I’m starting a new blog mini-series under the category “SQL Server Azure IaaS” to parallel my new moonlighting role developing courseware for Pluralsight. My first course, recently completed and entitled “Hosting SQL Server in Windows Azure IaaS Fundamentals“, is an introductory level course for those new to using SQL Server in an Azure IaaS environment. You can find it at this location. Here is a description of this introductory level curriculum.

This class provides essential knowledge to IT Operations persons working in the Windows Azure environment to set up a simplified version of SQL Server on Windows Azure IaaS.  Discusses the different options for installing and configuring SQL Server to ensure you have a basic working configuration.  Explains how to configure supplemental data disks and the options to manage a basic SQL Server installation in Windows Azure IaaS. Provides choices on how to backup SQL Server database in the Azure IaaS cloud.  Wrap up touching upon a few key topics that you might want to consider that will be covered in the more enterprise-focused advanced SQL Server on Azure IaaS optimization class.

Around the end of this December I will begin work on the follow-on course entitled “SQL Server in Windows Azure IaaS – Optimizations & High Availability” that I plan to complete around the first months or so of 2014. Here is a description of its proposed content.

This course discusses advanced topics for optimizing SQL Server 2012 performance and availability on Windows Azure IaaS Virtual Machines Topics include maximizing SQL Server disk performance within Azure storage, minimizing latency through Azure Virtual Network connectivity, properly securing administrative operations, and designing for high availability in case of failure. These design recommendations are key to correctly implementing configuration of SQL Server AlwaysOn Availability Groups, which are presented as the prime data replication option. As a part of AlwaysOn we discuss and show how to properly configure SQL Server VMs using Azure Availability Sets and Windows Server Failover Clustering (WSFC), SQL Server Availability Groups and Listeners to manage failover between VMs transparently.