Azure SQL News Update: August 2021

Published Aug 11 2021 09:03 AM 4,412 Views

Today and every Wednesday Data Exposed goes live at 9AM PT on LearnTV. Every 4 weeks, we’ll do a News Update. We’ll include product updates, videos, blogs, etc. as well as upcoming events and things to look out for. We’ve included an iCal file, so you can add a reminder to tune in live to your calendar. If you missed the episode, you can find them all at


You can read this blog to get all the updates and references mentioned in the show. Here’s the August 2021 update:


Product updates

Let’s start with what was announced and who came on the show.


Starting with general availability (GA), Always Encrypted with secure enclaves for Azure SQL Database became GA. Secure enclaves expand the confidential computing capabilities of Always Encrypted with rich confidential queries (pattern matching, range comparisons, and sorting) and in-place encryption. You can see Jakub Szymaszek explain it in the public preview announcement video, or an even deeper dive on the Azure SQL Security series. You can also read about it in the GA announcement blog.


The GA of the Apache Spark 3.0 connector for Azure SQL and SQL Server happened in July as well. This release is a high-performance connector that enables users to use transactional data in big data analytics and persist results for ad-hoc queries or reporting. You can use SQL Server or Azure SQL as input data sources or output data sinks. This can be useful for things like bulk inserting data or scoring machine learning models from SQL Server Machine Learning Services. Daniel Coelho came on the show to tell us how to get started, learn more here.


The Azure Migration Program (AMP) has helped thousands of customers migrate to the cloud over the past two years. They recently announced the extension of this program (adding an extra M!): Azure Migration and Modernization Program (AMMP). This adds new support for Azure Spring Cloud and other database services like Cosmos DB.


As part of the AMMP announcement, we also announced extended security updates for SQL Server 2012 and the associated Windows Server 2012/2012 R2. This is available for free only on Azure (available for purchase on-premises). The team also announced one more year of free extended security updates for SQL Server 2008/2008 R2 only on Azure. Learn more about how the SQL Server IaaS extension unlocks this and much more.


Azure Arc-enabled SQL Managed Instance also went GA on July 30th. You can learn more about how this and how it enables SQL anywhere here. We had Lior Kamrat on to talk about how you can get started easily with Azure Arc Jumpstart:


Finally, Denzil Ribeiro came on the show to talk about the latest advancements in Azure SQL Database Hyperscale. Storage redundancy choices, available in other single database options, went into public preview, allowing customers to control their data residency. Database copy for Hyperscale also became generally available. To learn more about both, check out the Azure SQL Techcommunity Blogs listed below.



We continued to release new and exciting Azure SQL episodes this month. Here is the list, or you can just see the playlist we created with all the episodes!

  • Pam Lahoud: Azure SQL VM: What is SQL Server IaaS Agent Extension? (Ep. 2)
  • David Pless: Azure SQL VM: Caching and Storage Capping (Ep. 1)
  • [MVP Edition] David Klee: SQL Server on Linux Storage Secrets
  • Davide Mauri: Scale Out Your Databases with Azure SQL Hyperscale Named Replicas
  • Mara-Florina Steiu: Using SQL Data Sync for Bidirectional Data Replication in SQL Server and Azure SQL DBs
  • Wee Hyong Tok: Five Practical Tips to Limitless Data Integration using Azure Data Factory
  • Mara-Florina Steiu: Track and Record Data Changes with Change Data Capture (CDC) in Azure SQL


We’ve also had some great Data Exposed Live sessions. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to see them all and get notified when we stream. Here are some of the recent live streams.

  • Azure Data Studio Power Hour
  • Ask the Experts: Azure Arc and Azure SQL Managed Instance
  • Azure SQL VM Reimagined: Measuring Performance and Monitoring Health



As always, our team is busy writing blogs to share with you all. Blogs contain announcements, tips and tricks, deep dives, and more. Here’s the list I have of SQL-related topics you might want to check out.

Upcoming events

As always, there are a lot of events coming up this month. Here are a few to put on your calendar and register for from the Azure Data team:
August 14: Multicloud4U
August 17: MN User Group
August 17: Tampa SQL User Group
August 20: WIT Data Science Beginners Day 2021

In addition to these upcoming events, here’s the schedule for Data Exposed Live:
August 18, 8:00AM PST: Azure SQL Security Series
August 25, 9:00 AM PST: Deep Dive: Why and How Customers are Using Azure SQL Hyperscale

Plus find new, on-demand Data Exposed episodes released every Thursday, 9AM PT at


Featured Microsoft Learn Module

Learn with us! This month I highlighted the module: Deploy serverless APIs with Azure Functions, Logic Apps, and Azure SQL Database. In this module, you’ll break down a scenario for an application and build a multi-service solution based on the microservices approach. In the language of your choice (Node.js, Python, or .NET), learn how to deploy an Azure Function that adds real-time data to an Azure SQL Database and triggers an Azure Logic App for notifications, all with GitHub Actions for CI/CD.


Anna’s Pick of the Month

If you watched the episode, you may have seen this one coming, but I really enjoyed Niko Neugebauer’s simple but effective Managed Instance blogs this month including how to’s on obtaining RAM information, CPU and vCore information, and Service Tier information. It’s the ‘it’s just SQL’ T-SQL that I really found neat this month. Check out his blogs and try them out yourself!


Until next time…

That’s it for now! Be sure to check back next month for the latest updates, and tune into Data Exposed Live every Wednesday at 9AM PST on LearnTV. We also release new episodes on Thursdays at 9AM PST and new #MVPTuesday episodes on the last Tuesday of every month at 9AM PST at


Having trouble keeping up? Be sure to follow us on twitter to get the latest updates on everything, @AzureSQL. You can also download the iCal link with a recurring invite!


We hope to see you next time, on Data Exposed :)

--Anna and Marisa

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‎Aug 12 2021 07:19 AM
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