Azure SQL News Update: November 2021

Published Nov 10 2021 09:00 AM 1,165 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 November 2021 update:


Product updates

Let’s start with the announcements from Microsoft Ignite. In my opinion, the biggest announcement was the private preview of SQL Server 2022, the most Azure-enabled SQL Server release yet. New functionality includes Synapse Link support, Link feature to Azure SQL Managed Instance for DR, and new performance enhancements (with no code changes!). Get all the details at For hybrid and on-premises workloads, we also announced the general availability of point-in-time-restore (PITR), in-place upgrade, a directly connected mode for Azure Arc-enabled SQL Managed Instance. By the way, Bob Ward and Buck Woody have created a new Microsoft Learn module if you want to learn more about these capabilities.


Moving on to Azure SQL announcements, let’s start with SQL Server on Azure VMs. We added new and improved SQL Server on Azure VM marketplace images so you can get the best practices and easier deployment experience that allows more customizations. SQL Assessments we are released as a public preview so you can keep your SQL Server on Azure VM healthy. Stay up to date on what’s new with this handy docs page.


Azure SQL Managed Instance had several big announcements, including hardware offers with significantly more memory per vCore (up to 13.6 GB per vCore) and increased storage up to 16 TB in both the general purpose (general availability) and business critical (public preview) service tiers, providing more room for app growth. Also, the new Link feature for Azure SQL Managed Instance   enables SQL Server customers to use Azure SQL Managed Instance for disaster recovery and restore Azure SQL Managed Instance databases to SQL Server. Details about other highly anticipated capabilities that are now available like Windows (Kerberos) Authentication (limited preview), AAD only authentication, AAD authentication for Linked Server, BULK INSERT and BACKUP / RESTORE with Managed Identity credentials, distributed transactions between SQL Managed Instances, and more can be found here.


Finally, for Azure SQL Database, we released configurable differential backups as generally available and introduced memory grant feedback improvements in public preview. For more details, keep scrolling.


One licensing bit of news you don’t want to miss – a new centralized management experience for Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server is in public preview. This is going to make it much easier for larger customers to apply and manage their hybrid benefits. Chris Rininger, from business planning, came on the show to tell us all about it. Learn more here.


We also had some special external guests, Rijk van Zanten and Ben Haynes from Directus, an "Open Data Platform" that wraps any new or existing SQL database with powerful tools for both technical and non-technical users. It automatically provides REST and GraphQL APIs for connecting to data, and an intuitive no-code app for anyone to browse, visualize, and manage database content. For more information, you can learn more here, and you can get started here.



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!

  • Bob Ward: Introduction to SQL Server 2022 (Ep.1)
  • Sunil Agarwal: What is exciting in Flexible Server for PostgreSQL
  • Alexander Arvidsson [MVP Edition]: Using Azure Synapse Serverless Pools for Data Engineering
  • Julie Koesmarno: Automating Diagnostic Notebooks with Azure Serverless Architecture
  • Julie Koesmarno: Notebook Views in Azure Data Studio
  • Alexandra Ciortea, Alexander Ivanov: Migrating to SQL: Introduction to Database Schema Conversion Toolkit (DSCT) (Ep. 9)
  • Alexandra Ciortea, Raymond Truong, Wenjing Wang: Migrating to SQL: How to find the right Azure SQL SKU for your SQL workloads (Ep. 8)


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 SQL Virtual Machines Reimagined: Simplify HA & DR configuration (Ep.5)
  • Azure Data Factory Power Hour



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:

10/21: PASS Data Community Summit

11/14-18: SQL Server Live (Part of Live! 360)

11/18: Azure Webinar Series: Introduction to SQL Server 2022

In addition to these upcoming events, here’s the schedule for Data Exposed Live:
11/17: Welcome to SQL Server 2022 Live!

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 IoT Solutions with Azure SQL Database ( In this module, learn how Azure SQL Database provides a price-performant backend for IoT applications. You'll also deploy a template that includes Azure SQL Database, Azure VMs, Azure Functions, and Power BI which simplifies deploying and configuring IoT solutions. I had a lot of fun learning and creating this module with Silvano Coriani, I hope you’ll check it out. Davide Mauri and I did the session live at Microsoft Ignite, and Silvano and I did it live on Data Exposed if you want to see them in action!


Anna’s Pick of the Month

My pick of the month is SQL Server 2022! Here’s the starter pack of all the links you need to go as deep as your heart desires.


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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