Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Craig Lowell, AppDynamics Blog, Xenia von Wedel, Elizabeth White, Rishi Bhargava

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
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
An IoT product’s log files speak volumes about what’s happening with your products in the field, pinpointing current and potential issues, and enabling you to predict failures and save millions of dollars in inventory. But until recently, no one knew how to listen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dan Gettens, Chief Research Officer at OnProcess, discussed recent research by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and OnProcess Technology, where MIT created a new, breakthrough analytics model for ...
Successful digital transformation requires new organizational competencies and capabilities. Research tells us that the biggest impediment to successful transformation is human; consequently, the biggest enabler is a properly skilled and empowered workforce. In the digital age, new individual and collective competencies are required. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bob Newhouse, CEO and founder of Agilitiv, drew together recent research and lessons learned from emerging and established compa...
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, 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 strategy.
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2017 New York. The 20th Cloud Expo and 7th @ThingsExpo will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Internet to enable us all to im...
Businesses and business units of all sizes can benefit from cloud computing, but many don't want the cost, performance and security concerns of public cloud nor the complexity of building their own private clouds. Today, some cloud vendors are using artificial intelligence (AI) to simplify cloud deployment and management. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ajay Gulati, Co-founder and CEO of ZeroStack, will discuss how AI can simplify cloud operations. He will cover the following topics: why clou...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
Internet-of-Things discussions can end up either going down the consumer gadget rabbit hole or focused on the sort of data logging that industrial manufacturers have been doing forever. However, in fact, companies today are already using IoT data both to optimize their operational technology and to improve the experience of customer interactions in novel ways. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Gordon Haff, Red Hat Technology Evangelist, will share examples from a wide range of industries – includin...
"We build IoT infrastructure products - when you have to integrate different devices, different systems and cloud you have to build an application to do that but we eliminate the need to build an application. Our products can integrate any device, any system, any cloud regardless of protocol," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Internet of @ThingsExpo has announced today that Chris Matthieu has been named tech chair of Internet of @ThingsExpo 2017 New York The 7th Internet of @ThingsExpo will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. Chris Matthieu is the co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, a revolutionary real-time IoT platform recently acquired by Citrix. Octoblu connects things, systems, people and clouds to a global mesh network allowing users to automate and control design flo...
Unless your company can spend a lot of money on new technology, re-engineering your environment and hiring a comprehensive cybersecurity team, you will most likely move to the cloud or seek external service partnerships. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Darren Guccione, CEO of Keeper Security, revealed what you need to know when it comes to encryption in the cloud.
With 15% of enterprises adopting a hybrid IT strategy, you need to set a plan to integrate hybrid cloud throughout your infrastructure. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Steven Dreher, Director of Solutions Architecture at Green House Data, discussed how to plan for shifting resource requirements, overcome challenges, and implement hybrid IT alongside your existing data center assets. Highlights included anticipating workload, cost and resource calculations, integrating services on both sides...
"We're a cybersecurity firm that specializes in engineering security solutions both at the software and hardware level. Security cannot be an after-the-fact afterthought, which is what it's become," stated Richard Blech, Chief Executive Officer at Secure Channels, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
According to Forrester Research, every business will become either a digital predator or digital prey by 2020. To avoid demise, organizations must rapidly create new sources of value in their end-to-end customer experiences. True digital predators also must break down information and process silos and extend digital transformation initiatives to empower employees with the digital resources needed to win, serve, and retain customers.
The WebRTC Summit New York, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 20th International Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo. WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web co...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to simplify and streamline our lives by automating routine tasks that distract us from our goals. This promise is based on the ubiquitous deployment of smart, connected devices that link everything from industrial control systems to automobiles to refrigerators. Unfortunately, comparatively few of the devices currently deployed have been developed with an eye toward security, and as the DDoS attacks of late October 2016 have demonstrated, this oversight can ...