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Manage SQL Server virtual machines in Azure by using the Azure portal
Learn how to access the SQL virtual machine resource in the Azure portal for a SQL Server VM hosted on Azure to modify SQL Server settings.
bluefooted
pamela
mathoma
12/21/2021
virtual-machines-sql
management
how-to
ignite-fall-2021
azure-resource-manager

Manage SQL Server VMs by using the Azure portal

[!INCLUDEappliesto-sqlvm]

In the Azure portal, the SQL virtual machines resource is an independent management service to manage SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines (VMs) that have been registered with the SQL Server IaaS Agent extension. You can use the resource to view all of your SQL Server VMs simultaneously and modify settings dedicated to SQL Server:

SQL virtual machines resource

The SQL virtual machines resource management point is different to the Virtual machine resource used to manage the VM such as start it, stop it, or restart it.

Prerequisite

The SQL virtual machines resource is only available to SQL Server VMs that have been registered with the SQL IaaS Agent extension.

Access the resource

To access the SQL virtual machines resource, do the following:

  1. Open the Azure portal.

  2. Select All Services.

  3. Enter SQL virtual machines in the search box.

  4. (Optional): Select the star next to SQL virtual machines to add this option to your Favorites menu.

  5. Select SQL virtual machines.

    Find SQL Server virtual machines in all services

  6. The portal lists all SQL Server VMs available within the subscription. Select the one that you want to manage to open the SQL virtual machines resource. Use the search box if your SQL Server VM isn't appearing.

    All available SQL Server VMs

    Selecting your SQL Server VM opens the SQL virtual machines resource:

    View the SQL virtual machines resource

[!TIP] The SQL virtual machines resource is for dedicated SQL Server settings. Select the name of the VM in the Virtual machine box to open settings that are specific to the VM, but not exclusive to SQL Server.

License and edition

Use the Configure page of the SQL virtual machine resource to change your SQL Server licensing metadata to Pay as you go, Azure Hybrid Benefit, or HA/DR for your free Azure replica for disaster recovery.

Screenshot of the Azure portal, SQL virtual machines resource, showing where to change the version and edition of SQL Server VM metadata.

You can also modify the edition of SQL Server from the Configure page as well, such as Enterprise, Standard, or Developer.

Changing the license and edition metadata in the Azure portal is only supported once the version and edition of SQL Server has been modified internally to the VM. To learn more see, change the version and edition of SQL Server on Azure VMs.

Storage

Use the Storage Configuration page of the SQL virtual machines resource to extend your data, log, and tempdb drives. Review storage configuration to learn more.

For example, you can extend your storage:

Screenshot of the Azure portal, SQL virtual machines resource, showing where to extend storage.

It's also possible to modify your tempdb settings using the Storage configuration page, such as the number of tempdb files, as well as the initial size, and the autogrowth ratio. Select Configure next to tempdb to open the tempdb Configuration page.

Choose Yes next to Configure tempdb data files to modify your settings, and then choose Yes next to Manage tempdb database folders on restart to allow Azure to manage your tempdb configuration and implement your settings the next time your SQL Server service starts:

:::image type="content" source="media/manage-sql-vm-portal/tempdb-configuration.png" alt-text="Screenshot of the tempdb configuration page of the Azure portal from the SQL virtual machines resource page. ":::

Restart your SQL Server service to apply your changes.

Patching

Use the Patching page of the SQL virtual machines resource to enable auto patching of your VM and automatically install Windows and SQL Server updates marked as Important. You can also configure a maintenance schedule here, such as running patching daily, as well as a local start time for maintenance, and a maintenance window.

Screenshot of the Azure portal, SQL virtual machines resource, showing where to configure automated patching and schedule.

To learn more, see, Automated patching.

Backups

Use the Backups page of the SQL virtual machines resource to configure your automated backup settings, such as the retention period, which storage account to use, encryption, whether or not to back up system databases, and a backup schedule.

Screenshot of the Azure portal, SQL virtual machines resource, showing where to configure automated backup and schedule.

To learn more, see, Automated patching.

Additional features

Manage additional features of SQL Server on the Additional features tab, such as enabling R Services (Advanced analytics) or least privilege mode.

High availability (Preview)

Once you've configured your availability group by using the Azure portal, use the High Availability page of the SQL virtual machines resource to monitor the health of your existing Always On availability group.

:::image type="content" source="media/availability-group-az-portal-configure/healthy-availability-group.png" alt-text="Screenshot of the Azure portal, SQL virtual machines resource, showing where to check the status of your availability group from the high availability page.":::

Security Configuration

Use the Security Configuration page of the SQL virtual machines resource to configure SQL Server security settings such as which port to use, or to enable Azure Key Vault integration, or enable authentication methods to connect to your SQL Server instance - such as SQL authentication, or if you're on SQL Server 2022, Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) authentication (currently in preview).

Screenshot of the Azure portal, the SQL Server security page, where you can enable authentication.

To learn more, see the Security best practices.

Defender for Cloud

Use the Defender for SQL page of the SQL virtual machine's resource to view Defender for Cloud recommendations directly in the SQL virtual machine blade. Enable Microsoft Defender for SQL to leverage this feature.

Screenshot of the Azure portal, SQL virtual machines resource, showing where to configure SQL Server Defender for Cloud settings.

SQL best practices assessment

Use the SQL best practices assessment page of the SQL virtual machines resource to assess the health of your SQL Server VM. Once the feature is enabled, your SQL Server instances and databases are scanned and recommendations are surfaced to improve performance (indexes, statistics, trace flags, and so on) and identify missing best practices configurations.

To learn more, see SQL best practices assessment for SQL Server on Azure VMs.

Next steps

For more information, see the following articles: