Online Database Move and Copy for SQL Managed Instance (Private Preview)
Published Apr 04 2022 11:50 AM 6,837 Views

[EDIT: 22nd Nov 2022]: Database copy and database move features are now available in public preview, and the private preview has ended. Start using database copy and move today: 




As you experience growth in the number Azure SQL Managed Instances, databases hosted, and volume of workloads, most likely you would need to have more flexibility in moving and copying databases across your fleet of managed instances with minimum downtime. In running multiple managed instances perhaps one, or more of your databases have grown too large and you need to re-balance your database portfolio across managed instances. Perhaps you also might have a need to migrate databases across managed instances with minimum downtime for various reasons, for example in performing upgrades, changes to your infrastructure, or perhaps moving an entire portfolio of databases to another managed instance hosted in a different environment. Perhaps you are also looking for the most performant way to copy databases between managed instances with ability to control the specific cutover time when the operation will be completed. At the same time, as you have active workloads, you cannot afford any downtime, and you need to have your application(s) seamlessly switch to the new managed instance. These are just some of the examples where online database copy and move operations between managed instances might be required.


Online DB copy and move features


For this purpose, our team has worked on a set of features using Always On technology to perform database copy and move operation across managed instances, with customer being in full control of the process. How does it work -- once you start the copy or move operation, the seeding (copying) of your database starts online from source managed instance to the target instance. Once the seeding has completed, the system enters the catch-up phase. In this phase all new commits to the source (primary) managed instance are copied near real-time to the destination (secondary) managed instance, that is two databases are kept continuously in sync. The system will keep databases in sync waiting for your instruction to perform the cutover. Once you instruct the system to perform the cutover, the operation is completed with minimum downtime. Upon operation completion, you can re-point your application(s) to use the moved or copied database instantaneously without having interruption to your workload.


DB move 01.png


Invitation for Early Adopters


We are currently opening these features in a limited private preview and invite you to sign up. We are looking for customers who could benefit from the above scenarios, having active workloads, and willingness to evaluate the new technology. We are interested to learn more about your usage scenarios, and cases where similar types of database mobility between managed instances could be beneficial to you. Your valuable feedback might influence and shape the future product.


To apply, submit the following online form with the information required:


[FORM REMOVED as the feature is now in the public preview, see:]


We will be evaluating new applications on the rolling basis and we're looking forward working with you.


Closing remarks


As our products continuously evolve, please note that features and options presented in this article are subject to change. This article reflects the state of the link feature options available for Managed Instance in April, 2022.


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Version history
Last update:
‎Nov 22 2022 05:57 PM
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