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Category: Containers

Updating SQL Server Containers on Kubernetes

Amit Khandelwal rolls out some updates:

I’m sure you’ve thought about how to update SQL Server containers running on a Kubernetes cluster at some point. So, this blog attempts to answer the question. According to the Kubernetes documentation, there are two Update strategies for statefulset workloads. For your convenience, I’m quoting the summary below:

  1.  OnDelete update : When a StatefulSet’s .spec.updateStrategy.type is set to OnDelete, the StatefulSet controller will not automatically update the Pods in a StatefulSet. Users must manually delete Pods to cause the controller to create new Pods that reflect modifications made to a StatefulSet’s .spec.template.
  2. Rolling update : When a statefuleset’s .spec.updateStrategy.type is set to RollingUpdate, the StatefulSet controller will delete and recreate each Pod in the StatefulSet. It will proceed in the same order as Pod termination (from the largest ordinal to the smallest), updating each Pod one at a time. This is the default update strategy.

Read the whole thing to learn how these two strategies of updating containers work.

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Estimating and Managing Pod Spread in AKS

Joji Varghese talks pod distribution in Azure Kubernetes Service:

In Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), the concept of pod spread is important to ensure that pods are distributed efficiently across nodes in a cluster. This helps to optimize resource utilization, increase application performance, and maintain high availability.

This article outlines a decision-making process for estimating the number of Pods running on an AKS cluster. We will look at pod distribution across designated node pools, distribution based on pod-to-pod dependencies and distribution where pod or node affinities are not specified. Finally, we explore the impact of pod spread on scaling using replicas and the role of the Horizontal Pod Autoscaler (HPA). We will close with a test run of all the above scenarios.

Read on for tips, as well as a few web tools, which you can use to estimate and control pod spread in AKS.

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RBAC with Kubernetes

Mercy Bassey locks down some containers:

Have you been searching for a way to manage your resources effectively in Kubernetes? Why not consider Kubernetes Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)? With Kubernetes RBAC, you can securely manage containers.

Kubernetes RBAC allows administrators like yourself to define roles with specific permissions to access resources in a Kubernetes cluster. And in this tutorial, you will learn how to create a user and define roles with specific permissions.

There are enough steps involved that I’d definitely want to manage this at the group level.

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Tips for AKS Storage Provisioning

Joji Varghese gives us a hand:

In an Azure Kubernetes (AKS) cluster, Pods can access physical storage resources such as disks or volumes using Persistent Volumes (PV). To use these resources, Pods need to make a Persistent Volume Claim (PVC), which requests a specific amount of storage from a storage class. This claim can then be matched to an available Persistent Volume. Azure offers several storage solutions that can be used to provision Persistent Volumes in an AKS cluster.

This article will provide real-world guidance on securely using Container Storage Interface (CSI) drivers to provision Azure File Shares and Azure Blob storage in an AKS cluster.

If you’re looking at setting up Azure Kubernetes Service, give this a review.

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Combining On-Demand and Spot VMs in AKS

Prakash P covers a topic near and dear to my heart—saving money by using spot instances:

While it’s possible to run the Kubernetes nodes either in on-demand or spot node pools separately, we can optimize the application cost without compromising the reliability by placing the pods unevenly on spot and OnDemand VMs using the topology spread constraints. With baseline amount of pods deployed in OnDemand node pool offering reliability, we can scale on spot node pool based on the load at a lower cost.

I like this idea a lot, as spot instances trade off saving a lot of money (up to 90%) for unreliability: you lose the spot instance as soon as someone else comes in willing to pay more. This gives you the best of both worlds with AKS: emphasize spot instances for the money savings but include the ability to use on-demand pricing for VMs when spot isn’t available. If I’m understanding the post correctly, this also reduces the downside risk of service instability that you get when spot instances are bought out from under you, as Kubernetes will automatically spin up and down services within a pod to keep a consistent number of instances available across the nodes to users.

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Notifying when MCR Has New SQL Server Images

Andrew Pruski builds an alert:

A while back I wrote a post on how to retrieve the SQL Server images in the Microsoft Container Registry (MCR).

It’s pretty simple to check the MCR but what about automating that check to alert if there are new images present? Let’s have a look at one method of doing just that with a powershell script using the BurntToast module, and a scheduled task.

Click through for the process and keep those Docker images up to date.

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Registering AKS Endpoints on Azure DNS

Denny Cherry notes that the DNS server is in another castle:

If you have an Azure environment when you have your DNS servers in a separate vNet from your new AKS environment you’ll notice that you get an error when deploying the AKS environment which looks something like this.

Agents are unable to resolve Kubernetes API server name. It’s likely custom DNS server is not correctly configured, please see for more information.

The fix for this is actually pretty straightforward, but I’m going to give you a little background on why this happens.

Click through for the answer.

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PolyBase and S3 Integration in SQL Server 2022 on Containers

Amit Khandelwal combines a bunch of things together:

One of the new features introduced with SQL Server 2022 is the ability to connect to any S3-compatible object storage and SQL Server supports both Backup/Restore and data lake virtualization with Polybase integration.  In this blog, we will demonstrate both of these features for SQL Server 2022 Containers running on Kubernetes. As usual, I will use the Azure Kubernetes Service as my Kubernetes environment

Most of the work is in the container configuration, which is good on net, as it means you only have to do it once.

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Business Continuity with Arc-Enabled Data Services

Warwick Rudd continues a series on Azure Arc-Enabled Data Services. Part 11 covers high availability:

So far in this series of posts, you have been able to deploy and configure your newly provisioned Azure Arc-enabled SQL MI environment. Out of the box you get High Availability without having to do or implement anything.

The Recovery Time Objective (RTO) that is achievable with Azure Arc-enabled Data Services is dependent on the tier you choose to deploy. But regardless of that, this post is only concerned about informing you what you get out of the box with this technology.

Part 12 turns to disaster recovery:

In the previous post, we introduced you to how Azure Arc-enabled SQL MI provides High Availability based on the tier you have deployed.  If your environment requires disaster recovery, regardless of the tier level you have deployed, Azure Arc-enabled Data Services covers the job for you.

Read on to learn more about what options are available and what you need to do.

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Running SQL Server on an M2 Processor

Anthony Nocentino operates a Mac:

Last week I purchased a shiny new MacBook Air with an M2 processor. After I got all the standard stuff up and running, I set out to learn how to run SQL Server containers on this new hardware. This post shows you how to run SQL Server on Apple Silicon using colima.

Colima is a container runtime that runs a Linux VM on your Mac. This Linux VM runs using the Virtualization framework hypervisor native in MacOS. Your containers will run inside this virtual machine.

Read on to see what you’d need for the task.

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