How to clone an Azure SQL Database

How to clone an Azure SQL Database

In a typical software development lifecycle, when a solution is promoted from one environment to another, from non-production environments to production environments, there is often a need to create an identical copy of databases within and across environments. Cloning a database is one of the easiest ways to get the data as well as database objects from the desired environment. On Azure cloud, SQL Server Databases are one of the mainstream sources for hosting transactional data, and with it comes a need to move this data as well as database objects contained in the database on Azure by cloning the database.

In a typical software development lifecycle, when a solution is promoted from one environment to another, from non-production environments to production environments, there is often a need to create an identical copy of databases within and across environments. Cloning a database is one of the easiest ways to get the data as well as database objects from the desired environment. On Azure cloud, SQL Server Databases are one of the mainstream sources for hosting transactional data, and with it comes a need to move this data as well as database objects contained in the database on Azure by cloning the database.

Let’s go ahead and see how we can clone a SQL Server database on Azure.

Creating a Source Azure SQL Database

It is assumed that you have an Azure account with required access to Azure SQL Server and Azure SQL Database services. To start with, we need an existing Azure SQL Server and a database that we will consider as the source database. In this case, for our exercise, we have an existing Azure SQL Server database as shown below. You can use any existing database or consider creating a new one and populate it with some sample data. This data is already populated with sample data available from the service itself.

Azure SQL Server Database

Every Azure SQL Server database needs to be hosted on an Azure SQL Server instance. This database shown above is hosted on Azure SQL Server instance as shown below. When an Azure SQL Database instance is created, by default full backups are created every week, and other types of backups are created as regular and scheduled intervals.

Backups

To clone a database, we need at least one backup of the source database. You can configure the backup retention policy from the Manage Backups section by clicking on the Configure retention button as shown below.

Backup of Azure SQL Server Database

Assuming at least there’s one backup in place, let’s start creating a new database. Navigate to the SQL Database service and click on the Add button to start creating a new database. You would find a screen as shown below. Select the relevant details related to the subscription and resource group. Provide a name for the new database as well as the SQL Server instance on which it would be hosted. Configure the database capacity if required or continue with the defaults and click on the Networking button. A screen as shown below would appear.

azure sql azure

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