Introducing a simplified configuration for SQL Server in Azure Virtual Machines

If you have attempted to create and configure a SQL Server instance on an Azure virtual machine, you know it isn’t as simple as it could or should be, but that has all changed with the recent changes implemented by Microsoft. Just make sure you select the new “Resource Manager” deployment model before you click “Create”.

In the past, configuring SQL Server connectivity was not trivial. For example, to connect from on-premises using SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) you had to Remote Desktop to the VM, open the SQL Server port in the VM firewall, open SSMS and enable SQL Server Authentication, and create a Public Azure endpoint for the VM.

Now, you can simply choose SQL connectivity over the Internet and enable SQL Server authentication from the Portal. In addition, you can choose SQL connectivity within an Azure Virtual Network, or still allow it only within the VM.

In the past, after provisioning a SQL Server VM, you had to manually attach and configure the right number of data disks to provide the desired number of IOPs or throughput (MB/s). Then you need to stripe your SQL files across the disks or create a Storage Pool to divide the IOPs or throughput across them. Finally, you’d have to configure SQL Server according to the performance best practices for Azure VM.

We’ve now made this part of the provisioning experience. You can easily configure the desired IOPs, throughput, and storage size within the limits of the selected VM size, as well as the target workload to optimize for (online transaction processing or data warehousing). As you change the IOPs, throughput, and storage size, we’ll automatically select the right number of disks to attach to the VM. During the VM provisioning, if more than one disk is required for your specified settings, we’ll automatically create one Windows storage space (virtual drive) across all disks.

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