SQL Azure: Automated Database Export (Archived Post)- Please use automated-backup built-into Azure SQL Database


Great news for SQL Azure, looks like the feedback’s been heard. In July’s scheduled updates we released some great updates to Windows Azure. One of the enhancements for SQL Azure include:

Support for Automated SQL Export and a New Premium Tier SQL Database option

One commonly requested feature we’ve heard has been the ability for customers to perform recurring, fully automated, exports of a SQL Database to a Storage account and we always landed up delivering this using custom toolset and SSIS, SSMS. Starting today this is now a built-in feature of Windows Azure.  You can now export transactional-consistent copies of your SQL Databases, in an automated recurring way, to a .bacpac file in a Storage account using any schedule you wish to define.

Here it is, and this is how it looks- “Spread the Word”

clip_image001

Also, along with the above option to export, we handed over a New Database Creation wizard as well from Exported DB’s- this is just insane, absolutely exciting-

clip_image003

Or

clip_image004

Cost Impact

When an automated export is performed, Windows Azure will first do a full copy of your database to a temporary database prior to creating the .bacpac file. This is the only way to ensure that your export is transitionally consistent (this database copy is then automatically removed once the export has completed). As a result, you will be charged for this database copy on the day that you run the export. Since databases are charged by the day, if you were to export every day, you could in theory double your database costs.  If you run every week then it would be much less.

If your storage account is in a different region from the SQL Database, you will be charged for network bandwidth.  If your storage account is in the same region there are no bandwidth charges.  You’ll then be charged the standard Windows Azure Storage rate (which is priced in GB saved) for any .bacpac files you retain in your storage account.

Conditions to set up Automated Export

Note that in order to set up automated export, Windows Azure has to be allowed to access your database (using the server login name/password you configured in the automated export rule in the screen-shot above) . To enable this, go to the “Configure” tab for your database server and make sure the switch is set to “Yes”:

clip_image006

 

SQL Databases: Announcing New Premium Tier for Windows Azure SQL Databases

Today, we’re excited to announce the preview of a new Premium Tier for Windows Azure SQL Databases that delivers more predictable performance for business-critical applications.  The Premium Tier helps deliver more powerful and predictable performance for cloud applications by dedicating a fixed amount of reserved capacity for a database including its built-in secondary replicas. This capability will help you scale databases even better and with more isolation.

Reserved capacity is ideal for cloud-based applications with the following requirements:

  • High Peak Load – An application that requires a lot of CPU, Memory, or IO to complete its operations. For example, if a database operation is known to consume several CPU cores for an extended period of time, it is a candidate for using a Premium database.
  • Many Concurrent Requests – Some database applications service many concurrent requests. The normal Web and Business Editions in SQL Database have a limit of 180 concurrent requests. Applications requiring more connections should use a Premium database with an appropriate reservation size to handle the maximum number of needed requests.
  • Predictable Latency – Some applications need to guarantee a response from the database in minimal time. If a given stored procedure is called as part of a broader customer operation, there might be a requirement to return from that call in no more than 20 milliseconds 99% of the time. This kind of application will benefit from a Premium database to make sure that dedicated computing power is available.

To help you best assess the performance needs of your application and determine if your application might need reserved capacity, our Customer Advisory Team has put together detailed guidance. Read the Guidance for Windows Azure SQL Database premium whitepaper for tips on how to continually tune your application for optimal performance and how to know if your application might need reserved capacity. Additionally, our engineers have put together a whitepaper, Managing Premium Databases, on how to setup, use and manage your new premium database once you are accepted into the Premium preview and quota is approved.

Requesting an invitation to the reserved capacity preview requires two steps:

  1. Visit the Preview Features page to request access to the Premium preview program. Initial acceptance requires customers with active, paid Windows Azure subscriptions and account administrator responsibility.
  2. Once your subscription has been activated for the preview program, request a Premium database quota from either the server dashboard or server quickstart in the SQL Databases extension of the Windows Azure Management Portal.

For a closer look at signing up for the Premium preview, please review the short tutorial page, Sign up for Premium preview for Windows Azure SQL Database.  For more details on Premium for SQL Database pricing, please visit the Windows Azure SQL Database pricing page.

NOTE: There are some more changes to the Traffic manager which is now included in the Windows Azure Portal as well. Will write about it in next blog probably.

Happy times in the cloud !!!


Comments (27)

  1. sami says:

    According to above Theory
    1) if my client has basic level database and its price per month is $4.98 and Database will be exported everyday.

    so cost will be double according to above theory.

    2) if my client has standard level database and its price per month 15.03 $ and Database will be exported everyday.

    so this cost will be double according to above theory.

    Actually My Question is I want to know the price of Automated Database Export is be changed according to pricing tier (basic and standard) of Azure database ??

    1. Hi Sami,

      The post is old and SQLDB Automated Export is still in preview, and hence it isn’t recommended for production use. Did you know we already backup your databases? You can restore databases from automatic backups using the Point-In-Time Restore and Geo-Restore capabilities. I would highly encourage that we reply on automatic-backups compared to automated-exports.
      I might be removing the post due to its age and limited relevance at this stage.

  2. NewBeeMS says:

    Any way we could encrypt the export.

  3. Jeannette says:

    We have 2 azure databases – Validation database backups run just fine. Our production database – creates the copy but does not export as a bacpac in the storage container. I looked at the error message and it said the service was busy. I have production backing up at 11:30pm and validation backing up at 1:00 am to 2 different storage containers. I tried to export AutomatedSqlExport_Prod just now and got an error.  something about it is part of a scheduled service?

    I'm using the login that created the database. We exported the data out of another database and created this database from it. Do you think I need to update credentials?  I tried doing this and get an error that this version of sql does not have create credentials. Please let me know what you think.

  4. @ma- Note that even if you did export federated databases, there is no way to import them. So it is not really useful to you, at the most basic level.

    Please note that we are publicly guiding people to NOT use federations.

    msdn.microsoft.com/…/dn495641.aspx

    If you would like help getting to not use federations, we can arrange to have free consulting to help migrate to a manual sharding model, please let us know and we will facilitate.

  5. @mkellerm- At this point we don’t offer a way to script the Automated Export configuration. Unfortunately, the API is not currently documented, but it is certainly something our developers are working on for the future.

    I understand the pain but that's how it is, we are getting there slowly gradually!

  6. ma says:

    Great feature – does it support federated databases?