Over the past month, Microsoft has rolled some new features and capabilities for Azure SQL that will enhance database needs for businesses across the globe. New Signature works monthly to update our thought leadership blog to include the most important Azure updates that you can leverage for your business. Here’s a close look at some of the newest game-changing enhancements: SQL Database auto-failover groups now generally available Azure SQL has had a built-in geo-replication feature for almost five years, but a common customer request has been to support failover with automatic activation that extends to geo-replication. And since one of the biggest sources of update innovation is user requests through their Virtual Suggestion Boxes, Microsoft is proud to announce this feature with the following capabilities: Geo-replication of a group of databases within a logical server Ability to choose manual or automatic failover for a group of databases The connection endpoint to the primary databases in the group that doesn’t change after failover The connection end-point to the secondary databases in the group that doesn’t change after failover (for read-only workloads) Configurable long-term backup retention for Azure SQL now generally available In 2016, long-term backup (up to 10 years) was rolled out for Azure SQL as a preview. During this time, Microsoft gathered feedback and is now rolling out enhancements to this long-term backup plan, including more regional support, more flexibility, such as the ability to customize frequency, and more governance to manage each individual backup. You can read more details in the official Microsoft announcement. Business-critical service tier in Azure SQL Managed Instance now in public preview As of July 16, business-critical service tiers for SQL are now available in 17 different regions (see the regions list here). Being able to employ a managed instance enables an instance-scoped programming model that provides high compatibility with on-premises SQL Server (2005 through current versions), reducing or eliminating the need to re-architect applications and manage those databases after they are in the cloud. With Managed Instance, you can continue to rely on the same SQL Server tools you’ve used and loved for years—in the cloud, too. You can also look to reduce costs by offering support to help maximize value. Get all the details here. Azure AQL Data Warehouse extension for SQL Operations Studio now in public preview Now in public preview, you can extend your SQL Operations Studio (Ops Studio) to the Azure SQL Data Warehouse. This can provide helpful insights though widgets which are generate through T-SQL scripts embedded within SQL Ops. Check out the download instructions here, and be sure to contribute feedback so that when the capability gets to general preview, it can be the best version possible. Check back every month for more highlights to the Azure world on the New Signature blog, or reach out to one of our experts with any questions around the newest available features.