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Escape MySQL 5.6 on Azure End of Life with a 5.7 Upgrade

MySQL on Azure 5.6 reached End of Life (EoL) on February 4, 2021. If your organization is still using this version of the service, it’s time to choose your upgrade option. Learn how an upgrade to MySQL on Azure 5.7 makes the most sense for your managed databases.

What Is MySQL on Azure

Azure Database for MySQL is a fully managed database service that makes it simple to take MySQL databases into the cloud. You have access to the most recent community editions of this database, along with the powerful benefits that Azure’s platform delivers.

  • Up to 99.9% availability, backed by a service-level agreement.
  • Automated infrastructure management, including updates, backups, and other maintenance.
  • Custom performance recommendations to help you optimize your MySQL databases.
  • Expand your MySQL capabilities through tight integration with other Azure services.
  • Single-zone and zone-redundant high availability.
  • Advanced security features, including Microsoft Defender for Identity.
  • Keep working with the same development tools, as Azure supports a variety of programming languages, development environments, and other software.
  • Scale your MySQL databases in seconds and keep costs optimized with pay-as-you-go pricing models.

What MySQL 5.6 EoL Means for Your Organization

Azure Database for MySQL no longer allows you to make MySQL 5.6 database instances as of April 1, 2021. While this MySQL version has had an exceptional run since February 5, 2013, continuing to use it puts your organization at risk.

You will no longer receive security updates, patches, bug fixes, or any other support for this database. The longer you use an obsolete database version, the more likely it is that you will suffer from a data breach or another type of malicious attack. Your next step is preparing for a migration to a newer version of MySQL available on Azure.

Why Upgrade to MySQL 5.7 on Azure

MySQL 5.7 and 8.0 are available on Azure. While both versions have many benefits and new features, MySQL 5.7 has several compelling reasons to choose it.

  • You can easily upgrade from MySQL 5.6 to MySQL 5.7 directly. It’s not a best practice to go directly to MySQL 8.0 from 5.6, so you would have to go through two upgrade processes back-to-back instead of one.
  • MySQL 5.7 has many improvements over 5.6, such as being three times as fast, but it’s still in the same major release number. You have to do less work to keep your applications working properly than with the more drastic shift to MySQL 8.0.
  • MySQL 5.7 has continued support until October 2023. You have two years to prepare your organization for the next major upgrade, allowing you to make the most of each version.


MySQL 5.7 adds JSON and GIS support, better InnoDB scalability, new monitoring functionality, improved security, a rewritten Optimizer, and more to this powerful database.

Planning Your MySQL on Azure 5.6 to 5.7 Upgrade

No matter which MySQL version you choose, database upgrades are a complex process. With Datavail’s MySQL and Azure experts at your side, you’ll be able to get back to a supported database version in no time. Contact us to learn more about our database management and maintenance services.

The post Escape MySQL 5.6 on Azure End of Life with a 5.7 Upgrade appeared first on Datavail.

4 Microsoft Azure Services for Software Development and Modernization


Modernizing your legacy IT is one of the most common ways to enact digital transformation, but not every organization knows how to get started with such a project.

In a previous blog post, we discussed a number of ways that you can modernize your legacy applications, including cloud migrations, microservices and DevOps. Below, we’ll go into more detail about the Microsoft Azure cloud, including some of the most important Azure features and services for developing and modernizing applications.

1. Azure Machine Learning

Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) have been cited as keys to digital transformation for organizations of all sizes and industries. Azure Machine Learning is Microsoft’s “machine learning as a service” offering in the Azure cloud, making it easier for businesses to enjoy AI insights.

Azure Machine Learning simplifies the process of building, training, and deploying production-ready machine learning models. While it includes a user-friendly, drag-and-drop interface, Azure Machine Learning can also be used by data scientists and machine learning professionals who want to get more from the experience.

2. Azure Service Fabric

Azure Service Fabric is an Azure PaaS (platform-as-a-service) offering: a distributed services platform for building, deploying, and managing containers and microservices-based applications.

Azure customers can use Service Fabric to build modular, independent microservices that communicate with each other using APIs (application programming interfaces). In fact, Azure Service Fabric is a critical part of Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure: it powers many other Azure products and services, such as Azure SQL Database, Cortana, Azure IoT, and Power BI.

