Azure allows you to deploy a virtual machine (VM) with an image of SQL Server built in. This article summarizes the documentation changes associated with new features and improvements in the recent releases of SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines.
You can now enable the Automatic registration feature to automatically register all SQL Server VMs already deployed to your subscription with the SQL IaaS Agent extension. This applies to all existing VMs, and will also automatically register all SQL Server VMs added in the future.
It's now possible to simplify the creation of an availability group by using Azure PowerShell as well as the Azure CLI.
Distributed network name (DNN)
SQL Server 2019 on Windows Server 2016+ is now previewing support for routing traffic to your failover cluster instance (FCI) by using a distributed network name rather than using Azure Load Balancer. This support simplifies and streamlines connecting to your high-availability (HA) solution in Azure.
SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines is now a part of the Azure SQL family of products. Check out our new look! Nothing has changed in the product, but the documentation aims to make the Azure SQL product decision easier.
Azure Government support
It's now possible to register SQL Server virtual machines with the SQL IaaS Agent extension for virtual machines hosted in the Azure Government cloud.
Extend support for SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2 by migrating as is to an Azure VM.
Custom image supportability
You can now install the SQL Server IaaS extension to custom OS and SQL Server images, which offers the limited functionality of flexible licensing. When you're registering your custom image with the SQL IaaS Agent extension, specify the license type as "AHUB." Otherwise, the registration will fail.
The Azure portal experience for deploying a SQL Server VM has been revamped to improve usability. For more information, see the brief quickstart and more thorough how-to guide to deploy a SQL Server VM.
It's now possible to change the licensing model for a SQL Server VM from pay-as-you-go to bring-your-own-license by using the Azure portal.
Simplification of availability group deployment to a SQL Server VM through the Azure CLI
A new resource provider (Microsoft.SqlVirtualMachine/SqlVirtualMachineGroups) defines the metadata of the Windows failover cluster. Joining a SQL Server VM to SqlVirtualMachineGroups bootstraps the Windows Server Failover Cluster (WSFC) service and joins the VM to the cluster.
Automated setup of an availability group deployment with Azure quickstart templates