Tips on creating Azure policies for Azure SQL Databases

Azure SQL Databases is quite a big service and it is also one of the oldest. Because of these two there are a few architectural designs that you should be aware. Some of these are:

  • with every SQL logical server there is a master database resource that is created. This resource is not directly managed but for example when you configure diagnostic settings on server level you need to configure those against the master database resource rather the SQL logical server
  • The SKUs of Azure SQL Databases are mostly divided into DTU and vCore based. Among the vCore based we also have Hyperscale and Serverless variants. You can also have elastic pools for some SKUs and than the databases under those elastic pools inherit their SKUs. Not all Azure SQL SKUs support all of the features of the service. Some of the features that may not be available or have some limitations across different SKUs are:
    • Zone redundancy
    • Hybrid benefit
    • Read replicas
    • Failover Group support – for example not supported on Hyperscale SKUs and supported on Serverless SKUs only auto pause delay is disabled
    • Geo replication
    • Short term backup
    • Long term backup

Among these we also have Datawarehouses (now known as Azure Synapse Analytics) which underneath are the same resource as Azure SQL databases but have completely different options.

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Azure Monitor Alert Series – Part 6

In Part 6 of the series we will cover Metric Alerts. These are very powerful alerts but they also have some limitations. The good thing is that the Azure Monitor team is constantly working on blurring the lines between Metric alerts and Log alerts and providing more unified experience. It is first important to say we have 3 different types of metric alerts. Don’t be afraid as one of the types is strictly specific to Application Insights and the other two are very similar and have deviation on defining the condition. Here are the 3 types available:

  • Static Metric Alerts
  • Dynamic Metric Alerts
  • Availability Test alert – specific to Application Insights

As Microsoft has some good documentation (including ARM template examples) I will reference their documentation in some parts of the blog post to avoid duplicate content. Things that I think are very important for sure I will mention here.

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Azure Monitor Alert Series – Part 4

It is time for another part of the blog post series focused on Azure Monitor Alerts. In Part 4 we will take a look at Advisor alerts and Policy alerts. As the previous alerts they are based on records in Azure Activity log.

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Finding Diagnostic Logs for Azure Services

For the last a couple of years many Azure services has started to produce diagnostic logs and metrics. These two allows you to monitor and troubleshoot the Azure Services. Unfortunately still there are some services that are missing those. To pull diagnostic logs and metrics Azure Monitor has capability called Diagnostic settings which allows you to place them on Azure Storage, Event Hub or Log Analytics. Microsoft has done a good job to document many of diagnostic logs available but still I find some services that haven’t be documented. Luckily there is a way to find what diagnostic logs are available for a service (resource) and this blog post will focus on that.

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Azure Deployment Options

Before Ignite 2018 Azure Resource Manager (ARM) and specifically ARM templates are the only deployment option available. I am excluding Azure CLI, AzureRM PowerShell, SDKs, etc. from this list of course. At Ignite 2018 Microsoft has announced two other options – Azure Blueprints and Azure Deployment Manager (ADM). This blog will express my opinion on this matter. You are free to express your opinion as well and to disagree with me. I will not focus on comparing heavily those 3 nor trying to bash one service over another instead I will write the reasons why I think still Azure Resource Manager deployments should be your first choice as they are mine.

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