It doesn’t happen often, a complete new edition within a Microsoft range of products. But now there is: Azure SQL Edge, a new edition of Microsoft SQL Server intended for use within Internet of Things solutions. Here is what you need to know.
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Limited with extra’s
Azure SQL Edge is a limited edition of SQL Server with less functionality to make it ‘lighter’ to run. At the other hand, there are some extra’s such as built in database Artificial Intelligence and data streaming capability. This makes Azure SQL Server Edge edition the go to solution for Internet of Things. With more local processing and analytics, less data has to be transported over corporate infrastructures. It fits perfectly in Microsoft vision for IoT, where more and more data will be processed on the edge (i.e. boundaries) of networks.
Choice of platform
As a customer you can either choose Windows or Linux as host operating systemin. You can also use Kubernetes to orchestrate your device infrastructure, based on ARM or X64 (Intel). Based on your data processing scenario you can use Azure SQL Edge connected, semi-connected – batch – or offline.
New pricing method
Where classic SQL Server technology can be licensed per Core or in Server + Client Access License model, the new SQL Server Edge on Azure is licensed on a ‘per device’ basis. With a price of US$ 60 per (virtual) device per year which runs Azure SQL Edge it comes in pretty cheap, in respect to the capabilities. But please bear in mind, this is with a three years reserved capacity off course, in pay as you go model it is more expensive.
When we look at the license program for Azure SQL Edge we discover that besides Pay as you Go through the Azure website and the partner led Cloud Solution Provider program, the only other program is the Enterprise Subscription. This means that SMBs and educational institutions has to turn to the CSP program to license Azure SQL Edge (if not direct at Microsoft).