Microsoft Announces Upgrades For Azure SQL Database

On Thursday, Microsoft has announced upgrades for Azure SQL Database with a promise to bring the cloud-based database service at par with on-premises Microsoft SQL Server functionalities. Several companies are now preferring database-as-a-service to deploy database instances on cloud infrastructure.

Now with the latest upgrade, Azure SQL Database will support larger database deployments and higher performance. Testing has proved that the new version of the Azure SQL, V12, will deliver a much better query performance than its previous version and it will also offer in-memory columnstore technology which will boost transactional performance, as announced by Microsoft. Azure SQL customer John Schlesinger stated in a Microsoft blog, “After running both a benchmark and some close-of-business workloads, which are required by our regulated banking customers, we saw significant performance gains, including a doubling of throughput for large blob operations, which are essential for our customer’s reporting needs.”

Schlesinger is employed with banking service firm Temenos as its chief enterprise architect and this firm has previewed the new service. The new version of Azure SQL is already live in Europe and will roll out in the U.S. on 9 February, while rest of the world will receive the update from 1 March. New security features are also being rolled out for Azure SQL security and the latest developments include Row-Level Security, Dynamic Data Masking and Transparent Data Encryption. The new features will meet the standards set by the corporate and industry compliance policies.

Administrative improvements have been announced for those who run SQL Server directly on Azure cloud VMs and not use Azure SQL Database services. The new improvements will ensure simpler availability, set-up, back-up and patching for SQL Server which runs on an Azure VM. Several companies support SQL Server deployments in the cloud like Rackspace which supports more than 10,000 compute instances which run on Microsoft SQL Server on the public as well as private clouds.

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