Azure Relational Databases – An Overview


In this article we will discuss about the Relational Databases that our Azure Cloud provides. Azure provides four Relational Database Services as,

  • SQL Server in a Virtual Machine
  • SQL Managed Instance
  • Azure SQL Database
  • Azure Database for MySQL, PostgreSQL, MariaDB

Now lets explore each services individually.

SQL Server in a Virtual Machine

The same software which we install in Windows or a Linux operating system, which is installed in a Azure Virtual Machine. Since its managed by us, it has more compatibility even when there is an update on Operating System, or the Software Upgrades, Deployments and all others that are managed by us. We can have unlimited database instances since we are playing for the licenses.

SQL Managed Instance

It is a fully managed service, so that means, we are not managing the Operating System. We can manage the storage, which means, we can upgrade more space if required at anytime. This service is mainly used by someone who wish to keep the data in the Azure Cloud and no need to worry about the Hardware and Software bits.

Azure SQL Database

We can easily migrate our data from a SQL Server to an Azure SQL Database without any changes. Its not 100% compactable to SQL Server on Premise. It provides option for Provisioned and Serverless databases, which means pay as we use or pay only when that database is in use. It also have option to Pay for Performance and for Hardware.

Azure Databases for MySQL, PostgreSQL, MariaDB

Azure supports other relational databases which are not part of SQL Server engine. If we have an existing application which is not running on SQL Server Engine and its running in any of these Databases, such as MySQL, PostgreSQL, MariaDB, then Microsoft offers these Databases as a Cloud. We can easily migrate our data to the could and no need to make any changes. Azure itself manages the servers and software upgrades. As said before its compatible with our applications.

Categories of Azure Databases

Azure cloud provides three type of cloud computing options as IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS. SQL Server in a Virtual Machine acts a IaaS, since we can choose the Operating System, any version of SQL Server Versions from the market place. We can easily migrate the data without any changes. All we need to do is just change the connection string of our application.

Azure SQL Server Database acts as PaaS. From the Azure Market place we can choose the SQL Server Engine. This SQL Server engine is specifically designed for Cloud. We can easily upgrade the plans without downtime. We have options to use additional tools to tune the Database.

Azure Databases for MySQL, PostgreSQL and MariaDB and SQL Managed Instance acts as SaaS. We can migrate the data easily from an on-premise database to cloud and those software are already installed and ready to use.


In this article we discussed an overview of Azure Databases. I hope you all found this article useful. We will discuss more concepts in our upcoming articles. Please share your feedbacks in the comment section.

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