database serverless, a compute tier that is billed based on the actual workload per second for single databases and can scale automatically.

When to Use Azure SQL Database Serverless?

The Azure SQL Database serverless compute tier is ideal for databases with intermittent and unpredictable usage. The service is optimized with a price-performance tradeoff that simplifies performance management for databases using auto-scaling and an auto-pause function to reduce spends. Here are some ideal scenarios for using the Azure SQL Database serverless tier.

  • Supporting business workloads that use SQL Server database for a limited period after which the need for having the database online reduces.
  • Deploying workloads requiring single databases with intermittent, unpredictable usage patterns that are interspersed with periods of inactivity and have lower average compute utilization over time.
  • Running workloads that do not have a usage history for which estimating the compute size is difficult or impossible before deployment in SQL Database.
  • Databases that are already in the provisioned compute tier but have had to be rescaled frequently.

How to Onboard into Azure SQL Serverless Compute Tier?

The process of creating a new database or moving an existing one to the serverless compute tier is similar to creating a new database in provisioned compute tier.

  • Sign up for an Azure account with appropriate privileges in Azure SQL Server Database and Azure SQL Server service.
  • Create a new Azure SQL Database from the Databases section in the Dashboard on Azure Portal.
  • Fill in the Subscription and Resource Group details in the dropdown menus. You can create a Resource Group at this stage if you do not have one already.
  • Provide a database name and choose the SQL Server instance for hosting the database.
  • While configuring the database, click on the arrow near vCore-based purchasing options.
  • Switch to the Serverless option instead of Provisioned compute tier, which is selected by default.
  • Select the hardware configuration and adjust the minimum and maximum vCores threshold based on the anticipated variations in the workload.
  • Click on the checkbox to enable auto-pause to specify the time duration for pausing the database if there is inactivity. The storage size can also be changed from the default 32 GB based on requirements.
  • Click on the Create button after making appropriate configuration changes. The newly created Azure SQL Server database in the serverless tier will appear on the dashboard.

Apps4Rent Can Help with Azure SQL Database Services

Although the auto-scaling and auto-pausing capabilities in the serverless tier for Azure SQL Database can appear to be a tempting option, there are several reasons why a provisioned tier might be a better fit for most workloads. Not only is the compute responsiveness lower after inactive periods in the case of the serverless tier, but also the cost could be more than it would in provisioned if there is a high load for prolonged periods.

As a Tier 1 Microsoft CSP, with Gold competency in specializations such as Cloud Platform and Cloud Productivity, Apps4Rent can guide you to the right solution for your specific needs. Contact our Microsoft certified experts, available 24/7 via phone, chat, and email for our managed Azure services.

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