Pie in the Sky

I have been working with SQL Server for 15 years and have done everything from reporting to database design to ETL to architecture to administration. The way I see it, the cloud is the future, and SQL Azure is a great platform. Here are my musing on the subject.

SQL Blog

DECEMBER 27, 2015

2015 has been a massive year for Azure SQL Database. This year has seen the product mature from "an interesting idea" and "something that we should have a look at" to a genuine piece of enterprise software and something that most IT departments are putting onto their future roadmap.

DECEMBER 9, 2015

The Azure Data Factory is a means of moving data around in the cloud. In a similar way that SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) can be used to transform and load data in on premise versions of SQL Server, Azure Data Factory is a tool that you could use to perform a similar function in Azure.

NOVEMBER 11, 2015

Learn how to combine AzCopy with a SQL Job to copy files to Azure Blob Storage.

SEPTEMBER 18, 2015

Runbooks are your SQL Server Agent for Azure SQL Database. Lately, Microsoft have been making quite a few changes to how to create and manage Runbooks in the Azure Preview Portal.


Setting up Alerts in Azure SQL Database is a great way to get notified about what is going on with your SQL Server in the Cloud. 

JULY 26, 2015

Transparent Database Encryption (TDE) is now available in all V12 Azure SQL Databases. This artcle discusses TDE and how easy it is to implement.

JUNE 25, 2015

Microsoft has introduced T-SQL database jobs for Azure Elastic Scale Databases. This article talks about why this feature should be included in all Service Tiers.

MAY 28, 2015

This final post in the series on Azure SQL Database Elastic Scale looks at using a PowerShell Runbook to set up the Sharded Databases as well as going into detail about how to query those databases using a Console Application written in C#.

MAY 1, 2015

Azure SQL Database can use Powershell Runbooks to implement Sharding using Azure Database Elastic Scale. This post continues to look at Sharding and goes into detail about the Powershell involved as well as what is happening behind the scenes in Azure SQL Database.

MARCH 19, 2015

Azure SQL Database Elastic Scale Preview positions Azure SQL Database to be able to do what other cloud databases do really well: Scale Horizontally to cope with spikes in demand. In this blog post (Part 1), I am going to have a look at what it means to Scale Horizontally and what Sharding is all about.

FEBRUARY 26, 2015

Have you ever wanted to only show parts of a field to certain sets of users such as credit card numbers, telephone numbers or last names? This functionality is now possible in Azure SQL Database with Dynamic Data Masking.

FEBRUARY 4, 2015

Recently, I read the articles Stop Worrying About SQL Server Fragmentation and When Does Index Fragmentation Matter?, and that got me starting to think about how index fragmentation in Azure SQL Database compares to index fragmentation in on-premise versions of SQL Server. I also started to wonder, "Does Fragmentation matter in SQL Azure"? I decided to to run a comparison, and these are the results.

DECEMBER 26, 2014

Azure SQL Database comes with a host of disaster recovery options. The most robust of these options involves replicating the database across different geographic regions using Geo-Replication. In this article, I'll discuss how you can monitor the state of Geo-Replication using Azure SQL Database Dynamic Management Views (DMV's).

DECEMBER 2, 2014

SQL Azure Runbooks promise to be your “SQL Server Agent in the cloud”. They enable you to use PowerShell Scripts inside of SQL Azure in order to automate time consuming, repetitive tasks. In this article, I’ll explore how we used SQL Azure Runbooks to automate one of our business processes and save ourselves quite a bit of time.

OCTOBER 26, 2014

As a strategic direction, many companies have decided to start moving their SQL Server databases into the cloud using SQL Azure. This change in direction allows companies to outsource their hardware while moving to a “Database as a Service” model. One lesser known feature of SQL Azure is Point-in-Time restore which is available by default in the new Basic, Standard and Premium Service Tiers. Previously, SQL Azure was only available in two Service Tiers: Web and Business. The major difference between the Service Tiers was the size of the database that you could store in each Tier: 5GB for the Web Tier and 150GB for Business Tier. In order to backup databases on either of these Service Tiers, you had to schedule an Automated Export of the database to SQL Azure Blob Storage. While not overly difficult, you did have to set up a SQL Azure Storage Account and go through the steps to back up the database to the Storage Account.