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Self-Managed MySQL Server with Azure NetApp Files

Enterprise cloud adoption is growing fast, thanks to extreme cloud scalability and the opportunity to balance cost and performance. One popular cloud driver is hosting SQL databases in the cloud. Let's take a closer look at how MySQL and the Azure cloud come together.

With Azure, MySQL server workloads can run in a hosted virtual machine infrastructure as a service (IaaS). With this service, you can run MySQL Server inside a fully managed virtual machine (VM) backed by Azure NetApp Files on the Azure cloud platform. All recent versions and editions of MySQL can be installed on an IaaS virtual machine, and you retain full control over their MySQL OS and database software.

The MySQL database platform enables high availability and dynamic scaling, which lets you easily adjust to changing user needs. Strong security and compliance add to Azure’s offering, and upfront pricing models have no hidden costs.

Extend the Power of MySQL Database with Azure NetApp Files

Azure NetApp Files is a one-stop storage solution for cloud customers who are looking to run MySQL databases in the cloud. With Azure NetApp Files, you can run a high-performance database with low latency and maximum data protection. ANF is built on NetApp ONTAP software-defined storage, which boosts performance and data protection for enterprise-level MySQL applications on Windows and Linux.

ANF is a fully managed cloud service with full Azure portal integration and access via REST API, CLI, or PowerShell. With ANF, you can seamlessly migrate and run your MySQL database applications in Azure without purchasing or managing storage infrastructure. ANF customers access ANF support through existing Azure agreements, with no up-front costs or separate support terms.

Let’s take a look at a few of the major benefits of running MySQL on Azure VMs with Azure NetApp Files:

  1.   Multi-protocol support. ANF supports NFS and SMB so you can easily migrate complex Linux and Windows applications to Azure. SMB protocols add simplified storage management features to Azure Database for MySQL environments. Strong security features restrict volume access to the SQL Server service account, and data can be encrypted in-flight as well as at-rest without impacting performance.
  2.   Flexible performance tiers. Save money and improve performance by easily aligning costs with specific workload requirements. Choose between Standard, Premium, and Ultra performance tiers to dynamically balance performance with cost.
  3.   Robust data management. Instantaneous snapshots provide rapid backup and restore/revert with minimal storage consumption. Fast copy supports DevOps projects by efficiently copying and backing up database volumes.  
  4.   Deep integration with Azure. ANF is not a marketplace offering, but a native Microsoft service for high-performance file management within Azure. Microsoft delivers the service directly through the Azure portal. There are no separate licenses or support agreements, and ANF has the same Azure tool interface you already know.

MySQL With Azure NetApp Files: Critical Features 

Let’s break down the details on ANF performance, resilience, fast copy, high availability and durability, security, and simplified migration.

High performance with low latency

MySQL database workloads are latency-sensitive. ANF boosts performance in Azure with sub-millisecond response times via adjacent VMs, which drives transactional performance over 460k IOPS for a single volume. Throughput-sensitive applications can perform up to 4.5GiB/s throughput on Azure. 

Increased resilience with snapshot copies

NetApp SnapshotTM technology enables exceptional resilience in ANF. Snapshot copies act as logical backups to enable rapid backup and revert with no downtime. ANF takes seconds to create a snapshot, and the tiny block size of 4KB stores unique data. You pay storage consumption costs only for new writes, which means you can cost-effectively store thousands of snapshots. You can create snapshots manually or on a schedule.

Spin up cloud volumes in seconds

Azure NetApp Files creates complete copies of database volumes, and backs them up for simplified copy management. This allows DevOps to easily copy database files without compromising production databases or filling up storage capacity with outdated copies. The extremely fast operation enables DevOps to work faster and more accurately for a quicker time to market. 

High availability and data durability

ANF’s redundant network paths, failover, and advanced data protection ensure high availability and uptime. Azure adds to availability by guaranteeing 99.99% connectivity for multiple instances. ANF also enables eleven 9’s of data durability, protecting data and data integrity against drive failures and storage media errors.

Security and encryption

Azure NetApp Files is purpose-built for Azure security standards and compliance certifications. ANF provides exacting security features with FIPS-140-2-compliant data encryption at rest, role-based access control (RBAC), Active Directory authentication for SMB, and secure export policies for network-based access control lists. ANF also enhances data security in virtual private clouds by presenting mount points instead of a public IP address.

Simplified data movement

Migrating MySQL databases from on-premises servers to the cloud can be complex and time-consuming. Azure NetApp Files uses NetApp Cloud Sync to replicate and synchronize data between on-premises servers and the cloud. High performance, low latency Cloud Sync simplifies lift and shift data migration to Azure. Instantaneous snapshots and strong security algorithms protect moving data from loss or exposure, and Active Directory integration for SMB protocols work the same way in Azure and on-premises.

Full control with MySQL on Azure VMs

With MySQL on Azure VMs, you have full control over the operating system and the MySQL server instance configuration. With a VM, you decide when to update or upgrade the operating system and database software. You also decide when to install any additional software such as an antivirus application. Some automated features are provided to greatly simplify patching, backup, and high availability. You can control the size of the VM, the number of disks, and their storage configurations. For more information, see virtual machine and cloud service sizes for Azure


For more details on NetApp APIs on Azure, check out our blog on Azure NetApp Files APIs.

MySQL + Azure NetApp Files: Two Pieces, One Puzzle

Learn about the next steps toward deploying your MySQL database on the Azure cloud today.

Solution Architect