Quickstart: Create an Azure Data Explorer cluster and database

Azure Data Explorer is a fast and highly scalable data exploration service for log and telemetry data. To use Azure Data Explorer, you first create a cluster, and create one or more databases in that cluster. Then you ingest data into a database so that you can run queries against it.

In this quickstart, you create a cluster and a database using the Azure portal. To create a cluster and database using C#, Python, Go, the Azure CLI, PowerShell, or an Azure Resource Manager (ARM) template, see Create a cluster and database.


You can also create a free cluster with only a Microsoft account or an Azure Active Directory user identity.

For more information on cluster subscription limits, see Azure Data Explorer limits.


Create a cluster

Create an Azure Data Explorer cluster with a defined set of compute and storage resources in an Azure resource group.

  1. Select the + Create a resource button in the upper-left corner of the portal.

    Screenshot of the Create a resource button.

  2. Search for Azure Data Explorer.

    Search Azure Data Explorer

  3. Under Azure Data Explorer, select Create.

    Screenshot of the Create a cluster window

  4. Fill out the basic cluster details with the following information.

    Screenshot of the Azure portal create Azure Data Explorer cluster form.

    Setting Suggested value Field description
    Subscription Your subscription Select the Azure subscription that you want to use for your cluster.
    Resource group Your resource group Use an existing resource group or create a new resource group.
    Cluster name A unique cluster name Choose a unique name that identifies your cluster. The domain name [region].kusto.windows.net is appended to the cluster name you provide. The name can contain only lowercase letters and numbers. It must contain from 4 to 22 characters.
    Region West US or West US 2 Select West US or West US 2 (if using availability zones) for this quickstart. For a production system, select the region that best meets your needs.
    Workload Dev/Test Select Dev/Test for this quickstart. For a production system, select the specification that best meets your needs.
    Compute specifications Dev(No SLA)_Standard_E2a_v4 Select Dev(No SLA)_Standard_E2a_v4 for this quickstart. For a production system, select the specification that best meets your needs.
    Availability zones On Turning on this feature will distribute the cluster storage and compute resources across multiple physical zones within a region for added protection and availability. By default, this feature is turned on if zones are supported in the region. If less than 3 zones are available for the compute instances, the portal will display the number of supported zones. Note that deployment to availability zones is possible only when creating the cluster, and can't be modified later. Read more about Azure Availability Zones.
  5. Select Review + create to review your cluster details, and on the next screen select Create to provision the cluster. Provisioning typically takes about 10 minutes.

  6. When the deployment is complete, select Go to resource.

    Screenshot of the Go to resource button.


If the deployment fails with the error "SubscriptionNotRegistered", retry the operation.

Deployment fails when the Kusto resource provider isn't registered on the subscription described in Azure resource providers and types. When the deployment fails, the Kusto resource provider registers itself on the subscription, and the retry can then succeed.

Create a database

You're now ready for the second step in the process: database creation.

  1. On the Overview tab, select Create database.

    Screenshot of the Create a database window.

  2. Fill out the form with the following information.

    Setting Suggested value Field description
    Admin Default selected The admin field is disabled. New admins can be added after database creation.
    Database name TestDatabase The name of database to create. The name must be unique within the cluster.
    Retention period 365 The number of days that data is guaranteed to be kept available for querying. The period is measured from the time data is ingested.
    Cache period 31 The number of days to keep frequently queried data available in SSD storage or RAM to optimize querying.

    Create database form.

  3. Select Create to create the database. Creation typically takes less than a minute. When the process is complete, you're back on the cluster Overview tab.

Run basic commands in the database

After you created the cluster and database, you can run queries and commands. The database doesn't have data yet, but you can still see how the tools work.

  1. Under your cluster, select Query. Paste the command .show databases into the query window, then select Run.

    Show databases command.

    The result set shows TestDatabase, the only database in the cluster.

  2. Paste the command .show tables into the query window and select Run.

    This command returns an empty result set because you don't have any tables yet. You add a table in the next article in this series.

Stop and restart the cluster

You can stop and restart a cluster depending on business needs. Stopping the cluster significantly reduces cost as it releases the compute resources, which are the bulk of the overall cluster cost, without deleting the database.

  1. To stop the cluster, at the top of the Overview tab, select Stop.

    Screenshot of the Azure portal and cluster stop button.


    When the cluster is stopped, data is not available for queries, and you can't ingest new data.

  2. To restart the cluster, at the top of the Overview tab, select Start.

    When the cluster is restarted, it takes about 10 minutes for it to become available (like when it was originally provisioned). It takes more time for data to load into the hot cache.

Clean up resources

If you plan to follow other quickstarts and tutorials, keep the resources you created. Otherwise, clean up your resource group, to avoid incurring costs.

  1. In the Azure portal, select Resource groups on the far left, and then select the resource group that contains your Data Explorer cluster.

  2. Select Delete resource group to delete the entire resource group. If using an existing resource group, you can choose to only delete the Data Explorer cluster.

Next steps