Specialized Databases and data stores on Azure

Besides standard SQL Database, Azure provides a lot of specialized databases and data stores that offer unique features for specialized usage scenarios. We have already looked at some of these services in previous posts. For the sake of better understanding, I will include those services here as well.

Azure Database for MySQL: This is a managed service for MySQL, an open source database. This is intended for migrating existing on prem MySQL databases to Azure.

Azure Database for PostgreSQL: Managed service for another open source database, PostgreSQL.

Azure Table Storage: This is a basic NoSQL data store with a schema-less design. Table Storage can be used to store and semi structured data such as customer contact details and user profiles.

Cosmos DB: Formerly, Document DB, Cosmos DB is the leading managed NoSQL data store solution on Azure. The key features are global distribution, scalability and low latency. We will discuss Cosmos DB in detail in a future post.

Azure Cache for Redis: It is a managed service for Redis, an open source, in-memory NoSQL database. The intended use of Redis Cache is to speed up data retrieval for applications. It stores data in key-value pairs.           

Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 (ADLS Gen2): This is a data store to ingest and store large amounts of unstructured data such as documents, videos, images etc. The intended purpose for ADLS Gen2 is to facilitate data science/analytics of unstructured data.

Azure Search: This is a specialized database that indexes text data. This enables customers to embed search functionality to their websites or mobile apps. Search suggestions, language analyzers and fuzzy search are some other features provided by Azure Search.

Time Series Insights (TSI): As the name suggests, TSI is intended to capture and process time stamped data, mostly generated by IoT devices. It can be easily paired with Azure IoT hub and Azure Events Hub for advanced analytics. TSI enables customers to store, process and query billions of records generated by IoT devices in a matter of seconds. It has an integrated TSI Explorer for creating visualizations.

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