Create and manage an elastic pool with the Azure portal

This topic shows you how to create and manage scalable elastic pools with the Azure portal. You can also create and manage an Azure elastic pool with PowerShell, the REST API, or C#. You can also create and move databases into and out of elastic pools using Transact-SQL.

Create an elastic pool

There are two ways you can create an elastic pool. You can do it from scratch if you know the pool setup you want, or start with a recommendation from the service. SQL Database has built-in intelligence that recommends an elastic pool setup if it's more cost-efficient for you based on the past usage telemetry for your databases.

You can create multiple pools on a server, but you can't add databases from different servers into the same pool.

Note

Elastic pools are generally available (GA) in all Azure regions except West India where it is currently in preview. GA of elastic pools in this region will occur as soon as possible.

Step 1: Create an elastic pool

Creating an elastic pool from an existing server blade in the portal is the easiest way to move existing databases into an elastic pool.

Note

You can also create an elastic pool by searching SQL elastic pool in the Marketplace or clicking +Add in the SQL elastic pools browse blade. You are able to specify a new or existing server through this pool provisioning workflow.

  1. In the Azure portal, click More services > SQL servers, and then click the server that contains the databases you want to add to an elastic pool.
  2. Click New pool.

    Add pool to a server

    -OR-

    You may see a message saying there are recommended elastic pools for the server. Click the message to see the recommended pools based on historical database usage telemetry, and then click the tier to see more details and customize the pool. See Understand pool recommendations later in this topic for how the recommendation is made.

    recommended pool

  3. The elastic pool blade appears, which is where you specify the settings for your pool. If you clicked New pool in the previous step, the pricing tier is Standard by default and no databases is selected. You can create an empty pool, or specify a set of existing databases from that server to move into the pool. If you are creating a recommended pool, the recommended pricing tier, performance settings, and list of databases are prepopulated, but you can still change them.

    Configure elastic pool

  4. Specify a name for the elastic pool, or leave it as the default.

Step 2: Choose a pricing tier

The pool's pricing tier determines the features available to the elastics in the pool, and the maximum number of eDTUs (eDTU MAX), and storage (GBs) available to each database. For details, see Service Tiers.

To change the pricing tier for the pool, click Pricing tier, click the pricing tier you want, and then click Select.

Important

After you choose the pricing tier and commit your changes by clicking OK in the last step, you won't be able to change the pricing tier of the pool. To change the pricing tier for an existing elastic pool, create an elastic pool in the desired pricing tier and migrate the databases to this new pool.

Select a pricing tier

Step 3: Configure the pool

After setting the pricing tier, click Configure pool where you add databases, set pool eDTUs and storage (pool GBs), and where you set the min and max eDTUs for the elastics in the pool.

  1. Click Configure pool
  2. Select the databases you want to add to the pool. This step is optional while creating the pool. Databases can be added after the pool has been created. To add databases, click Add database, click the databases that you want to add, and then click the Select button.

    Add databases

    If the databases you're working with have enough historical usage telemetry, the Estimated eDTU and GB usage graph and the Actual eDTU usage bar chart update to help you make configuration decisions. Also, the service may give you a recommendation message to help you right-size the pool. See Dynamic Recommendations.

  3. Use the controls on the Configure pool page to explore settings and configure your pool. See Elastic pools limits for more detail about limits for each service tier, and see Price and performance considerations for elastic pools for detailed guidance on right-sizing an elastic pool. For more information about pool settings, see Elastic pool properties.

    Configure Elastic Pool

  4. Click Select in the Configure Pool blade after changing settings.

  5. Click OK to create the pool.

Understand elastic pool recommendations

The SQL Database service evaluates usage history and recommends one or more pools when it is more cost-effective than using single databases. Each recommendation is configured with a unique subset of the server's databases that best fit the pool.

recommended pool

The pool recommendation comprises:

  • A pricing tier for the pool (Basic, Standard, Premium, or Premium RS)
  • Appropriate POOL eDTUs (also called Max eDTUs per pool)
  • The eDTU MAX and eDTU Min per database
  • The list of recommended databases for the pool
Important

The service takes the last 30 days of telemetry into account when recommending pools. For a database to be considered as a candidate for an elastic pool, it must exist for at least 7 days. Databases that are already in an elastic pool are not considered as candidates for elastic pool recommendations.

The service evaluates resource needs and cost effectiveness of moving the single databases in each service tier into pools of the same tier. For example, all Standard databases on a server are assessed for their fit into a Standard Elastic Pool. This means the service does not make cross-tier recommendations such as moving a Standard database into a Premium pool.

After adding databases to the pool, recommendations are dynamically generated based on the historical usage of the databases you have selected. These recommendations are shown in the eDTU and GB usage chart and in a recommendation banner at the top of the Configure pool blade. These recommendations are intended to assist you in creating an elastic pool optimized for your specific databases.

dynamic recommendations

Manage and monitor an elastic pool

You can use the Azure portal to monitor and manage an elastic pool and the databases in the pool. From the portal, you can monitor the utilization of an elastic pool and the databases within that pool. You can also make a set of changes to your elastic pool and submit all changes at the same time. These changes include adding or removing databases, changing your elastic pool settings, or changing your database settings.

