TWIL: December 4, 2022

This week my learning focus was threefold: using Azure Blob Storage for SQL Server data files, Power BI Service autoscaling and billing, and Azure Cosmos DB high availability and global distribution. I hope you find it useful as well.

SQL Server

Quickstart: SQL backup and restore to Azure Blob Storage
This quickstart helps you understand how to write backups to and restore from the Azure Blob Storage. The article explains how to create an Azure Blob Storage container, write a backup to Azure Blob Storage, and then perform a restore.

SQL Server backup and restore with Azure Blob Storage
This article introduces SQL Server backups to and restoring from Microsoft Azure Blob Storage. It also provides a summary of the benefits of using Azure Blob Storage to store SQL Server backups.

Tutorial: Use Azure Blob Storage with SQL Server 2016
This tutorial helps you understand how to use the Azure Blob Storage for SQL Server data files and SQL Server backups. SQL Server integration support for the Azure Blob Storage began as a SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 1 CU2 enhancement, and has been enhanced further with SQL Server 2014 and SQL Server 2016.

SQL Server data files in Microsoft Azure
SQL Server Data Files in Microsoft Azure enables native support for SQL Server database files stored as blobs. It allows you to create a database in SQL Server running in on-premises or in a virtual machine in Microsoft Azure with a dedicated storage location for your data in Microsoft Azure Blob storage. It also simplifies the process of moving databases between machines. You can detach databases from one machine and attach them to another machine. In addition, it provides an alternative storage location for your database backup files by allowing you to restore from or to Microsoft Azure Storage. Therefore, it enables several hybrid solutions by providing several benefits for data virtualization, data movement, security and availability, and any easy low costs and maintenance for high-availability and elastic scaling.

Restoring From Backups Stored in Microsoft Azure
This topic outlines the considerations when restoring a database using a backup stored in Azure Blob Storage. This applies to backups created either by using SQL Server Backup to URL backup or by SQL Server Managed Backup to Microsoft Azure.

Power BI

Embedded analytics access tokens
Consuming Power BI content (such as reports, dashboards and tiles) requires an access token. Depending on your solution, this token can be either an Azure AD token, an embed token, or both. In the embed for your customers solution, your web app users are granted access to Power BI content according to the embed token generated by your application.

Power BI Premium: Performance smoothing
Power BI runs performance smoothing on all Premium Gen2 capacities. Smoothing is used to calculate the impact of your operations on your capacity. Knowing what impact your operations have on your capacity affects many Power BI functions such as billing, autoscale and the metrics you see in the Gen2 app.

Using Autoscale with Power BI Premium
Power BI Premium offers scale and performance for Power BI content in your organization. With Power BI Premium Gen2, many improvements are introduced including enhanced performance, greater scale, improved metrics. In addition, Premium Gen2 enables customers to automatically add compute capacity to avoid slowdowns under heavy use, using Autoscale.

Azure Cosmos DB

Distribute your data globally with Azure Cosmos DB
Azure Cosmos DB is a globally distributed database system that allows you to read and write data from the local replicas of your database. Azure Cosmos DB transparently replicates the data to all the regions associated with your Azure Cosmos DB account. Azure Cosmos DB is a globally distributed database service that’s designed to provide low latency, elastic scalability of throughput, well-defined semantics for data consistency, and high availability.

Consistency levels in Azure Cosmos DB
Distributed databases that rely on replication for high availability, low latency, or both, must make a fundamental tradeoff between the read consistency, availability, latency, and throughput as defined by the PACELC theorem. The linearizability of the strong consistency model is the gold standard of data programmability. But it adds a steep price from higher write latencies due to data having to replicate and commit across large distances.

Achieve high availability with Azure Cosmos DB
To build a solution with high-availability, you have to evaluate the reliability characteristics of all its components. Azure Cosmos DB is designed to provide multiple features and configuration options to achieve high availability for all solutions’ availability needs.

Global data distribution with Azure Cosmos DB – under the hood
Azure Cosmos DB is a foundational service in Azure, so it’s deployed across all Azure regions worldwide including the public, sovereign, Department of Defense (DoD) and government clouds. At a high level, Azure Cosmos DB container data is horizontally partitioned into many replica-sets, which replicate writes, in each region. Replica-sets durably commit writes using a majority quorum.

Have an awesome week!

Photo by Kobby Mendez on Unsplash