Welcome!

Government Cloud Authors: Don MacVittie, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Gopala Krishna Behara, Raju Myadam

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Linux Containers

@CloudExpo: Blog Feed Post

SQL Data Services: Your Database in the Cloud

This will really make sharing of data in the cloud so much easier

One thing in the Microsoft cloud I find really interesting is SQL Data Services and Huron/Data Hub - SQL cloud sync service, one of the “cloud” offerings I believe has lots of potential and will really make sharing of data in the cloud so much easier.

I had the pleasure to sit down and talk about this subject with Liam Cavanagh, Sr. Program Manager at Microsoft, with the SDS/Huron team, and get some insights about the current state and the future of this remarkable new technology. In this article I’ll talk about SQL Data Services, and I’ll follow up with one about Data Hub/Huron.

SQL Data Services is at the core, nothing more than a (Microsoft SQL) database-as-a-service offering from Microsoft, part of the Azure Services Platform. First thing you’ll find about SQL Data Services is that “is just SQL” (at least that’s how Microsoft is advertising it). And it is. You’re able to change your connection string from your local database to your cloud database and you can access the “cloud” SQL. You can use SQL Studio to run queries, create tables, everything (oh well, almost) you do locally. First version of SQL Data Services will support: tables, indexes, views, stored procedures, triggers, constraints, table variables, session temp tables etc. It will not support: distributed transactions or queries, CLR, Service Broker, Spatial, physical server or catalog DDL and views. Also, reporting services, Business Intelligence  services, will be available sometimes in the future. So far there’s no information for when some of the features not included in the first version will be available.

The initial commercial release will have some limitations on database size, most likely it will be around 10 GB. The limitation might be lifted on future releases, but for now will be there to stay. This limitation is mainly because Microsoft feels that this is a good size they can easily manage in the background: backups, moving the database from a server to another server, data recovery, etc. You can have as many databases you want, and let’s be honest, 10 GB is a lot of data to store.

Other limitation will have to do with the duration of transactions and resource load on the server hosting your data. Keep in mind that your data will be living on servers in Microsoft’s data centers, with data from other customers. Microsoft makes sure your data is secure (I’m sure we’ll see some guarantees in the SLA), but in order to maintain good multi-tenant practices it will have to throttle or otherwise make sure that all the databases on the server get enough resources to function properly. One of the techniques used is moving more active databases from a loaded server to an idle server.

Like with any other database, corruption of data can happen in the cloud database as well. Microsoft has mechanisms in place to recover from data corruption (mainly by keeping database replicas on multiple servers), however, they don’t provide any user level backup of the database (at least in the first version). As we’ve seen in some of the PDC 2008 presentations, in the future we will probably see database backup/restore and geo-replication (synchronous – replica set spans datacenters and asynchronous – independent replica sets in different datacenters).

There’s no surprise on how concurrency is handled in the cloud database, SDS has the same mechanism like any SQL Server. SQL Server supports optimistic (time-stamps or value comparisons) or pessimistic concurrency models. The presence of the “cloud” doesn’t change the model at all. If you’re really curious about the subject, here’s a link to some information about SQL Server 2008 Concurrency which essentially deals with how the SQL Server handles locking.

By having the database in the cloud, there’s going to be a latency when accessing it from your premises. Microsoft recommends running your applications that are using the database in the cloud on the Azure Platform, so the latency is minimal. When you deploy an application on Windows Azure and provision an SDS server, the two are going to be co-located, to provide low latency between the application and the data.

You will find out rather quickly that there’s no web based administration tool for managing your database in the cloud, but most probably some kind of web admin tool (Microsoft or third party) will be available in the near future.

The exact billing model is not yet available. However, we know from Nigel Ellis (the person responsible for the design, development, and release of SQL Data Services) that customers will be charged for the physical database size including all data and indexes defined.

What is SDS offering more than other SQL hosting services? High availability - your data is guaranteed, is available all the time. If you’re hosting SQL, in order to have high availability, you need to probably have two servers (mirrored) in case one goes down, the other one can take over. Also, SDS solution seems to be cost effective, since you pay just for what you’re using.

Initially SDS was built to use SOAP and REST protocols to access the data. With the switch to being a full relational database in the cloud, SDS is now using Tabular Data Stream (TDS) protocol, an application layer protocol used to transfer data between a database server and a client, initially developed by Sybase Inc. for their Sybase SQL Server relational database engine in 1984, and later by Microsoft in Microsoft SQL Server. There are already lots of drivers already implemented for this protocol: ODBC, OLEDB, ADO .NET, ODBC driver for PHP stack, you can access it from ruby, from linux using the Open TDS driver.

Of course, it will take some time for the platform to mature. It is the goal of this first version to address the needs of 95% or more web and departmental applications.

The SQL Data Services Community Technology Preview (CTP) will be available soon. You can join the mailing list in order to receive an e-mail notification when it will become available.

Related posts:

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Alin Irimie

Alin Irimie is a software engineer - architect, designer, and developer with over 10 years experience in various languages and technologies. Currently he is Messaging Security Manager at Sunbelt Software, a security company. He is also the CTO of RADSense Software, a software consulting company. He has expertise in Microsoft technologies such as .NET Framework, ASP.NET, AJAX, SQL Server, C#, C++, Ruby On Rails, Cloud computing (Amazon and Windows Azure),and he also blogs about cloud technologies here.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, discussed how they built...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, examined the regulations and provided insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence arou...
The 22nd International Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, to be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, brings together Cloud Computing, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Among the proven benefits,...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait...
Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo have announced the conference tracks for Cloud Expo 2018. Cloud Expo will be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, and November 6-8, 2018, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DX Expo within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive ov...
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile exhibited at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on qua...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cedexis will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cedexis is the leader in data-driven enterprise global traffic management. Whether optimizing traffic through datacenters, clouds, CDNs, or any combination, Cedexis solutions drive quality and cost-effectiveness. For more information, please visit https://www.cedexis.com.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Google Cloud has been named “Keynote Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Companies come to Google Cloud to transform their businesses. Google Cloud’s comprehensive portfolio – from infrastructure to apps to devices – helps enterprises innovate faster, scale smarter, stay secure, and do more with data than ever before.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Vivint to exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California. As a leading smart home technology provider, Vivint offers home security, energy management, home automation, local cloud storage, and high-speed Internet solutions to more than one million customers throughout the United States and Canada. The end result is a smart home solution that sav...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Opsani will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Opsani is the leading provider of deployment automation systems for running and scaling traditional enterprise applications on container infrastructure.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Nirmata will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Nirmata provides a comprehensive platform, for deploying, operating, and optimizing containerized applications across clouds, powered by Kubernetes. Nirmata empowers enterprise DevOps teams by fully automating the complex operations and management of application containers and its underlying ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Opsani to exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California. Opsani is creating the next generation of automated continuous deployment tools designed specifically for containers. How is continuous deployment different from continuous integration and continuous delivery? CI/CD tools provide build and test. Continuous Deployment is the means by which...