November 7

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What is Azure SQL Edge? 

By Ryan Freeman

November 7, 2022


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 geared for IoT and IoT Edge deployments.  

What is IoT? 

The Internet of Things, or IoT, refers to physical devices that are connected to the internet, all collecting and sharing data. These devices include smart TVs, smart speakers, toys, wearables and smart appliances, etc. Connecting these devices enables them to become more smarter 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, which makes it the right choice for a variety of 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 development of applications or solutions easier and faster, and makes application portability between IoT Edge devices, data centres and the cloud straight forward. 

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

Employ edge built-in 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, graph, and other types of data. The final AI benefit to mention 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 that’s optimised for edge workloads such as 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. 

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

Digital Samurai 

Digital Samurai live and breathe SQL Server, and now Azure SQL – which is built on SQL Server. We would love to hear what plans you have for your Data Platforms whether you are working on-premises with SQL Server, thinking of 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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