Quickstart: Create an Azure Data Explorer cluster and database

Azure Data Explorer is a fast and highly scalable data exploration service for log and telemetry data. To use Azure Data Explorer, you first create a cluster, and create one or more databases in that cluster. Then you ingest (load) data into a database so that you can run queries against it. In this quickstart, you create a cluster and a database.

If you don't have an Azure subscription, create a free Azure account before you begin.

Sign in to the Azure portal

Sign in to the Azure portal.

Create a cluster

Create an Azure Data Explorer cluster with a defined set of compute and storage resources in an Azure resource group.

  1. Select the Create a resource button (+) in the upper-left corner of the portal.

  2. Search for Azure Data Explorer.

    Search resources

  3. Under Azure Data Explorer, at the bottom of the screen, select Create.

  4. Fill out the basic cluster details with the following information.

    Create cluster form

    Setting Suggested value Field description
    Subscription Your subscription Select the Azure subscription that you want to use for your cluster.
    Resource group Your resource group Use an existing resource group or create a new resource group.
    Cluster name A unique cluster name Choose a unique name that identifies your cluster. The domain name [region].kusto.windows.net is appended to the cluster name you provide. The name can contain only lowercase letters and numbers. It must contain from 4 to 22 characters.
    Region West US or West US 2 Select West US or West US 2 (if using availability zones) for this quickstart. For a production system, select the region that best meets your needs.
    Availability zones 1, 2, and/or 3 For zones redundancy supported regions, select in which zones your instances will reside (optional). The cluster nodes are created, by default, in the same data center. Use Azure Availability Zones to place the cluster instances in various availability zones in the same region. By selecting several availability zones you can eliminate a single point of failure and ensure high availability.
    Compute specifications D13_v2 Select the lowest price specification for this quickstart. For a production system, select the specification that best meets your needs.
  5. Select Review + create to review your cluster details, and Create to provision the cluster. Provisioning typically takes about 10 minutes.

  6. When the deployment is complete, select Go to resource.

    Go to resource

Create a database

You're now ready for the second step in the process: database creation.

  1. On the Overview tab, select Create database.

    Step 2: create a database

  2. Fill out the form with the following information.

    Create database form

    Setting Suggested value Field description
    Database name TestDatabase The database name must be unique within the cluster.
    Retention period 3650 The time span (in days) for which it's guaranteed that the data is kept available to query. The time span is measured from the time that data is ingested.
    Cache period 31 The time span (in days) for which to keep frequently queried data available in SSD storage or RAM, rather than in longer-term storage.
  3. Select Create to create the database. Creation typically takes less than a minute. When the process is complete, you're back on the cluster Overview tab.

Run basic commands in the database

Now that you have a cluster and database, you can run queries and commands. You don't have any data in the database yet, but you can still see how the tools work.

  1. Under your cluster, select Query. Paste the command .show databases into the query window, then select Run.

    Show databases command

    The result set shows TestDatabase, the only database in the cluster.

  2. Paste the command .show tables into the query window and select Run.

    This command returns an empty result set because you don't have any tables yet. You add a table in the next article in this series.

Stop and restart the cluster

You can stop and restart a cluster depending on business needs.

  1. To stop the cluster, at the top of the Overview tab, select Stop.

    When the cluster is stopped, data is not available for queries, and you can't ingest new data.

  2. To restart the cluster, at the top of the Overview tab, select Start.

    When the cluster is restarted, it takes about 10 minutes for it to become available (like when it was originally provisioned). It takes additional time for data to load into the hot cache.

Clean up resources

If you plan to follow other quickstarts and tutorials, keep the resources you created. Otherwise, clean up your resource group, to avoid incurring costs.

  1. In the Azure portal, select Resource groups on the far left, and then select the resource group that contains your Data Explorer cluster.

  2. Select Delete resource group to delete the entire resource group. If using an existing resource group, you can choose to only delete the Data Explorer cluster.

Next steps