Manage SQL Server VMs by using the Azure portal

Applies to: SQL Server on Azure VM

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.

Change the version and edition of SQL Server VM metadata in the Azure portal using the SQL virtual machines resource

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:

Extend storage in the Azure portal using the SQL virtual machines resource

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:

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.

Configure automated patching and schedule in the Azure portal using the SQL virtual machines resource

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.

Configure automated backup and schedule in the Azure portal using the SQL virtual machines resource

To learn more, see, Automated patching.

High availability (Preview)

Use the High Availability page of the SQL virtual machines resource to create a Windows Server Failover Cluster, and configure an Always On availability group, availability group listener, and Azure Load Balancer. Configuring high availability using Azure portal is currently in preview.

Configure a Windows Server Failover Cluster and an Always On availability group in the Azure portal using the SQL virtual machines resource

To learn more, see Configure availability group by using the Azure portal.

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, whether or not SQL Authentication is enabled, and to enable Azure Key Vault integration.

Configure SQL Server security in the Azure portal using the SQL virtual machines resource

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.

Configure SQL Server Defender for Cloud settings in the Azure portal using the SQL virtual machines resource

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: