Entries from December 1, 2011 - December 31, 2011


Christmas came early–December Azure update is HUGE

There’s just too much to talk about in today’s December update to Windows Azure. There are enhancements across the board, starting with the initial sign-up experience, through to billing, and EVERYTHING in between. There have been pricing updates, SQL Azure size has gone up to 150gb, SQL Federation has now shipped (no longer CTP) enabling massive scale/perf SQL solutions, portal updates….

I could go on and on, but instead, read the official post here.


SQL Azure Data Sync

I thought it would be fun to show the recently released SQL Azure Data Sync at the Azure DevCamp in Santa Monica a couple of days ago. This was my first exposure to the recently released CTP, and I was so impressed by how easy it was to set up a synchronization that I thought I would write it up.

You configure Data Sync by using the Azure portal. You create a “sync group” that contains “member databases”. The member databases are either on-premise or SQL Azure. The following is what my portal view looked like after I created these entities:


Setting up the actual synchronization flow is also done through the portal, this is where you:

  • add your cloud and on-prem databases
  • defining the synchronization schedule (ie: “sync every 60 minutes”)
  • define the sync flow (one way or bi-directional)
  • define conflict resolution
  • define a synchronization “hub” that is used to track synchronization

In my example, I had an on-premise database that I wanted to replicate to SQL Azure. This was a one-way flow, from on-prem to a SQL Azure instance I had in North Central US. What was super-cool was that in front of the audience, I provisioned a brand new SQL Azure server in South East Asia, and added it to the sync group so that it too would receive changes I made to the on-premise database. Elapsed time was a couple of minutes, because I was pausing to explain. That’s mind-boggling if you think back a few years to what it would have taken to achieve the same result.

Here’s what my sync flow looked like at the end of the demo:


The team has done a great job, this was incredibly easy and intuitive to set up yet is also a very powerful capability for geo-distributed applications.