Category Archives : Database

11

May

Office Licensing Service and Azure Cosmos DB part 2: Improved performance and availability

This post is part 2 of a two-part series about how organizations use Azure Cosmos DB to meet real world needs, and the difference it’s making to them. In part 1, we explored the challenges that led the Microsoft Office Licensing Service team to move from Azure Table storage to Azure Cosmos DB, and how it migrated its production workload to the new service. In part 2, we examine the outcomes resulting from the team’s efforts.

Strong benefits with minimal effort

The Microsoft Office Licensing Service (OLS) team’s migration from Azure Table storage to Azure Cosmos DB was simple and straightforward, enabling the team to meet all its needs with minimal effort.

An easy migration

In moving to Azure Cosmos DB, thanks to its Table API, the OLS team was able to reuse most of its data access code, and the migration engine they wrote to avoid any downtime was fast and easy to build.

Danny Cheng, a software engineer at Microsoft, who leads the OLS development team explains:

“The migration engine was the only real ‘new code’ we had to write. And the code samples for all three parts are publicly available, so it’s not like we had to

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11

May

Office Licensing Service and Azure Cosmos DB part 1: Migrating the production workload

This post is part 1 of a two-part series about how organizations use Azure Cosmos DB to meet real world needs, and the difference it’s making to them. In part 1, we explore the challenges that led the Microsoft Office Licensing Service team to move from Azure Table storage to Azure Cosmos DB, and how it migrated its production workload to the new service. In part 2, we examine the outcomes resulting from the team’s efforts.

The challenge: Limited throughput and other capabilities

At Microsoft, the Office Licensing Service (OLS) supports activation of the Microsoft Office client on millions of devices around the world—including Windows, Mac, tablets, and mobile. It stores information such as machine ID, product ID, activation count, expiration date, and more. OLS is accessed by the Office client more than more than 240 million times per day by users around the world, with the first call coming from the client upon license activation and then every 2-3 days thereafter as the client checks to make sure the license is still valid.

Until recently, OLS relied on Azure Table storage for its backend data store, which contained about 5 TB of data spread across 18 tables—with separate tables

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06

May

Minecraft Earth and Azure Cosmos DB part 1: Extending Minecraft into our real world

This post is part 1 of a two-part series about how organizations use Azure Cosmos DB to meet real world needs and the difference it’s making to them. In part 1, we explore the challenges that led service developers for Minecraft Earth to choose Azure Cosmos DB and how they’re using it to capture almost every action taken by every player around the globe—with ultra-low latency. In part 2, we examine the solution’s workload and how Minecraft Earth service developers have benefited from building it on Azure Cosmos DB.

Extending the world of Minecraft into our real world

You’ve probably heard of the game Minecraft, even if you haven’t played it yourself. It’s the best-selling video game of all time, having sold more than 176 million copies since 2011. Today, Minecraft has more than 112 million monthly players, who can discover and collect raw materials, craft tools, and build structures or earthworks in the game’s immersive, procedurally generated 3D world. Depending on game mode, players can also fight computer-controlled foes and cooperate with—or compete against—other players.

In May 2019, Microsoft announced the upcoming release of Minecraft Earth, which began its worldwide rollout in December 2019. Unlike preceding games in the

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06

May

Minecraft Earth and Azure Cosmos DB part 2: Delivering turnkey geographic distribution

This post is part 2 of a two-part series about out how organizations are using Azure Cosmos DB to meet real world needs and the difference it’s making to them. In part 1, we explored the challenges that led service developers for Minecraft Earth to choose Azure Cosmos DB and how they’re using it to capture almost every action taken by every player around the globe—with ultra-low latency. In part 2 we examine the solution’s workload and how Minecraft Earth service developers have benefited from building it on Azure Cosmos DB.

Geographic distribution and multi-region writes

Minecraft Earth service developers used the turnkey geographic distribution feature in Azure Cosmos DB to achieve three goals: fault tolerance, disaster recovery, and minimal latency—the latter achieved by also using the multi-master capabilities of Azure Cosmos DB to enable multi-region writes. Each supported geography has at least two service instances. For example, in North America, the Minecraft Earth service runs in the West US and East US Azure regions, with other components of Azure used to determine which is closer to the user and route traffic accordingly.

Nathan Sosnovske, a Senior Software Engineer on the Minecraft Earth services development team explains:

“With Azure available

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30

Apr

Azure Cost Management + Billing updates – April 2020

Whether you’re a new student, thriving startup, or the largest enterprise, you have financial constraints and you need to know what you’re spending, where, and how to plan for the future. Nobody wants a surprise when it comes to the bill, and this is where Azure Cost Management + Billing comes in.

