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This topic was created on: January 24, 2011

client layer

     The layer that resides closest to your application, and that your application uses to communicate directly with Windows Azure SQL Database. The client layer can reside on-premises in your data center, or it can be hosted in Windows Azure.


     The worldwide collection of networks and gateways that use the TCP/IP suite of protocols to communicate with one another.

cloud computing

    A type of computing that uses groups of servers and scalable resources, generally a platform as a service and software as a service, over the Internet.


     Pertaining to operations that take place within the cloud.

infrastructure layer

     The layer that represents the IT administration of the physical hardware and operating systems that support the services layer.

master database

     The system database that records all the system-level information for an instance of SQL Server.

platform layer

    The layer that includes the physical servers and services that support the services layer. The platform layer consists of many instances of SQL Server, each of which is managed by the SQL Database fabric.

private cloud

  A cloud infrastructure in which cloud resources are confined inside a firewall, and the customer retains control over the cloud infrastructure. Some enterprises run their data centers as a private cloud.

public cloud

    A cloud infrastructure typically owned and managed by an organization that sells cloud services. The resources are shared by the general public or a group of customers in order to optimize utilization rates.

server-level principal

     An account that is similar to the sa login in SQL Server. During the provisioning process, SQL Database creates a login for you that is the server-level principal of your SQL Database server. The SQL Database server-level principal account has permission to manage all server-level and database-level security.

service administrator

     The person responsible for setting up and managing a service.

services layer

     The layer that functions as a gateway between the client layer and the platform layer, where the data resides. The services layer provides three functions: provisioning, billing and metering, and connection routing.


   A technique for partitioning large data sets, which improves performance and scalability, and enables distributed querying of data across multiple tenants.

SQL Database fabric

    A distributed computing system composed of tightly integrated networks, servers, and storage. The SQL Database fabric enables automatic failover, load balancing, and automatic replication between physical servers.

SQL Database Migration Wizard

     A wizard that helps you select your SQL objects, create SQL scripts suitable for SQL Database, migrate data between on-premises SQL Server 2008 or SQL Server 2005 and SQL Database servers, as well as between two or more SQL Databases in the same or different data centers. The SQL Database Migration Wizard is community-built, and is not supported.

SQL Database provisioning process

     A way of preparing and configuring the hardware and software required to maintain your data at a Microsoft data center. The SQL Database provisioning model describes the logical hierarchy of your Windows Azure platform account, SQL Database servers, and databases; by using this process, you can rapidly provision your data storage.

SQL Database server

     A logical group of databases that acts as an authorization boundary and central administrative point for multiple databases. Each SQL Database server includes logins similar to those in instances of SQL Server on your premises.

Windows Azure Platform Management Portal

    A user interface that you can use to provision servers and logins, and to quickly create databases.

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