3. Azure DevOps

As the name suggests, “DevOps” is a software development methodology that seeks to foster closer collaboration and tighter feedback loops between your development and IT operations teams. Azure DevOps is a collection of related services that can help your team implement DevOps in the Azure cloud.

The list of Azure DevOps services includes:

  • Azure Boards for planning and tracking work, including Kanban boards, backlogs, and dashboards.
  • Azure Pipelines for implementing CI/CD (continuous integration/continuous deployment).
  • Azure Test Plans for creating both manual and automated software tests.
  • Azure Artifacts for creating and sharing Maven, npm, NuGet, and Python packages.

4. Azure Functions

Azure Functions helps users build serverless applications. The term “serverless computing” is a bit of a misnomer: servers are still required to run your software, but developers don’t have to worry about the tasks of provisioning and maintaining them.

Serverless computing has a variety of advantages:

  • Lower costs: Applications are only executed in response to a particular event or trigger, saving you money by using fewer resources.
  • Greater scalability: Because the cloud vendor is responsible for server monitoring and maintenance, serverless computing provides built-in scalability.
  • Ease of development: Serverless computing largely frees developers from server management and maintenance, and also aligns well with methodologies such as microservices—each function is tiny and built for a single purpose.


From machine learning, microservices, DevOps and serverless computing, this article just scratches the surface of what’s possible for application modernization and development in the Azure cloud. And we should know—Datavail is a Microsoft Gold Partner that has helped countless clients migrate to the Azure cloud and modernize their legacy applications.

To learn more about how we helped a recent client modernize their IT portals in the Microsoft Azure cloud, check out our case study “Public College Modernizes Online Application Process with Azure.” You can also get in touch with our team of IT experts for a chat about your business needs and objectives.

The post 4 Microsoft Azure Services for Software Development and Modernization appeared first on Datavail.

Rittman Mead Sponsor Fastnet Entry 2021

Part one.

In 2002 my wife Val and I decided to buy our first yacht. We lived in the Brighton so it seemed to make sense. In 2005 we replaced our first boat with a Sigma 400. A Sigma is a well made boat so it seemed logical she needed to be used properly; we decided to to sell everything and travel. I knew Jon Mead from a large gnarly migration project in Liverpool and he too lived in Brighton, so joined us racing for a season before we left. In 2006 Mr Mead joined us for a little sail across the atlantic (20 days). We were inexperienced as a crew and skipper but we had "fun" and survived.

Here we are again ..

In 2016 over a few glasses of wine with friends, heavily influenced by the wine we decided to enter Fastnet 2017.  Fastnet is an offshore sailing race from Cowes to the Fastnet rock Southern Ireland and back to Plymouth, about 600 miles. Fastnet happens every two years and has been running since 1925. The race is organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC).

2017 was rather successful, we had crew, a mixture of experience and completed qualifying before then going on to complete the race.

In 2019 Val and I attempted the race double handed, quite a challenge on a Sigma 400 more suited to a crew of burley men. However things did not go as planned. A number of niggles, concerns about the rudder bearings, some rigging issues, tiredness and weather finally broke us.

So back to here we are again.. 2021 we were planning to sail with two friends currently living in Denmark. Covid and travel has meant they can no longer join us so back to double handing.

Why the blog? Well Rittman Mead has kindly sponsored some of our kit for the race. Well why not after all we are an Oracle partner and Larry loves a sail. There is a lovely new Spinnaker, 96 square meters of sail branded of course with Rittman Mead and we have some HH crew hoodies to keep us warm on the trip. Thanks Mr Mead.

Fingers crossed this year is a good one. Oh another thing to mention, this year the race is controversially changing. It is now about 100 miles longer and finishes in Cherbourg. We won't be stopping as, well you know, Covid so an additional 90 miles for our return after going over the finish.

Track us on Intemperance here

Oh this doesn't look great ..

