We know we are in the middle of a transformative time. At the heart of this transformation is the digitization of data. Data is the most strategic asset for organizations across all industries, and a new level of data agility is required to deal with dynamic changes in our world. Organizations that have embraced their data as a strategic asset are at a competitive advantage. In fact, a recent Gartner® Predict report estimates that 90 percent of data management tools and platforms that fail to support multicloud and hybrid capabilities will be set for decommissioning through 2026.1
But for all the powerful capabilities the cloud offers to help organizations on their transformation journey, not all data is created equal. The myriad of regulations to navigate, the need for data sovereignty, the low tolerance for any form of disruption keeps data from living in a single public cloud, expanding your data estate and complexity. Managing the vast amounts of data that exists across siloed, disparate systems, applications, and locations, while also getting the most from existing investments is not a balance many solutions can achieve.
This is why, back in November 2019, we debuted Azure Arc, a set of technologies that extends Azure innovations and cloud benefits to any infrastructure. Cloud-native databases like Azure SQL and PostgreSQL have been enabled by Azure Arc, delivering the much-needed consistency and cloud automation for all data workloads. We want you to focus less on managing data, and more on creating value and unlocking insights. Because true innovation starts at the data layer.
Innovate anywhere with Azure Arc
With Azure Arc-enabled data services, we can bring cloud data management to any infrastructure, across customer on-premises data centers, other third-party clouds, and the edge. Here’s how Azure Arc is delivering on that promise:
- Always up to date with full automation. Benefit from an evergreen SQL with the latest features using automated updates so there is no more end-of-support. Those in-place, rolling updates ensure close to zero downtime, so you can maximize efficiencies and minimize disruptions
- Get industry-leading, multi-layered security with built-in capabilities. With comprehensive encryption including Transparent Data Encryption and Always Encrypted, as well as Azure Role-Based Access Control and Policy, your data is protected both at the powerful database engine-level and by Azure Security capabilities from the cloud.
- With elastic scale, you can scale up or down based on your resource needs without application downtime to optimize performance. You can also realize cost efficiencies by paying only for what you use without the need to overprovision.
- Deliver a vastly simplified DevOps experience through full automation with built-in capabilities like rapid deploy, high availability, and disaster recovery. You can deploy a 3 replica SQL MI with full high availability (HA) in two minutes with a single command, and gain a unified view into your query performance, storage capacity, and error logs using dashboards directly from the built-in monitoring. Use the tools you are already familiar with.
All these capabilities can run in any environment regardless of the connectivity to Azure. You can run Arc-enabled data services without a connection to Azure. If you can be fully connected to Azure, the user experience is richer and in real-time, but it is not required, data services can keep running even without a connection to Azure. Azure portal deployment and other value-added management services are fully integrated under direct connection.
Built for mission-critical
And now, we’re making that solution available in an even more powerful way. We are excited to announce the general availability of Azure Arc-enabled data services Business Critical (BC) tier, designed to support the most demanding mission-critical data workloads.
- With feature parity with SQL Server Enterprise Edition, it delivers all the proven capabilities customers have trusted for decades. It runs online transaction processing (OLTP) and hybrid transaction/analytics processing (HTAP) with record-setting performance, advanced high availability, and top-rated security.
- It meets the most demanding business continuity requirements using Always On Availability Groups, so your app will have close to zero downtime in case of an automated failover.
- Failover to another instance within the same Kubernetes cluster for local high availability, or to a different cluster in a different datacenter or even a public cloud, delivering “cloud-level redundancy”.
- We also provide a free passive instance to run in your disaster recovery for even greater value
- Choose the configuration that best suits your workloads, with no set limits on CPU and memory configuration. To further maximize the performance, we provide one free read-scale replica to offload any read-heavy workloads.
Our partner, Dell Technologies, conducted a series of OLTP benchmarks, using Intel technology, which took a closer look at the kind of performance possible with this new service tier. The results were remarkable. Arc-enabled SQL Managed Instance was proven to provide the same performance as SQL Server on Windows Server, so customers can run their workloads with confidence. The speed of provisioning and deprovisioning will massively speed up your continuous integration (CI) test runs. SQL instances can now be deployed very easily via automation and be available in 60 seconds, and Business Critical cuts multi-replica HA deployment time from hours or days to minutes with a single command! Those out-of-the-box experiences allow you to realize time efficiencies and redirect resources to where they matter most.
Broad partner ecosystem
Our ambition to help you digitally transform your business with the cloud and edge is boundless, we know we can’t do it alone. No single cloud provider can deliver all the infrastructure and as-a-service solutions you’ll need. That’s why we’re building an ecosystem of partners across service providers, platform providers including OS and Container platforms, and independent software vendors (ISVs) to help you envision, plan, and deploy the full stack of hybrid and multicloud solutions. Our history in both productivity and the datacenter is unique among cloud providers. Microsoft is at our best when our platforms fuel the growth of others, and I’m thrilled to see how energized the ecosystem is to evolve with us.
- Review Azure Arc documentation on data services and trial the new Business Critical tier in the Azure portal.
- Sign up for the Azure Hybrid, Multicloud, and Edge Day digital event to learn about the latest innovation from Azure Arc.
12021 Gartner, Predicts 2022: Data Management Solutions Embrace Automation and Unification
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Source: Azure Blog Feed