What is Azure SQL Edge? 

By Ryan Freeman

November 7, 2022

azure, azure SQL, azure SQL edge


We have previously introduced you to the Azure SQL family, which includes Azure SQL Database, Azure SQL Managed Instance (SQL MI) and, last week, SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines. This week we’ll find out what is Azure SQL Edge. 

Azure SQL Edge is an optimised relational database engine for IoT and IoT Edge deployments.  

What is IoT? 

The Internet of Things, or IoT, refers to physical devices connected to the internet, collecting and sharing data. These devices include smart TVs, smart speakers, toys, wearables, smart appliances, etc. Connecting these devices enables them to become more innovative and more responsive. 

Azure SQL Edge 

Azure SQL Edge provides capabilities to create a high-performance data storage and processing layer for IoT applications and solutions.

It also provides the ability to stream, process, and analyse relational and non-relational such as JSON, graph and time-series data, making it the right choice for various modern IoT applications. 

Like the other versions of Azure SQL that we have looked at, Azure SQL Edge is built on the latest versions of the SQL Server Database Engine, which provides industry-leading performance, security and query processing capabilities.  

Since Azure SQL Edge is built on the same engine as SQL Server and Azure SQL, it provides the same Transact-SQL (T-SQL) programming surface area that makes the development of applications or solutions more accessible and faster and makes application portability between IoT Edge devices, data centres and the cloud straight forward. 

Features of Azure SQL Edge

Here are some of the features in a little more detail:

Employ built-in edge AI 

Using built-in machine learning capabilities, Azure SQL edge allows you to detect anomalies and apply business logic at the edge. You can also choose from popular machine learning languages and convert them using the Open Neural Network Exchange (ONNX) to process time series, graphs, and other data types.

The final AI benefit is that you can deploy your cloud-trained models onto edge servers, gateways, and devices to perform real-time analytics on streaming data. 

Time-series data 

With Azure SQL Edge, you can stream, store, and analyse time-series data using a solution optimised for edge workloads like IoT.

Analyse data while it’s being streamed using time-windowing, aggregation, and filtering capabilities and achieve deeper insights by combining different data types, such as time series and graphs. 

Environment 

Azure SQL Edge can be used in connected, disconnected and even hybrid environments.

You can expand your device architecture coverage to include ARM-based and x64-based architecture, use either Windows or Linux as the operating system and even use Kubernetes to orchestrate your device infrastructure for better efficiency and automation

Conclusion

That concludes our brief introduction to Azure ESL Edge and the Azure SQL family; look for more in-depth articles soon exploring functionality and use cases. 

Digital Samurai 

Digital Samurai lives and breathe SQL Server, and now Azure SQL – is built on SQL Server. We would love to hear your plans for your Data Platforms, whether you are working on-premises with SQL Server, considering migrating to the cloud or have even been ‘born in the cloud’. 

With our team of SQL Server and Azure SQL experts, we offer help in all areas (upgrades, migrations, management, analytics, security) and are a friendly bunch, so please feel free to get in touch!

Ryan Freeman

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