Part two of Fastnet to follow…

Real-time Sailing Yacht Performance - Getting Started (Part 1)
In this series of articles, I intend to look at collecting and analysing ouryacht’s data. I aim to show how a number of technologies can be used to achievethis and the thought processes around the build and exploration of the data.Ultimately, I want to improve our sailing performance with data, n…

Why Companies Are Moving Their Analytics to AWS Cloud


Moving analytics to the cloud is now a best practice for companies of all sizes and industries. According to a 2020 survey by MicroStrategy, 47 percent of organizations have already moved their analytics platform into the cloud, while another 42 percent have a hybrid cloud/on-premises analytics solution.


As an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner, Datavail has helped countless companies move their analytics tools to Amazon Web Services. Below, we’ll go over the benefits of migrating to AWS cloud analytics, as well as some tips and tricks we can share from our AWS cloud migrations.

The Benefits of Analytics on AWS Cloud

More and more companies are running their business intelligence and analytics workloads in the cloud. The advantages of moving analytics to AWS Cloud include:

  • Lower IT costs: Cloud migrations save businesses the costs of on-premises hardware, software licenses, and ongoing support and maintenance.
  • Increased scalability and flexibility: As you accumulate more and more data, scalability becomes an increasingly important concern for analytics, especially to handle rapid usage spikes. The AWS Auto Scaling feature lets you define rules to automatically adjust your capacity, so the system never goes down due to heavy demand.
  • Data backup and business continuity: Tools like AWS Backup help you get your business back up and running more quickly in the wake of a disaster.

Tips and Tricks for Moving Analytics to AWS Cloud

The benefits of an AWS cloud migration are clear—so what are some tips, tricks, and best practices for moving your analytics to AWS Cloud?

  1. Don’t rush into things

    Before executing any cloud migration, organizations need to perform due diligence and develop a clear strategy.

    The due diligence phase incorporates multiple steps:

    • “Discovery” of existing data assets and technologies.
    • Evaluating the organization’s goals and requirements.
    • Understanding the relationships between data, applications, and workflows that will be affected by the migration.

    Next, organizations need to decide the appropriate strategy for migrating their on-premises analytics solution. Amazon outlines 6 cloud migration strategies (known as the “6 Rs”):

    • Rehosting legacy applications by moving them to the cloud largely unchanged.
    • Replatforming applications by making a few changes and optimizations.
    • Refactoring applications by changing their architecture for the cloud.
    • Repurchasing by shifting to a SaaS (“software as a service”) model.
    • Retiring applications that are no longer used or necessary.
    • Retaining on-premises applications that require extra work before a cloud migration, but that are too critical to abandon.

  3. Use AWS tools to help with the migration

    If you’re moving your analytics to AWS Cloud, why not leverage all that the cloud has to offer? The AWS cloud includes multiple tools to assist with a cloud migration, including:


  5. Take full advantage of the AWS ecosystem

    Just the simple fact of having migrated your analytics workloads to AWS Cloud doesn’t mean that you’re actually taking full advantage of the capabilities of the AWS ecosystem. One of Datavail’s clients, a media supply chain company in California, had already migrated its on-premises analytics to the cloud, but was struggling to adapt the platform to its new home. As a result, the client was experiencing common growing pains of cloud migrations, such as poor scalability, lack of licenses and servers, and various technical limitations.

    With the help of Datavail, the client developed its analytics platform into a robust, completely serverless AWS cloud solution leveraging the entire AWS ecosystem:

    • First, existing data sources are placed in Amazon S3 staging areas, and then migrated into Amazon RDS data marts.
    • The client uses the Amazon QuickSight BI tool to run queries and self-service analytics.
    • Datasets can be easily transferred and delivered using S3 buckets and the AWS Data Pipeline managed ETL service.
    • Key decision-makers receive timely, scheduled reports in their email inboxes.
    • The entire AWS environment is monitored using the Amazon CloudWatch

How Datavail Can Help

Datavail is an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner, with years of experience helping businesses migrate to the AWS cloud. We have the knowledge and skillset to make your next AWS cloud migration a success. Our cloud migration services include:

  • Selecting the right cloud technologies.
  • Completing a cloud readiness assessment of your organization.
  • Developing a cloud migration roadmap with an appropriate timeline.
  • Creating a total cost of ownership (TCO) estimate and deploying a proof of concept.
  • Uplifting analytics solutions from on-premises to the cloud.
  • Providing ongoing cloud support, maintenance, and management.


