Announcing new features for the SQL IaaS Agent Extension!
Published Dec 16 2021 11:25 AM 4,812 Views

As mentioned by Pam in the blog (SQL Server on Azure VM - Now with 30% better price-performance on the new Ebdsv5 VM series! - Micros...) no one knows Microsoft SQL Server as Microsoft does, be it providing the right hardware capabilities to run your databases or helping you configure and run your SQL Server with best practices. On that note, we are happy to announce some exciting new features for SQL IaaS Agent extension.


Upgrade of SQL IaaS agent extension from lightweight to full mode without restart
We announced this feature in late September, but it’s worth mentioning here as the other improvements we are talking about in this blog today and other features you would see in the future will require full mode of SQL IaaS agent extension.


Azure Marketplace image enhancements
Until now Azure Marketplace images came with prebuilt SQL Server with default configurations which required customers to configure their instance after the deployment of the image. Typically, in on prem this configuration is done during setup. Going forward we are offering a SQL Server setup-like experience where configuration of the instance is done during deployment of the image. We have included the following configuration options while setting up SQL Server through a Marketplace image:

  • Move system databases to a data disk
  • Configure tempdb data and log files
  • Ability to change collation from default collation
  • Configure Maximum Degree of Parallelism
  • Configure Min Server Memory and Max Server Memory
  • Configure Optimize for Adhoc Workloads

We plan to offer other configuration options and more in future releases.


Automatic Backup enhancements
One of the most common manageability tasks for any DBA on a SQL Server environment is taking efficient backups. We aim to provide a simple solution to help you take your instance backups using Managed Backup. Automated Backup is one of the most loved features in the SQL IaaS Agent extension, and we are making the following two changes to this experience:

  • Increased retention of your backups in the storage account
    Previously, Automated Backup only provided a retention period of 30 days, now we have increased this retention period to 90 days.
  • Ability to choose a specific container in the storage account per instance
    Previously, our experience let you specify a storage account only. All backups to that same storage account would go to the same container, making it difficult to manage backup files. Now you can choose a specific container in the storage account for each VM, helping improve manageability of the backups.

Storage configuration with ability to configure tempdb 
When you deploy your SQL Server VMs using Azure Marketplace images, you can configure storage right from the SQL VM blade, but this is restricted to only allow increasing space for Data and Log storage pools. We are now adding the ability to configure tempdb.

  • You can now perform common DBA tasks such as adding data files of equal size and acting when the file sizes are not equal directly from SQL VM blade.
  • If you configure your tempdb on remote disk, you  can now increase storage space using tempdb configuration blade.

Also, recently we have announced SQL Assessments (Preview) on SQL VM blade where you can learn if your SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines was configured optimally. Preview: SQL Assessment for SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines - Microsoft Tech Community

All this with the unparalleled hardware capabilities of Azure makes Azure the best place to run SQL Server!


All these features are a product of great community and customer feedback we have received, we can’t thank you enough for this valuable feedback. We are excited to see you using these features, so check out the SQL Virtual Machines blade in the Portal today and let us know what you think!

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‎Dec 14 2021 09:48 AM
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