SQL server (instantiation, configure, optimize, monitoring, backups, security)

Azure SQL Database is a relational database-as-a-service based on the latest stable version of Microsoft SQL Server Database Engine.
Unlike AWS RDS, Azure has a different approach in selecting the right database for you.

Performance & Cost-Effective:
Elastic pools provide a simple and cost-effective solution for managing the performance of multiple databases within a fixed budget. An elastic pool provides compute and storage resources that are shared between all the databases it contains. Databases within a pool only use the resources they need, when they need them, within configurable limits. The price of a pool is based only on the number of resources configured and is independent of the number of databases it contains. It also allows choosing a SQL Service tier and performance level that best fits your application needs.

You can you also use your existing tools SQLCMD or the SQL Server Management Studio to manage the databases and without physical administration of SQL server machine, which requires in-depth knowledge to manage and troubleshooting the server machine.

In the Azure SQL database, you can pay very low rates and only for the resources you actually use. In addition, you can take benefit of On-Demand pricing with no up-front cost or long-term commitments.
Elasticity and Scalability plans make it more robust and stable as compared to traditional DBS
Sync and migration tools are easy and very useful

Key security & advance feature of Azure SQL databases:

→ Azure SQL Database always encrypted:
Always encrypted is a new data encryption technology in Azure SQL Database and SQL Server that helps protect sensitive data at rest on the server, during movement between client and server and while the data is in use it ensuring that sensitive data never appears as plain text inside the database system.

→ Azure SQL Database always on Availability Groups :
This is a fully managed SQL Server database engine process hosted in the Azure cloud that ensures that your SQL server database is always upgraded & patched without affecting your workload. When an instance is patched or fails it is hardly noticeable to the user about the downtime

→ Automatic tuning:
When moving SQL databases to Azure, Azure SQL Database Automatic Tuning feature provides automatic performance optimization for databases

→ Automatic backups:
Backups are created automatically and at no additional charge. You don’t need to do anything to make them happen.
→ Data compression:
For rowstore tables and indexes, use the data compression feature to help reduce the size of the database. In addition to saving space, data compression can help improve the performance of I/O intensive workloads because the data is stored in fewer pages, queries need to read fewer pages from disk.
For columnstore tables and indexes, all columnstore tables and indexes always use columnstore compression and this is not user configurable. Use columnstore archival compression to further reduce the data size for situations when you can afford the extra time and CPU resources to store and retrieve the data.

→ JSON data support:
Azure SQL Database lets you parse and query data represented in JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) format and export your relational data as JSON text.

→ Control access:
SQL Database secures your data by limiting access to your database using firewall rules, authentication mechanisms to data through role-based memberships.

→ Firewall and firewall rules:
This prevents all access to your database server until you specify which computers have permission in firewall rules.

→ Proactive monitoring:
It helps you determine whether your database has excess capacity or is having trouble because resources are maxed out and then decide whether it’s time to adjust the performance level and service tiers of your database. Azure SQL Database also has an intelligence service that detects unusual and potentially harmful attempts to access or exploit databases.