T-SQL Tuesday #14: SQL Azure

11 January 2011

It is T-SQL Tuesday again, brought to you by Jen McCown (@MidnightDBA). The theme for this T-SQL Tuesday is Resolutions. Mine is, “This year I will learn and use SQL Azure“.

Why SQL Azure?

The professional answer? Companies are always looking to do more with less. Also, the spread of the Internet to all areas of life means that businesses are having to deal with the brave new world of disintermediation, scale challenges, and thinner margins.

The personal answer? It’s a fun technology to experiment with. The concepts of sharding and queue-based architectures are, well, cool.

SQL Azure means more databases per DBA. Smaller outfits may not have DBAs at all. Unfortunately, that’s what the cloud does to our profession; it automates some of our work away. So take a deep breath, sigh, and move on.

More practically, work for talented computer professionals isn’t likely to decrease. Migration work to SQL Azure-based architecture takes a lot of time, even with the migration tools and tips that experts have come up with. Some industries, such as health-care & banking, are not likely to move their data to a third party. Database design and architecture work should always be around.

So, time to learn! How can I make a 1TB database fit into 40GB chunks? How can I leverage the worker queues in Windows Azure to my benefit? How can I migrate half a database to SQL Azure, and still provide my application access to all data? How do I do a backup? How do I figure out the costs of moving to SQL Azure vs. the costs of the status quo?

Time to learn!