In this post I will cover what I think is a great Managed Instances update for Visual Studio Professional subscription users.
Especially for all of you out there who use Visual Studio Professional subscriptions who experienced the same issue that I had.
In addition, those who wish to use a Visual Studio Professional subscription to test Azure SQL Database Managed Instances sometime in the future.
To clarify, when I say Managed Instances during this post, I mean Azure SQL Database Managed Instances. However, I have shortened it because I think it makes easier reading.
To explain the issue better, back in April I published a post about deploying certain SQL Services in Azure using a Visual Studio Subscription. You can read that post in detail here.
Inside that post I mentioned that I could not deploy Managed Instances using a Visual Studio Professional subscription.
Afterwards, Microsoft announced that Managed Instances would be available for more customers. You can read more about the changes in detail here.
Just after the announcement was made I tested on an account that had a Visual Studio Professional subscription. However, it did not appear to work.
Last week though I decided to try again using an account which also has an Enterprise subscription, and it worked.
First, I wondered if the subnet issue had been resolved because it had an Enterprise subscription on the same account.
So, to be sure I tested it on the account with a standalone Visual Studio Professional subscription and that also worked.
I truly believe this is a fantastic Managed Instances update for Visual Studio Professional subscription users. Because it means that I can now test Managed Instances using Visual Studio Professional subscriptions as well.
Managed Instances pricing
However, do remember to be careful if you are using this Managed Instances update with your Visual Studio Professional subscription. I say this due to the pricing structure.
For example, I created a Gen5 Managed Instance in the West Europe region. Using 4 vcores and 32GB storage had an estimated cost of 420.22 euros per month.
Therefore, based on a 30-day month it works out just over 14 euros a day. So, if you created one and left it up and running you would find your Visual Studio Professional subscription disabled after a few days use.
Of course, this also depends on how much existing credit you currently have left for the month. In fact, I highly recommend checking before creating Managed Instances.
Managed Instances deployment times
I have seen online some people commenting how long it can take for a Managed Instance to be deployed. In fact, some have stated delivery times well over 10 hours.
Now, as you saw above, I created an instance using the lowest number of vcores and storage that was available. In addition, Gen5 was the only available generation in my region.
When I first did the deployment it took 3 hours, 3 minutes and 6 seconds for the Managed Instance to be deployed.
I thought this was really fast considering the other times I have seen others mention. So, I tried again using the same specifications and this time it took 3 hours 8 minutes.
Now, this could have been for various reasons. For instance, the spec of the Managed Instance or the region that I had deployed it in.
I admit I won’t be trying again with this particular subscription. It might be due to the fact that I created a Managed Instance on there on a Friday and left it there over a weekend.
Jumpbox for Managed Instances
Anyway, after I got the Managed Instance up and running, I deployed a special Virtual Machine called a jumpbox to connect to the new Managed Instance.
As a matter of fact, I could have configured my new laptop to directly connect to my Managed Instance using a VPN. However, I decided to do this instead.
If you look inside the portal after creating the Managed Instance there is a section which helps you quickly deploy this jumpbox server.
However, for some reason I could not locate SSMS, which I thought was installed on these servers by default. So, I simply installed the latest version on there instead.
Afterwards, I was able to quickly connect to my Managed Instance using it.
Something you might want to try on your newly created Managed Instance is try Glenn Berry’s latest diagnostic scripts.
Glenn has created a new script specifically for Managed Instances. You can download and try them for yourself by following the link here.
Personally, I think this is a fantastic Managed Instances update for Visual Studio Professional subscription users. Because it means more people can test Azure SQL Database Managed Instances now.
For those of you who have yet to try it, I encourage you to do so and share your experiences below.
In addition, if you have deployed an Azure SQL Database Managed Instance faster than 3 hours 3 minutes feel free to state the time below as a comment.
Of course, you are more than welcome to share your longest deployment time as well.