Microsoft Build event announcements

Another Microsoft event and another bunch of exciting announcements.  At the Microsoft Build event this week, the major announcements in the data platform space were:

Azure Cosmos DB

Azure Cosmos DB is the next big leap in the evolution of DocumentDB.  Cosmos DB is Microsoft’s globally-distributed, horizontally scalable, multi-model database service.  It’s mission is to enable you to write highly scalable, globally distributed apps, easily.  With its turnkey support for global distribution, Azure Cosmos DB seamlessly makes your data available close to where your users are, anywhere around the world; it offers guaranteed low latency, well-defined consistency and high availability around the globe.  It allows you to elastically scale throughput and storage anywhere in the world, based on your needs, and offers a multitude of well-defined consistency models, data models and APIs – so you can select the right ones for your app.

To clear things up, it’s not a “new” product, but rather a renaming of DocumentDB with some additional new features.  Microsoft has transitioned all existing DocumentDB customers and their data to Azure Cosmos DB for no additional charge.  It now natively supports four multiple data models: key-value (new), documents, graphs (new), and columnar.  It also supports many APIs for accessing data including MongoDB and DocumentDB SQL for document model support, Gremlin (preview) for graph model support, and Azure Tables (preview) for key-value model support.  Since it now supports more than just the document model, it would not of made sense to keep the name as DocumentDB, hence the new name.

Microsoft also announced a new consistency level, Consistent Prefix, so that replicas can only move forward in time, as opposed to converging forward in time.  This brings it to a total of five consistency levels developers can use to help unblock programming challenges and binary tradeoffs to better navigate the CAP theorem.  Also introduced are some major improvements to the query engine, which manifests itself as a 50-400% Request Units (RU) reduction per query.

All Azure Table storage accounts will be automatically upgraded to Azure Cosmos DB accounts too, and gain these great new capabilities – including global distribution, automatic indexing, dedicated throughput, and low latency.

For more info, see Azure Cosmos DB: The industry’s first globally-distributed, multi-model database service, A technical overview of Azure Cosmos DBWelcome to Azure Cosmos DB.

Azure Database Migration Service (DMS)

Microsoft announced (See Azure Database Migration Service announcement at //build) a limited preview of the Azure Database Migration Service which will streamline the process for migrating on-premises databases to Azure.

Using this new database migration service simplifies the migration of existing on-premises SQL Server, Oracle, and MySQL databases to Azure, whether your target database is Azure SQL Database, Azure SQL Database Managed Instance or Microsoft SQL Server in an Azure virtual machine.

The automated workflow with assessment reporting, guides you through the necessary changes prior to performing the migration.  When you are ready, the service will migrate the source database to Azure.  For an opportunity to participate in the limited preview of this service, sign up.

Think of this as similar to the SQL Server Migration Assistant (SSMA), except this is an Azure PaaS so there is no VMs to create or software to install.

Azure Database for MySQL and PostgreSQL

Microsoft announced (See Microsoft extends Azure managed database services with introduction of MySQL and PostgreSQL) the preview of managed database services with Azure Database for MySQL and Azure Database for PostgreSQL.

These services are built on the intelligent, trusted and flexible Azure relational database platform. This platform extends similar managed services benefits, global Azure region reach, and innovations that currently power Azure SQL Database and Azure SQL Data Warehouse services to the MySQL and PostgreSQL database engines. Starting at preview, customers can use the service to build and deploy their applications using MySQL version 5.6/5.7 and PostgreSQL version 9.5/9.6 in 11 regions across US, Europe, Asia and Japan.

To get started at Azure Database for MySQL and Azure Database for PostgreSQL.

More info:

Microsoft’s New Azure Database Offerings Challenge (and Maybe Surpass) AWS Cloud

Inside Microsoft’s Cosmos DB

About James Serra

James is a big data and data warehousing solution architect at Microsoft. Previously he was an independent consultant working as a Data Warehouse/Business Intelligence architect and developer. He is a prior SQL Server MVP with over 25 years of IT experience.
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