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Azure at Ignite, Day 3: Reference Architecture, SQL Database Managed Instances

Posted on September 28, 2017 by DougVanderweideDougVanderweide

Wednesday most people could be found at any of the hundreds of seminars performed across the Orange County Convention Center. I spent the majority of my day taking in sessions on containers and DevOps pipelines in Azure.
Pinehead, our mascot, took some time to meet Mark Russinovich, Azure’s CTO, and Aaron Margosis, the co-author of Windows Internals, outside the convention bookstore.

Microsoft loves Linux, and Pinehead! Aaron Margosis (left) and Mark Russinovich (right).

Trust me, if you want to stand out at a Microsoft conference, being a giant penguin head is a good way to do it. Microsoft loves Linux and Ignite attendees love Pinehead!
During Wednesday’s seminars, I learned more about Azure SQL Database Managed Instances and Microsoft’s reference architecture for microservices-based applications.
Second things first.

Modern Application Reference Architecture

Microsoft has created a mini-portal designed to help developers create modern applications using Azure and .NET. It’s at, or for short. Included are best practices, as well as guidance to using container technology, such as Docker and Kubernetes; transforming existing architecture to containers and microservices; CI/CD pipelines using Visual Studio Team Services, Jenkins, and the like; and using Xamarin for cross-platform mobile development.
I got a chance to see this material in use on Wednesday, including the microservice- and Docker-based sample storefront. It’s amazing.
The reference architecture and its attendant portal contain pretty much everything an experienced developer needs to begin building modern applications.

Azure SQL Database Managed Instances

Azure has also put into public preview Azure SQL Database Managed Instances, which was previously in private preview.
These are bascially full SQL Server instances, but you don’t need to prepare the virtual machine or virtual network for the workload; Azure takes care of that for you.
I’m a huge fan of Azure SQL Database. It pretty much works just like SQL Server does, and I generally advise everyone who uses Azure and has a relational database need to use Azure SQL Database, because it eliminates almost every headache with managing a database. Managed Instances make porting an existing SQL Server instance to Azure a much simpler task, especially when coupled with the new, turnkey data migration tools.
That’s it for Day 3 at Microsoft Ignite. Don’t forget to stop by booth 2169 (across from the convention bookstore) and say “Hi!”


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