Documentation changes for SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines

APPLIES TO: yesSQL Server on Azure VM

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.

July 2020

Changes Details
Migrate log to ultra disk Learn how you can migrate your log file to an ultra disk to leverage high performance and low latency.
Create AG using PowerShell It's now possible to simplify the creation of an availability group by using PowerShell as well as the Azure CLI.

June 2020

Changes Details
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.
FCI with Azure shared disks It's now possible to deploy your failover cluster instance (FCI) by using Azure shared disks.
Reorganized FCI docs The documentation around failover cluster instances with SQL Server on Azure VMs has been rewritten and reorganized for clarity. We've separated some of the configuration content, like the cluster configuration best practices, how to prepare a virtual machine for a SQL Server FCI, and how to configure Azure Load Balancer.
   

May 2020

Changes Details
Azure SQL family 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.

January 2020

Changes Details
Azure Government support It's now possible to register SQL Server virtual machines with the SQL VM resource provider for virtual machines hosted in the Azure Government cloud.
   

2019

Changes Details
Free DR replica in Azure You can host a free passive instance for disaster recovery in Azure for your on-premises SQL Server instance if you have Software Assurance.
Bulk resource provider registration You can now bulk register SQL Server virtual machines with the resource provider.
Performance-optimized storage configuration You can now fully customize your storage configuration when creating a new SQL Server VM.
Premium file share for FCI You can now create a failover cluster instance by using a Premium file share instead of the original method of Storage Spaces Direct.
Azure Dedicated Host You can run your SQL Server VM on Azure Dedicated Host.
SQL Server VM migration to a different region Use Azure Site Recovery to migrate your SQL Server VM from one region to another.
New SQL IaaS installation modes It's now possible to install the SQL Server IaaS extension in lightweight mode to avoid restarting the SQL Server service.
SQL Server edition modification You can now change the edition property for your SQL Server VM.
Changes to the SQL VM resource provider You can register your SQL Server VM with the SQL VM resource provider by using the new SQL IaaS modes. This capability includes Windows Server 2008 images.
Bring-your-own-license images using Azure Hybrid Benefit Bring-your-own-license images deployed from Azure Marketplace can now switch their license type to pay-as-you-go.
New SQL Server VM management in the Azure portal There's now a way to manage your SQL Server VM in the Azure portal. For more information, see Manage SQL Server VMs in the Azure portal.
Extended support for SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 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 VM resource provider, specify the license type as "AHUB." Otherwise, the registration will fail.
Named instance supportability You can now use the SQL Server IaaS extension with a named instance, if the default instance has been uninstalled properly.
Portal enhancement 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.
Portal improvement 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 It's now easier than ever to deploy an availability group to a SQL Server VM in Azure. You can use the Azure CLI to create the Windows failover cluster, internal load balancer, and availability group listeners, all from the command line. For more information, see Use the Azure CLI to configure an Always On availability group for SQL Server on an Azure VM.
   

2018

Changes Details
New resource provider for a SQL Server cluster 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 It's now possible to create the Windows failover cluster, join SQL Server VMs to it, create the listener, and configure the internal load balancer by using two Azure quickstart templates. For more information, see Use Azure quickstart templates to configure an Always On availability group for SQL Server on an Azure VM.
Automatic registration to the SQL VM resource provider SQL Server VMs deployed after this month are automatically registered with the new SQL VM resource provider. SQL Server VMs deployed before this month still need to be manually registered. For more information, see Register a SQL Server virtual machine in Azure with the SQL VM resource provider.
New SQL VM resource provider A new resource provider (Microsoft.SqlVirtualMachine) provides better management of your SQL Server VMs. For more information on registering your VMs, see Register a SQL Server virtual machine in Azure with the SQL VM resource provider.
Switch licensing model You can now switch between the pay-per-usage and bring-your-own-license models for your SQL Server VM by using the Azure CLI or PowerShell. For more information, see How to change the licensing model for a SQL Server virtual machine in Azure.
   

Additional resources

Windows VMs:

Linux VMs: