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Running Azure SQL Database Edge on a Raspberry Pi


One of the coolest new projects out there is Azure SQL Database Edge: –

This allows SQL Server to run on ARM devices which will expand the range of SQL Server considerably.

Just think how many devices are out there that run ARM. That includes my favourite device, the Raspberry Pi.

So, let’s run through how to get SQL running on a Raspberry Pi!

First, Azure SQL Database Edge is in public preview so we’ll need to sign up here.

Once in the preview we need to set up our Raspberry Pi. We’ll need to use a 64-bit OS (Raspbian is 32-bit) so for this setup we’re going to use Ubuntu 18.04 which can be downloaded here.

Once downloaded, plug the SD card into a laptop and use Rufus to flash the card: –

Then plug the SD card into the Pi, and connect the Pi to a router (this avoids having to attach a monitor and keyboard in order to setup a wifi connection).

Power on the Pi and give it a minute to spin up. To find the Pi’s IP address we can use nmap to scan the local network: –

nmap -sP

Then ssh to the Pi via (default username and password is ubuntu): –

ssh ubuntu@<THE PI IP ADDRESS> 

N.B – We’ll be prompted to change our password when we first log in.

Ok, that’s our Pi ready to go. Now, in order to get Azure SQL Database Edge running on it we need to create an IoT Hub in Azure and connect our Pi to it. This will then allow us to create a deployment in Azure that’ll push SQL Edge down to our Pi and run it in a Docker container.

To set the Iot Hub up, we’re going to use the azure-cli.

In order to use the IoT commands we need to make sure that we’ve got at least v2.0.70 of the azure-cli installed:-

az version 

N.B. – We can grab the .msi to update azure-cli here.

Now add the azure-iot extension: –

az extension add –name azure-iot 

Log in to azure: –

az login 

Create a resource group to hold all the objects that we are going to create: –

az group create --name edge1 --location eastus 

Now we can create an IoT Hub: –

az iot hub create --name ApIotHub1 --resource-group edge1 

Register a device with the hub: –

az iot hub device-identity create --device-id raspberry-pi-k8s-1 --hub-name ApIotHub1 --edge-enabled 

Retrieve the connection string for the device: –

az iot hub device-identity show-connection-string --device-id raspberry-pi-k8s-1 --hub-name ApIotHub1 

Once we have the connection string, we can install the IoT Edge runtime on the Raspberry Pi.

SSH into the Pi: –

ssh ubuntu@<THE PI IP ADDRESS> 

Get the repository information: –

curl > ./microsoft-prod.list 

Copy the repository to the sources list: –

sudo cp ./microsoft-prod.list /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ 

Install the MS GPG public key: –

curl | gpg --dearmor > microsoft.gpg 
sudo cp ./microsoft.gpg /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/ 

Now we can install the container runtime. Note that we’re not installing Docker, we’re installing the tools from the Moby project (which is the project that docker is built from, so the commands we’re familiar with, docker run, docker images etc. are available): –

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install –y moby-engine moby-cli 

Install the IoT Edge security daemon: –

sudo apt-get install –y iotedge 

Now we need to add our connection string to the security daemon config: –

sudo nano /etc/iotedge/config.yaml 

Find the section below and add the connection string obtained earlier (remove “connectionString”: from it): –

source: "manual" 
device_connection_string: "CONNECTION STRING'  

Save the changes, exit, and restart the security daemon: –

sudo systemctl restart iotedge 

And then confirm that the daemon is running: –

sudo systemctl status iotedge 
sudo iotedge check 
sudo iotedge list

N.B. – We may have to ctrl+c out of the check command.

We can also check that the agent image is there: –

docker image ls 

Ok, everything is setup! Now we can install SQL Edge on the Raspberry Pi!

Go back to the portal and search for Azure SQL Edge: –

Select Azure SQL Database Edge Developer and hit Create: –

On the next page, hit Find Device. The Raspberry Pi should be there: –

Select the device and on the next page hit Create: –

This will take us to a page to configure the deployment: –

Click AzureSQLDatabaseEdge and on the Environment Variables page, enter a SA Password: –

Hit Update and then Review + Create: –

Review the JSON, it should all be OK, and hit Create.

This will take us back to the hub page: –

The IoT Edge Module Count should be 3. Click on the device: –

Now we’re waiting for the modules to be deployed to the Raspberry Pi.

After a few minutes we should see (don’t worry if there’s a 500 error, it’ll clear once the images are pulled to the device): –

And on the Pi itself: –

docker image ls

docker container ls 

If the container is up and running, we can connect remotely using our Pi’s IP address in SSMS (or ADS): –

And that’s SQL Server running on a Raspberry Pi! How cool is that?!

Thanks for reading!

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