Want to see the benefits of moving analytics to AWS Cloud for yourself? Get in touch with Datavail’s team of cloud migration experts today for a chat about your business needs and objectives—or download our white paper “Across the Continent with Cloud Analytics” to see how 8 of our clients have leveraged cloud analytics to their advantage.

The post Why Companies Are Moving Their Analytics to AWS Cloud appeared first on Datavail.

5 Reasons to Migrate Oracle Applications to Azure


As the war for cloud customers continues between ‘as a service’ vendors both large and small, Microsoft Azure continues to maintain its stronghold. With an all-inclusive offering of IaaS, SaaS, and PaaS, more than 50 active regions around the world, and an appealing free 12 months of service for new customers (restrictions apply), Azure is an appealing solution for companies across the globe.


This story is true for customers looking for an IaaS platform for Oracle applications as well. From Oracle EBS to JD Edwards to PeopleSoft, Azure can support the critical applications that drive your business in a hybrid or fully cloud hosted environment. Here are five reasons to consider moving your Oracle applications to Azure.

1) High Availability

This is one of the top reasons companies choose Microsoft Azure. Compared to other options on the market, Azure has the widest range of availability zones across the globe, offering a Service Level Agreement (SLA) of 99.95%. Each of these zones is made up of individual data centers that function interdependently so that if one zone experiences an unexpected disaster, the other zones can pick up the slack, keeping your data flowing and your business running. If you are running Oracle financial, supply chain, or retail applications that require near-100% uptime, having availability zones that reduce the impact of a failure are a must-have.

2) Scalability

As your business grows, so will your data – and likely so will your application investments. Azure has the ability to host petabytes of data. But even if you’re not there yet, hyper-threaded virtual machines feature up to 128 vCPUs and 6 TB of memory. In addition, with Azure infrastructure flexibility you will always have the storage and compute resources you need, including Azure Disk Storage which offers secure, persistent, and cost-friendly SSD options that can support any and all of your Oracle applications.

3) Disaster Recovery

Reducing downtime and implementing effective disaster recovery is at the forefront of every IT manager’s mind. Azure’s disaster recovery solutions can be integrated with your existing on-premises solutions so you don’t necessarily need to reinvent the wheel once you migrate your Oracle applications. Regardless, the interface for Azure Backup and Azure Site Recovery makes it simple to define policies to natively protect, monitor, and manage enterprise workloads.

You also have access to Azure Site Recovery which will enable you to manage disaster recovery for Oracle Linux VMs and on-premises or physical servers that might be supporting your applications.

4) Cost Reduction

Did we mention that Azure is free for 12 months for new customers? This gives you a chance to take it for a test drive before committing for the long term. But if you’re thinking you need to go all-in or not at all, you can save on licensing costs with Azure constrained-core virtual machines that are optimized specifically for Oracle workloads. You can also save a chunk of change with predictable workloads – reserve resources in advance with Azure Reserved VM Instances. Finally, Azure offers three years of extended security updates for Windows 2008 and 2008 R2 for free when you migrate.

5) Analytics & Insights

If you’re at the forefront of your industry and want to leverage innovations like predictive analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to glean data-driven insights from your Oracle applications, Azure has a host of tools for you.

  • Build data lakes with Azure Data Lake Storage
  • Bring limitless scale and powerful insights to the table with Azure Synapse Analytics
  • Model and visualize data with Power BI
  • Ingest, prepare, and transform your data with Azure Data Factory

Final Thoughts

There are many more reasons to migrate to Azure, but these are the top five benefits of moving your Oracle applications to this top-rated cloud platform. If availability, scalability, cost reduction, and analytics are prime motivators for your organization, it might be time to make the move.

Of course, migrations are not simple undertakings and sometimes it helps to know that other companies have crossed the same territory. To learn about what an Oracle EBS to Azure migration might look like, download our white paper, “Fast Food Chain Completes Successful Oracle EBS Migration to Azure.” You’ll get the details on why this company migrated, how they did it, and the benefits they received.

The post 5 Reasons to Migrate Oracle Applications to Azure appeared first on Datavail.