This required a long work with my good friend and colleague Francesco Cogno (Twitter: @MindFlavor), but finally we have published this white paper, hope you will find it useful. Thanks to Silvano Coriani (Twitter:@SCoriani) from the Azure CAT team, Francesco Diaz (Twitter: @Francedit) and Pradeep M.M for the patience demonstrated in reading the entire content.

This 116-pages document contains everything you should know about this new SQL Server 2014 feature, this is really a key improvement and step forward toward Azure cloud integration.

In the contained chapters, you will find lots of details on:

  • Architecture
    • Learn what does really means this new feature and why it is so powerful to have the SQL Server 2014 now being able to generate direct REST calls to Azure Blob storage service. Also, learn about which kind of scenarios could obtain benefits and be aware of pros and cons of this new approach.
  • Configuration
    • Find a complete step-by-step procedure to enable and configure this mechanism, along with known pitfalls and which best practices you should be aware of.
  • Implementing a failover cluster mechanism
    • Everyone told you that Failover Clustering is not possible in Azure IaaS? Read through Chapter (3) and you will find a way to achieve similar functionalities for a SQL Server database.
  • Monitoring and troubleshooting
    • Power is nothing without control, learn in Chapter (4) how to leverage existing Azure tools and new SQL Server 2014 mechanisms to monitor, diagnose and troubleshoot this new integration capability.

Finally, in the Appendix you fill find the complete source code used to implement the custom failover solution we thought using this new feature, feel free to modify and extend to satisfy your needs.

Feel free to send me and Francesco your feedbacks. Regards.

SQL Server 2014 and Windows Azure Blob Storage Service: Better Together

Summary: SQL Server 2014 introduces significant new features toward a deeper integration with Microsoft Azure, thus unlocking new scenarios and provide more flexibility in the database space for IaaS data models. This technical article will cover in depth SQL Server 2014 Data Files on Azure Blob storage service, starting from step-by-step configuration, then providing guidance on scenarios, benefits and limitations, best practices and lessons learned from early testing and adoption. Additionally, a fully featured example of a new (Windows Server Failover Clustering) - like feature will be introduced to demonstrate the power of Microsoft Azure and SQL Server 2014 when combined together.

Authors: Igor Pagliai, Francesco Cogno

Technical Reviewers: Silvano Coriani, Francesco Diaz, Pradeep M.M

 Published: April 2014

Applies to: SQL Server 2014 and Microsoft Azure

To review the document, please download the SQLServer 2014 and Windows Azure Blob Storage Service: Better Together Word document.