How to: Create an Azure VM with SQL Server using a default template

Kenneth Fisher, 2017-12-14

One of the really cool things about the cloud is how quickly you can spin up a new machine to work with. In the case of SQL Server professionals we want SQL Server installed on that machine, and the easiest way to get it is to one of the default templates provided by Microsoft. There are a fair number of options including (among others):

  • SQL Server 2016 SP1 Standard on Windows Server 2016
  • SQL Server AlwaysOn Cluster
  • Free License: SQL Server 2016 SP1 Developer on Windows Server 2016
  • SQL 2017 Developer edition on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.4 (RHEL)
  • SQL Server 2017 Enterprise Windows Server 2016


And like I said, it’s pretty easy to do. Here is a quick run through of the process:

Now the down side. Everything is done according to the template. There are very few options provided:

  • SQL Connectivity
  • Port #
  • Windows only Authentication or Windows & SQL Auth
  • When will it be patched?
  • Automated backups
  • Azure Key Vault integration
  • R Services


Which is great, but here are a few things that aren’t included (just to name a few).

  • Default collation
  • Location of the install files
  • Location of the system databases
  • Instance name
  • Number of tempdb files


Now a lot of that can be fixed after the fact, but not necessiarly easily, and some of it just can’t be changed.

So, conclusion? Using the built-in templates is great for playing around, practice etc. But while it might work for a production system, it doesn’t really have all of the flexibility you might want.





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