Blog Post

Moving to Serverless for Azure SQL DB


After the announcement of Serveless Azure SQL Datbase at //build/, I decided to give it a try. I have some Basic databases, so what would Serverless mean for me? I was wondering as the Basic dbs are cheap and moving to Serverless means moving to Gen 5, larger machines.

Let’s try this.

Reconfigure an Existing Database

I’ll pick one of the basic test databases I have and look for the sizing. It’s under Configure, which is where my mouse it in the image below.

2019-05-06 16_07_02-SQLPatches - Microsoft Azure

Here’s my database config and cost. For my little dev/test environment, this makes perfect sense. I’m paying $4.99 a month in virtual cost. Since I get $150/month as part of my subscription as an MVP, I can afford to put up 5 or 6 of these test databases for different things without worry.

2019-05-06 16_07_36-Configure - Microsoft Azure

After I click the vCore pricing, I get new options. I can see Serverless in here.

2019-05-06 16_07_49-Configure - Microsoft Azure

For dev/test (for me), that’s a lot. I don’t want this kind of bill every month.

2019-05-06 16_07_58-Configure - Microsoft Azure

Let’s change to serverless.

2019-05-06 16_08_14-Configure - Microsoft Azure

That cost changes

2019-05-06 16_08_19-Configure - Microsoft Azure

That’s more affordable. I think that’s worth trying.

The last thing to set is the Auto-pause delay. This is the amount of inactive time that we set before the db shuts down. We don’t want this shutting down after a few seconds of inactivity, presumably because there is overhead to shutting down and restarting. I’d expect that most people would want tens of minutes or hours before stopping.

I hope so, because when you scroll down, you see this:

2019-05-06 16_11_49-Configure - Microsoft Azure

However, that’s the minimum you can set.

2019-05-06 16_02_12-Configure - Microsoft Azure

Six hours seems crazy, but still, it’s better than nothing. I hope this changes after the preview period to something more like 1 hour. Perhaps this is to gather additional telemetry during preview, but we’ll see.

I click “Apply” and see this:

2019-05-06 16_15_53-Configure - Microsoft Azure

If I go back to the overview, I see one of the cool things about Azure.

2019-05-06 16_16_37-SQLPatches - Microsoft Azure

I can still use the system as I’m making changes. That’s not normally what happens with IaaS or my own systems.

Is It Worth it?

We’ll see. I’ll check the bill next month, while making it a point to access this database and do some work. I’m guessing my bill will go down, which is good, but I’d also expect that this database will perform better than my previous one because it’s much larger.

This is an interesting idea, but we’ll see how it goes.

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