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Typically, every Wednesday Data Exposed goes live at 9AM PT on LearnTV. Every 4 weeks (mostly the first week of each month), we’ll do a News Update. We’ll include product updates, videos, blogs, etc. as well as upcoming events and things to look out for. We’ve included an iCal file, so you can add a reminder to tune in live to your calendar. If you missed the episode, you can find it at along with other videos.


This month is an exception, with Ignite going on. We’ve shifted the live episode to TOMORROW MARCH 4th, but it’ll still be on Learn TV, and we hope to see you there. We’ll be diving into the latest announcements related to migrating to Azure SQL (really cool new stuff, you do not want to miss!)


In lieu of the Data Exposed Live News Update for March, you can read this blog to get all the updates. We’ll be back with a Data Exposed Live News Update in April. Here’s the March 2021 update:


Product updates


There are four major areas for Azure SQL updates announced at Ignite this year: migration, security, HADR, and maintenance.


On the migration front, the team announced a new end to end SQL Server migration experience for migrations at scale with Azure Migrate. We also announced a limited preview that will simplify migrations from SQL Server to Azure SQL using Azure Data Studio (ADS).


For security, Always Encrypted with Secure Enclaves for Azure SQL Database has gone Public Preview, and Azure SQL Auditing for Log Analytics, Event Hub, and Microsoft Operations has reached General Availability. Both capabilities have been highly requested, so it’s great to announce them!

With High Availability and Disaster Recovery (HADR), Long Term Retention (LTR) went Public Preview for Azure SQL Managed Instance backups. This is already available in Azure SQL Database so is a great step towards bringing parity between the two services’ capabilities. Additionally, Geo-replication for Azure SQL Database Hyperscale also went Public Preview. Similarly, this is something already available for other service tiers in Azure SQL Database, so many customers are excited to see this land in Hyperscale.


Finally, maintenance windows for Azure SQL Database and Azure SQL Managed Instance were announced. For many data professionals, getting insight into the maintenance windows is a great comfort when moving from SQL Server to Azure SQL Database and/or Azure SQL Managed Instance.

Not necessarily a product update, but Davide Mauri and I did a really fun session about catching the bus (literally) with Azure SQL. It was fun and produced at high quality, so you should definitely check it out. You can access it on-demand here.



The Log Replay Service (LRS) went public preview for Azure SQL Managed Instance. Azure SQL Managed Instance utilizes log shipping technology to enable custom migrations of databases from SQL Servers 2008 through 2019 to Azure SQL Managed Instance. The LRS feature enables building fully customizable data migration solutions in cases when more control is needed, when there exists little tolerance for downtime, or when Azure Data Migration Service cannot be used. Learn more here.


Machine Learning for Azure SQL Managed Instance became generally available in December, however, this recent update expands and allows for using R and Python in Azure SQL Managed Instance. Learn more about the capabilities and newer capabilities here.



We continued to release new and exciting Azure SQL episodes this month. Here is the list, or you can just see the playlist we created with all the episodes!

  • How Azure SQL Enables Real-time Operational Analytics (HTAP) – Part 1, Silvano Coriani

  • How to Create Operational Analytics with Window Functions in Azure SQL – Part 2, Silvano Coriani

  • [MVP Edition]: How to deploy Azure SQL anywhere using Azure Arc for data services, Ben Weissman

  • Protect your SQL Anywhere using Azure Defender for SQL, David Trigano

  • Testing App Cloud Readiness for Failover Resiliency with SQL Managed Instance, Dani Ljepava


We’ve also had some great Data Exposed Live sessions. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to see them all. Here are some of the recent live streams.

  • Something Old, Something New: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

  • Azure SQL Security: The What, Why and How of Securing your Data with Azure SQL

  • Best Practices Assessment for Azure SQL VMs, Managed Instances, and SQL Servers


By the way, tomorrow we will be doing a special Data Exposed Live episode (outside our normal Wednesday slot due to Ignite)! Raj Pochiraju and Ajay Jagannathan will join us to talk about the latest technologies that we just announced related to migrating to Azure SQL. You don’t want to miss it. Just tune in to at 9AM PT on Thursday, March 4th!



As always, our team is busy writing blogs to share with you all. Blogs contain announcements, tips and tricks, deep dives, and more. Here’s the list I have of SQL-related topics you might want to check out.


Upcoming events

As always, there are lots of events coming up this month. Here are a few to put on your calendar and register for:

3/2: Microsoft Ignite
Secure your data with Azure SQL; Anna Hoffman and Bob Ward
Recipe for Modern Applications: .NET, Azure SQL, Functions, Geospatial, JSON; Anna Hoffman and Davide Mauri
Ask the Experts: What’s new in Azure Data; Uri Barasah, Luis Cabrera, Nellie Gustafsson, Anna Hoffman, Ajay Jagannathan, Matt Usher, Pratik Verma, and Bob Ward

3/5: WIT Tech Day
Notebooks 101 for SQL People; Julie Koesmarno

3/17: RunAs Radio
Migrating to Azure SQL; Anna Hoffman

3/24-3/25: Codecamp_The One with .NET
Recipe for Modern Applications: .NET, Azure SQL, Functions, Geospatial, JSON; Anna Hoffman

Haitian SQL One Day Event

In addition to these upcoming events, here’s the schedule for Data Exposed Live:
3/4: Deep Dive: Discover & Assess SQL Server Data Estate Migrating to Azure SQL Using Azure Migrate
3/10: Deep Dive: Azure SQL Virtual Machine Sizing
3/17: Deep Dive: The Architecture of Azure SQL
3/24: Something Old, Something New with Buck Woody
3/31: Ask the Experts: SQL Edge to Cloud with Bob Ward and Buck Woody

Plus find new, on-demand Data Exposed episodes released every Thursday, 9AM PT at

Featured Microsoft Learn Module

Learn with us! This month I highlighted the Secure your data with Azure SQL module. Check it out! Bob Ward and I also delivered this as part of Learn Live at Ignite. You can access the recording here.

Plus, starting March 15th, Bob Ward and I will start delivering one module per week on at 2PM. More details to come.


Anna’s pick of the month: New Azure SQL Security Series on Data Exposed Live

In February, we kicked off a new mini-series on Data Exposed Live called Azure SQL Security. Over the course of this six-episode series, we will dive into various security topics and how they relate to Azure SQL and data professionals. In the kickoff episode, the Principal Group Program Manager of the Azure SQL Security team, Joachim Hammer, came on the show to give us an overview of all security pillars related to Azure SQL. In subsequent episodes, we’ll dive into each pillar with various members of the security team. Subscribe to the Azure SQL YouTube channel to watch the first episode and get notified about future episodes (next one coming in April).


Until next time…

That’s it for now! Be sure to check back next month for the latest updates, and tune into Data Exposed Live every Wednesday at 9AM PST on LearnTV. We also release new episodes on Thursdays at 9AM PST and new #MVPTuesday episodes on the last Tuesday of every month at 9AM PST at


Having trouble keeping up? Be sure to follow us on twitter to get the latest updates on everything, @AzureSQL. You can also download the iCal link with a recurring invite!


We hope to see you next time, on Data Exposed :smiling_face_with_smiling_eyes:

–Anna and Marisa

Brought to you by Dr. Ware, Microsoft Office 365 Silver Partner, Charleston SC.