Frank Gill has started a series on Azure SQL Managed Instances and has two posts up already. First, an introduction:
The drawbacks of Azure SQL Database make it difficult to migrate existing applications, because of the number of application changes required. Azure SQL Database is designed to be used for new development in Azure and for multi-tenant environments, where each tenant requires their own copy of a database.
The benefits of SQL Server on an Azure VM make it much easier to migrate an existing application to Azure. However, the VMs underlying the application still have to be managed by the client. This fails to take advantage of the management of resources in Azure, and uses Azure as a VM host.
A third option, Azure SQL Managed Instance, was released at the beginning of October 2018. Managed Instance combines the best of the previous options. With Managed Instance, the infrastructure is fully managed and the majority of the SQL Server feature set is available. The full list of differences between a traditional install of SQL Server and Managed Instance can be found here. A number of the most dramatic differences are listed below.
Before creating an Azure SQL Managed Instance, a number of prerequisite resources must be provisioned. These are:
An Azure Virtual Network
A dedicated subnet for Managed Instances
A route table
It looks like this is part of a longer series Frank is building out, so stay tuned.