Recently, more than a million on-premises SQL Server databases migrated to Azure. This movement represents a massive shift in where people are collecting, storing, and analyzing their data.
The common reasons for this shift are:
- Azure provides an opportunity to transform your data architecture.
- Azure allows you to have control over your database and operating system while still benefiting from cloud flexibility and scale.
- Better compatibility with on-premises workloads such as SQL Server Reporting Services.
The biggest benefit of using SQL on Azure Development is its unique built-in security and manageability capabilities. This helps automate tasks such as patching and backups. Additionally, the SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines offers the best price-performance possible.
Price-Performance on Azure
When it comes to price-performance, AWS was nowhere close to Azure across both Windows and Linux for mission-critical workloads. Azure is 3.4 times faster and up to 87% less expensive than AWS. AWS instance pricing might just be what you need to consider in certain circumstances. The best bet for your money would be to shop around and explore all of your options, whether it be through Azure or AWS.
Security and Manageability
With more than 25 years of experience, the Azure’s SQL Server team continues to drive innovation and security to meet the changing needs of people.
No matter if you want to execute on-premises, or on the edge, or in the cloud, the result is the most robust, consistent, and secure software solution for your data.
From automatic security patching to automated high-availability, to database recovery, Azure offers everything. The unique security capabilities of Azure includes advanced data security for SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines. This enables both advanced threat protection and vulnerability assessments.
SQL Server Virtual Machine Gallery Images
Azure offers images for all supported major releases of SQL Server on all editions for both Windows and Linux.
SQL Server images in the virtual machine gallery are updated every two months with the latest Windows and Linux updates. These updates are handled differently for Linux and Windows.
You can create a generalized Azure SQL Server Marketplace image for your SQL Server VM and use it to deploy VMs. You can also utilize features such as automated patching and automatic backups. Ensure that you specify the license type for each SQL Server VM at the time of registering with the resource provider.
Creating an Azure Virtual Machine with SQL Server
When creating an SQL Server Virtual Machine, you can choose from several pre-configured images from the gallery that uses pay-per-second SQL Server Licensing. You can also use an image that allows you to bring your own SQL Server License.
Depending on your requirement, you can either choose to manually install SQL Server on a VM with either a freely licensed edition or by re-using an on-premises license.
If you are bringing your own license, ensure that you have license mobility through Software Assurance on Azure.
If you have an on-premises SQL Server and want to migrate it to the cloud, you will first need to create an Azure virtual machine with a SQL Server instance. Then you will be able to migrate your on-premises database to that instance.
Installing your Licensed Copy of SQL Server on Azure VM
If you are an EA (enterprise agreement) customer, you can provision one of the virtual machine images that support licenses. It is also known as BYOL (bring your own license).
If you have software assurance, you can facilitate the Azure Hybrid benefit on an existing PYAG (pay as you go) image. Another way to install your licensed copy of SQL Server on Azure VM is by copying the installation media to a Windows Server VM and then install the SQL Server on the VM.
Another advantage of using SQL on Azure is that there is no downtime to switching licensing models. The change is effective immediately and doesn’t require you to restart the VM. However, the SQL laaS extension is a prerequisite to registering your SQL Server VM with the SQL Server VM Resource Provider.
Installing the laaS extension in full mode will automatically restart the SQL Server Service. Therefore, it is recommended to either install the laaS extension in lightweight mode (which offers limited functionality) or install it in full mode during a maintenance window.
Between Azure and AWS, Azure seems to outdo AWS in every way. Azure offers better performance and enhanced security to the SQL Servers. This explains why millions of SQL Servers are migrating to Azure. If you haven’t migrated yet, now is the best time.
Bharat Patel, who heads the digital marketing team at Brainvire Infotech, is armed with over 12 years of experience in the fields of online marketing and project management. He is extremely proactive in implementing the latest technological innovations in his projects. Bharat’s core expertise lies in search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, and conversion rate optimization, among other things. His immense flare of writing encourages him to consistently pen down words revolving around current trends and innovations that relate to his fields of interest.