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Microsoft Azure – Azure SQL Managed Instance

Last Updated : 30 Mar, 2023
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In this article, we will get an overview of Azure SQL Managed Instance. Managed instances combine leading security features with SQL Server compatibility and business model designed for on-premises developers and clients.

There are many reasons that developers want to migrate to Azure SQL Managed Instance. The main one is, they want to migrate to Azure, and they want to remove some of that management overhead and stress with regards to some of the PaaS capabilities. But they might have restrictions. Maybe they need instance-scoped features. 

When we talk about instance-scoped features, we really mean features that are scoped to the server as opposed to the database, and this includes things like Service Broker, SQL Server Agent, CLR, machine learning services, etc. These are just a few of the reasons why developers move towards Azure SQL Managed Instance. 

Key Features of Azure SQL Managed Instance:

The below list gives us the key features of Azure SQL Managed Instances:

  • Option for a single instance or Instance pool
  • SQL Server surface area(majorly)
  • Native virtual network support
  • Fully managed service
  • On-premise identities enabled with Azure AD and AD Connect
  • Near-zero downtime migration using log shipping
  • Fully managed business continuity with fail-over groups
  • Best of SQL Server with benefits of a managed service

The Surface Area SQL Server:

It was originally called the Cloudlifter project, and eventually was named Managed Instance, because you are literally going to be interacting with a SQL Server full instance with that feature set outside the scope of just a database, but it has managed functionality, like built-in availability groups and security. So it gives you a SQL Server instance with PaaS managed capabilities.

 There’s some great differentiator. So first of all, one of the really amazing aspects of using Managed Instance, to help you get to the Cloud, is online migrations. It uses database backups and restores and log shipping technology, to allow you to do a fairly seamless online migration from your on-premises environment. As we mentioned, Azure is going to give you full manage continuity for business availability, with things like Replicas and Failover groups to almost simulate a scenario of an automatic availability group even across regions. Azure is going to manage underneath the infrastructure in the virtual machines, but you’re going to go to Management Studio, it’s going to feel and look just like a SQL Server. But again, behind the scenes with those great managed capabilities. 

So if you are looking to easily move to the Cloud and see things like cost reduction, or you’re looking for more of the IaaS capabilities while still getting that vast SQL Server surface area, Azure SQL Managed Instance might be the right option for your scenario. 

Features of Azure Managed Instance

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