The following graphic shows an example elastic pool. The view includes:

  • Charts for monitoring resource usage of both the elastic pool and the databases contained in the pool.
  • The Configure pool button to make changes to the elastic pool.
  • The Create database button that creates a database and adds it to the current elastic pool.
  • Elastic jobs that help you manage large numbers of databases by running Transact SQL scripts against all databases in a list.

Pool view

You can go to a particular pool to see its resource utilization. By default, the pool is configured to show storage and eDTU usage for the last hour. The chart can be configured to show different metrics over various time windows.

  1. Select an elastic pool to work with.
  2. Under Elastic Pool Monitoring is a chart labeled Resource utilization. Click the chart.

    Elastic pool monitoring

    The Metric blade opens, showing a detailed view of the specified metrics over the specified time window.

    Metric blade

To customize the chart display

You can edit the chart and the metric blade to display other metrics such as CPU percentage, data IO percentage, and log IO percentage used.

  1. On the metric blade, click Edit.

    Click edit

  2. In the Edit Chart blade, select a time range (past hour, today, or past week), or click custom to select any date range in the last two weeks. Select the chart type (bar or line), then select the resources to monitor.

    Note

    Only metrics with the same unit of measure can be displayed in the chart at the same time. For example, if you select "eDTU percentage" then you can only select other metrics with percentage as the unit of measure.

    Click edit

  3. Then click OK.

Manage and monitor databases in an elastic pool

Individual databases can also be monitored for potential trouble.

  1. Under Elastic Database Monitoring, there is a chart that displays metrics for five databases. By default, the chart displays the top 5 databases in the pool by average eDTU usage in the past hour. Click the chart.

    Elastic pool monitoring

  2. The Database Resource Utilization blade appears. This provides a detailed view of the database usage in the pool. Using the grid in the lower part of the blade, you can select any databases in the pool to display its usage in the chart (up to 5 databases). You can also customize the metrics and time window displayed in the chart by clicking Edit chart.

    Database resource utilization blade

To customize the view

  1. In the Database resource utilization blade, click Edit chart.

    Click Edit chart

  2. In the Edit chart blade, select a time range (past hour or past 24 hours), or click custom to select a different day in the past 2 weeks to display.

    Click Custom

  3. Click the Compare databases by dropdown to select a different metric to use when comparing databases.

    Edit the chart

To select databases to monitor

In the database list in the Database Resource Utilization blade, you can find particular databases by looking through the pages in the list or by typing in the name of a database. Use the checkbox to select the database.

Search for databases to monitor

Add an alert to an elastic pool resource

You can add rules to an elastic pool that send email to people or alert strings to URL endpoints when the elastic pool hits a utilization threshold that you set up.

Important

Resource utilization monitoring for elastic pools has a lag of at least 20 minutes. Setting alerts of less than 30 minutes for elastic pools is not currently supported. Any alerts set for Elastic Pools with a period (parameter called “-WindowSize” in PowerShell API) of less than 30 minutes may not be triggered. Make sure that any alerts you define for Elastic Pools use a period (WindowSize) of 30 minutes or more.

To add an alert to any resource:

  1. Click the Resource utilization chart to open the Metric blade, click Add alert, and then fill out the information in the Add an alert rule blade (Resource is automatically set up to be the pool you're working with).
  2. Type a Name and Description that identifies the alert to you and the recipients.
  3. Choose a Metric that you want to alert from the list.

    The chart dynamically shows resource utilization for that metric to help you choose a threshold.

  4. Choose a Condition (greater than, less than, etc.) and a Threshold.

  5. Click OK.

Move a database into an elastic pool

You can add or remove databases from an existing pool. The databases can be in other pools. However, you can only add databases that are on the same logical server.

  1. In the blade for the pool, under Elastic databases click Configure pool.

    Click Configure pool

  2. In the Configure pool blade, click Add to pool.

    Click Add to pool

  3. In the Add databases blade, select the database or databases to add to the pool. Then click Select.

    Select databases to add

    The Configure pool blade now lists the database you selected to be added, with its status set to Pending.

    Pending pool additions

  4. In the Configure pool blade, click Save.

    Click Save

Move a database out of an elastic pool

  1. In the Configure pool blade, select the database or databases to remove.

    databases listing

  2. Click Remove from pool.

    databases listing

    The Configure pool blade now lists the database you selected to be removed with its status set to Pending.

    preview database addition and removal

  3. In the Configure pool blade, click Save.

    Click Save

Change performance settings of an elastic pool

As you monitor the resource utilization of an elastic pool, you may discover that some adjustments are needed. Maybe the pool needs a change in the performance or storage limits. Possibly you want to change the database settings in the pool. You can change the setup of the pool at any time to get the best balance of performance and cost. See When should an elastic pool be used? for more information.

To change the eDTUs or storage limits per pool, and eDTUs per database:

  1. Open the Configure pool blade.

    Under elastic pool settings, use either slider to change the pool settings.

    Elastic pool resource utilization

  2. When the setting changes, the display shows the estimated monthly cost of the change.

    Updating an elastic pool and new monthly cost

Latency of elastic pool operations

  • Changing the min eDTUs per database or max eDTUs per database typically completes in 5 minutes or less.
  • Changing the eDTUs per pool depends on the total amount of space used by all databases in the pool. Changes average 90 minutes or less per 100 GB. For example, if the total space used by all databases in the pool is 200 GB, then the expected latency for changing the pool eDTU per pool is 3 hours or less.

Next steps