Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Provisioning SQL Azure

The Microsoft SQL Azure provisioning process prepares and configures the hardware and software required to maintain your data at a Microsoft data center. The SQL Azure provisioning model describes the logical hierarchy of your Windows Azure Platform account, SQL Azure servers, and databases; it enables you to provision your data storage rapidly.

To use SQL Azure, you must first create a Windows Azure Platform account, which allows you to access all the services, such as Windows Azure, .NET Services, and SQL Azure. The Windows Azure Platform account is used to set up and manage your subscriptions and to bill for consumption of the Azure services.

Once the Windows Azure Platform account is created, you can use the SQL Azure portal to create one SQL Azure server. To provision additional SQL Azure servers, create additional subscriptions. The SQL Azure portal provides a user interface that you can use to provision servers and logins, and to quickly create databases.
The following diagram demonstrates the relationship between a Windows Azure Platform account, the SQL Azure servers, and databases.

As shown in the diagram, each Windows Azure Platform account can be associated with multiple SQL Azure servers (by using a different Windows Azure Platform subscription for each). Each SQL Azure server can be associated with one or more databases.

A SQL Azure server is a logical group of databases and acts as a central administrative point for multiple databases. Each SQL Azure server includes logins similar to those in instances of SQL Server on your premises.
Each SQL Azure server has a fully qualified unique domain name, which is produced during the SQL Azure provisioning process. For example, servername refers to the name of the SQL Azure server:

Each SQL Azure server can contain multiple databases. In each database, you can create tables, views, indices, stored procedures, and other familiar database objects. In order to create a new database, you can either use the SQL Azure portal or the CREATE DATABASE (SQL Azure Database) statement (this will be covered in future blog post). The screenshot below shows the SQL Azure portal to create the database.

The provisioning process creates a master database automatically. The master database maintains a list of databases and keeps a track of logins, and which logins have permission to create databases or other logins. (This master database is equivalent to the master database in a new on-premise instance of SQL Server.) The master database also provides SQL Azure usage metrics that you can view.

During the provisioning process, SQL Azure creates a login for you that is the server-level principal of your SQL Azure server. This server-level principal is equivalent to the sa login in SQL Server. Additional SQL Azure databases and logins can then be created in the server, as needed. For more information on the sa login in an on-premise SQL Server instance.

Server-level administration for logins and databases in SQL Azure differs from an on-premise instance of SQL Server. More information, on this will be covered in future blog posts.
SQL Azure provides the same set of security principals that are available in SQL Server, such as:
  • SQL Server logins: Used to authenticate access to SQL Azure at the server level.
  • Database users: Used to grant access to SQL Azure at the database level.
  • Database roles: Used to group users and grant access to SQL Azure at the database level. 
Database-level administration for users and roles in SQL Azure is the same as for an on-premise instance of SQL Server.

Related Blog Posts
Introduction to SQL Azure
Getting Started with SQL Azure
SQL Azure Architecture Overview
How-To Access SQL Azure Data
Provisioning SQL Azure

No comments:

Post a Comment