Leveraging Azure Batch for database builds
- Why use Azure Batch?
- Getting Started
- Upload or Update SQL Build Manager binaries
- Running a Batch Build
- Alternative run options
- Log Details
Why use Azure Batch?
If you have a fleet of databases to update, it could take a very long time to run your build on a single machine, even if you leverage the threaded model. Similar to leveraging Kubernetes or Azure Container Instance, to ensure you can complete your updates in a timely fashion, SQL Build Manager can target Azure Batch to distribute you build across multiple compute nodes, each leveraging their own set of concurrent tasks. You can control the level of concurrency to maximize throughput while not overloading your SQL Servers (see details on concurrency management)
To leverage Azure Batch, you will need an Azure subscription with several Azure resources deployed.
- Set Up you Azure resources. For this, leverage the automation script as explained here
- Upload SQL Build Manager binaries to Batch - if you ran the scripts from step 1, you have already uploaded a local build!
Upload or Update SQL Build Manager binaries
Note: If you ran the scripts from here to upload a local build, you can re-run
create_azure_resources.ps1 at any time (using the same parameter values) to easily update the code package
But, if you want to do it manually:
- First, make sure you have a build of SQL Build Manager either from GitHub Release or built locally:
- Clone/pull from Github
Build locally either in Visual Studio or via command line:
cd ./src/SqlBuildManager.Console dotnet publish sbm.csproj -r [win-x64 or linux-x64] --configuration [Debug or Release] -f net5.0
- Zip up all of the files in the publish folder - or grab the latest release Zip file from GitHub
- In the Azure Portal, navigate to your Azure Batch account and click the “Applications” blade.
- Click the “+ Add” link
- Fill in the Application Id with “SqlBuildManagerWindows” (no quotes) for Windows or “SqlBuildManagerLinux” for Linux and the version field (can be any alpha-numeric)
- Use the folder icon to select your zip file that contains the compiled binaries
- Click the “OK” button - this will upload your zip package and it will now show up in the Application list
Running a Batch Build
(For a full end-to-end example, see this document)
Azure Batch builds are started locally via
sbm.exe. This process communicates with the Azure Storage account and Azure Batch account to execute across the pool of Batch compute nodes. The number of nodes that are provisioned is determined by your command line arguments.
While all of the values can be provided as arguments in the command line, it is strongly suggested you leverage
--settingsfilekey parameter is not required if you are leveraging
--keyvaultname). A settings JSON file was created for you via
create_azure_resources.ps1 but can also be re-created for any set of Azure resources via
You can also build it manually by executing
sbm batch savesettings command and providing the appropriate arguments. See the argument details here
1. Pre-stage the Azure Batch pool VMs
sbm batch prestage [options]. This will create the desired number of Azure Batch VM’s as defined in the
(NOTE: it can take 10-20 minutes for the VMs to be provisioned and ready which is why
prestageis recommended). See the argument details here
2. Queue the database targets
sbm batch enqueue [options]. This will create a Service Bus Topic message for each database target. The batch nodes will pull from this queue to update the database
It is important to use the same
--concurrencytypevalue here that you will use when you run the build as this settings targets the appropriate topic/subscription.
See full details on leveraging Service Bus here
Instead of using a Service Bus Topic, you can target your databases with the
--overrideargument directly with
sbm batch run.
3. Execute batch build
sbm batch run [options]. See the argument details here
This will start the following process:
- Validate the provided command line arguments for completeness
- The target database list is split into pieces for distribution to the compute nodes (only if using the
--overrideargument and not using Service Bus)
- The resource files are uploaded to the Storage account
- The workload tasks are send to Azure Batch and distributed to each compute node
- The local executable polls for node status, waiting for each to complete
- Once complete, the aggregate return code is used as the exit code for
- The log files for each of the nodes is uploaded to the Storage account associated with the Batch
- A SaS token URL to get read-only access to the log files is included in the console output. You can also view these files via the Azure portal or the Azure Batch Explorer
4. Inspect logs if an issue is reported
- If there is a issue with the execution - either with the SQL updates or something with the program, logs will be created. See the log details to see what files to expect.
- If applicable use the
failuredatabases.cfgfile as the
sbm batch enqueue(if leveraging Service Bus) or
sbm batch run(if leveraging a local target file) to only re-run against the databases that had update issues
5. Cleanup post build
sbm batch cleanup [options]. This will delete the Azure Batch VM’s so you are no longer charged for the compute. See the argument details here
NOTE: this will not delete the log files, these are generally needed more long term and they will stay in the storage account
Alternative run options
If you prefer a one step execution, you can run the command line to create and delete the pool VMs in-line with your execution. To do this, you would use
sbm batch run along with the additional arguments to create and delete the pool
The following command contains all of the required arguments to run a Batch job:
sbm.exe batch run --override="C:\temp\override.cfg" --packagename="c:\temp\mybuild.sbm" --username=myname --password=P@ssw0rd! --deletebatchpool=false --batchnodecount=5 --batchvmsize=STANDARD_DS1_V2 --batchaccountname=mybatch --batchaccounturl=https://mybatch.eastus.batch.azure.com --batchaccountkey=x1hGLIIrdd3rroqXpfc2QXubzzCYOAtrNf23d3dCtOL9cQ+WV6r/raNrsAdV7xTaAyNGsEagbF0VhsaOTxk6A== --storageaccountname=mystorage --storageaccountkey=lt2e2dr7JYVnaswZJiv1J5g8v2ser20B0pcO0PacPaVl33AAsuT2zlxaobdQuqs0GHr8+CtlE6DUi0AH+oUIeg==
The following command line uses a generated DACPAC and assumes that the Batch, Storage and password settings are in the
sbm.exe batch run --settingsfile="C:\temp\my_settings.json" --settingsfilekey="C:\temp\my_keyfile.txt"--override="C:\temp\override.cfg" --platinumdbsource="platinumDb" --platinumserversource="platinumdbserver" --database=targetDb --server="targetdbserver"