Let’s take a trip down memory lane. Azure originally had two managed database options:

  1. Azure SQL – A fully managed cloudy version of MSSQL
  2. DocumentDB – A NoSQL cloud database that has since morphed into Comos DB

Then a few years ago Microsoft did the deed and started adding Opensource DB’s as fully managed PaaS offerings. This initially included MYSQL and PostgreSQL and later they added both MariaDB and Apache Cassandra.

Now after a year in preview Azure Database for MySQL – Flexible Server is now Generally Available. While not a new DB offering this is a new deployment offering us finer control over the setup and management of the service, effectively allowing you to quickly achieve specific performance, scaling, high availability, and cost optimization goals.

Microsoft designed the new deployment mode to:

  • Simplify the application development experience using pre-integrated tools with GitHub, Terraform, Azure Kubernetes Services, and Web Apps
  • Enable the development of highly available, resilient, and scalable applications with the option to select same-zone or zone-redundant high availability and the ability to scale-out up to 10 read replicas
  • Allow users to fine-tune over 300 database parameters, choose their maintenance schedule, scale IOPS independent of provisioned storage, and specify the optimal amount of CPU and memory resources
  • Allow users to optimize their costs
  • Secure data with total network isolation, data at rest encryption, and encrypted connections with complete control over TLS and SSL enforcement

Flexible servers are best suited for

  • Ease of deployments, simplified scaling and low database management overhead for functions like backups, high availability, security and monitoring
  • Application developments requiring community version of MySQL with better control and customizations
  • Production workloads with same-zone, zone redundant high availability and managed maintenance windows
  • Simplified development experience
  • Enterprise grade security, compliance and privacy

You can also find a chart comparing the Azure database for MySQL single sever and Flexible Server over here.