We’re always looking for ways to learn more about your challenges and how Azure Cost Management + Billing can help you better understand where you’re accruing costs in the cloud, identify and prevent bad spending patterns, and optimize costs to empower you to do more with less. Here are a few of the latest improvements and updates based on your feedback:

Azure Spot Virtual Machines now generally available. Monitoring your reservation and Marketplace purchases with budgets. Automate cost savings with Azure Resource Graph. Azure Cost Management covered by FedRAMP High. Tell us about your reporting goals. New ways to save money with Azure. New videos and learning opportunities. Documentation updates.

Let’s dig into the details.

 

Azure Spot Virtual Machines now generally available

We all want to save money. We often look at our largest workloads for savings opportunities, but make sure you don’t stop there. You may

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09

Apr

Next Generation SAP HANA Large Instances with Intel® Optane™ drive lower TCO

At Microsoft Ignite 2019, we announced general availability of the new SAP HANA Large Instances powered by the 2nd Generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors, formally Cascade Lake, supporting Intel® Optane™ persistent memory (PMem).

Microsoft’s largest SAP customers are continuing to consolidate their business functions and growing their footprint. S/4 HANA workloads demand increasingly larger nodes as they scale up. Some scenarios for high availability/disaster recovery (HA/DR) and multi-tier data needs are adding to the complexity of operations.

In partnership with Intel and SAP, we have worked to develop the new HANA Large Instances with Intel Optane PMem offering higher memory density and in-memory data persistence capabilities. Coupled with 2nd Generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors, these instances provide higher performance and higher memory to processor ratio.

For SAP HANA solutions, these new offerings help lower total cost of ownership (TCO), simplify the complex architectures for HA/DR and multi-tier data, and offer 22 times faster reload times. The new HANA large instances extend the broad array of the existing large instances offering with the purpose built capabilities critical for running SAP HANA workloads.

Available now

The new S224 HANA Large Instances support 3 TB to 9 TB of memory with four socket

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02

Mar

Azure HDInsight and Azure Database for PostgreSQL news
Azure HDInsight and Azure Database for PostgreSQL news

I’ve been committed to open source software for over a decade because it fosters a deep collaboration across the developer community, resulting in ground-breaking innovation. At the heart of open source is the freedom to learn from each other and share ideas, empowering the brightest minds to work together on the cutting edge of software development.

Over the last decade, Microsoft has become one of the largest open source contributors in the world, adding to Hadoop, Linux, Kubernetes, Python, and more. Not only did we release our own technologies like Visual Studio Code as open source, we have also collaborated and contributed to existing open source projects. One of our proudest moments was when we became the release masters for YARN in late 2018, having open sourced over 150,000 lines of code, which enabled YARN to run on clusters 10x larger than before. We’re actively growing our community of open source committers within Microsoft.

We’re constantly exploring new ways to better serve our customers in their open source journey. Our commitment is to combine the innovation open source has to offer with the global reach and scale of Azure. Today, we’re excited to share a few important updates to accelerate our

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13

Feb

SQL Server runs best on Azure. Here’s why.

https://azure.microsoft.com/blog/sql-server-runs-best-on-azure-heres-why/SQL Server customers migrating their databases to the cloud have multiple choices for their cloud destination. To thoroughly assess which cloud is best for SQL Server workloads, two key factors to consider are: Innovations that the cloud provider can uniquely READ MORE

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02

Dec

https://azure.microsoft.com/blog/faster-and-cheaper-sql-on-azure-continues-to-outshine-aws/Over a million on-premises SQL Server databases have moved to Azure, representing a massive shift in where customers are collecting, storing, and analyzing their data. Modernizing your databases provides the opportunity to transform your data architecture. SQL Server on Azure READ MORE

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13

Nov

Save more on Azure usage—Announcing reservations for six more services

With reserved capacity, you get significant discounts over your on-demand costs by committing to long-term usage of a service. We are pleased to share reserved capacity offerings for the following additional services. With the addition of these services, we now support reservations for 16 services, giving you more options to save and get better cost predictability across more workloads.

Blob Storage (GPv2) and Azure Data Lake Storage (Gen2). Azure Database for MySQL. Azure Database for PostgreSQL. Azure Database for MariaDB. Azure Data Explorer. Premium SSD Managed Disks. Blob Storage (GPv2) and Azure Data Lake Storage (Gen2)

Save up to 38 percent on your Azure data storage costs by pre-purchasing reserved capacity for one or three years. Reserved capacity can be pre-purchased in increments of 100 TB and 1 PB sizes, and is available for hot, cool, and archive storage tiers for all applicable storage redundancies. You can also use the upfront or monthly payment option, depending on your cash flow requirements.

The reservation discount will automatically apply to data stored on Azure Blob (GPv2) and Azure Data Lake Storage (Gen2). Discounts are applied hourly on the total data stored in that hour. Unused reserved capacity doesn’t carry over.

Storage reservations

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