Three Options For Migrating Sql Servers To Azure

Three Options for Migrating SQL Servers to Azure

Arraya Insights | January 5, 2022

Are your traditional on-premises SQL Server databases holding your business back? For users looking to accelerate their digital transformation, migrating from a traditional on-premises SQL Server database to an Azure SQL Database offers several benefits. These include reduced costs, increased innovation capabilities, tighter security measures, and compliance with regulations.   

Migrating to Azure is the logical next step for many businesses who may need to increase capacity, rethink their disaster recovery method, or reduce unnecessary costs.  

For those looking to further their digital transformation, there are three options available for a SQL migration. Below, we’ll breakdown what each option offers, who is best suited to each option, and what users can expect in costs and licensing. 

Azure SQL Database 

  • Microsoft: Manages the infrastructure, operating system, and the SQL instance  
  • You: Manage the database 

Azure SQL Database is an intelligent, scalable, relational database service built for the cloud. This fully managed database automates updates, provisioning, and backups. In addition, it offers flexible and serverless compute with hyperscale storage to adapt to any changing needs.  

SQL Database has two deployment options: 

  1. Single Database (DBaaS): This is an isolated database with its own set of resources managed by a logical SQL server.  
  1. Elastic Pools (DBaaS): This is a collection of databases with a shared set of resources managed via a logical SQL server. Individual databases can be moved in and out of an elastic pool providing a cost-effective solution for managing the performance of multiple databases that have variable usage patterns. 

These options are best for modern cloud applications that want to use the latest stable SQL Server features but face time constraints in development and marketing. They offer a fully managed SQL Server database engine, which is based on the latest stable Enterprise Edition of SQL Server. These are built on standardized hardware and software that is owned, hosted, and maintained by Microsoft. 

Cost & Licensing 

Azure SQL Database is sold as a service and available with several options and in several service tiers with different prices for resources. All resources are billed hourly at a fixed rate based on the service tier and compute size.  

Managed Instances (PaaS) 

  • Microsoft: Manages the infrastructure and operating system 
  • You: Manage the SQL instances  

This fully managed SQL Server is a collection of Microsoft managed system and user databases with a shared set of resources. Azure SQL Managed Instances supports database migration from on-premises with minimal to no database change. With no code changes, you’ll have almost 100% compatibility.  

This intelligent, scalable cloud database service combines the broadest SQL Server database engine compatibility with all the benefits of a fully managed platform as a service.  

Azure SQL Managed Instances is best for new applications or existing on-premises applications that want to use the latest stable SQL Server features and that are migrated to the cloud with minimal changes.  

This option provides all the PaaS benefits of Azure SQL Database but adds capabilities that were previously only available in SQL Server VMs. This includes a native virtual network and near 100% compatibility with on-premises SQL Server. Instances of SQL Managed Instance provide full SQL Server access and feature compatibility for migrating SQL Servers to Azure.  

Cost & Licensing 

Managed Instances is sold as a service and available with several options and in several service tiers with different prices for resources. All resources are billed hourly at a fixed rate based on the service tier and compute size you choose. You can also bring your own license.  

Virtual SQL Server (IaaS) 

  • Microsoft: Manages the infrastructure 
  • You: Manage the operating system and the SQL instances 

Virtual SQL Server provides the performance and security of SQL Server with the flexibility and hybrid connectivity of Azure. This allows for an instance of SQL Server inside a fully managed virtual machine (VM).  

A SQL Server that is installed and hosted in the cloud runs on Windows Server or Linux virtual. SQL virtual machines are a good option for migrating on-premises SQL Server databases and applications without any database change. All recent versions and editions of SQL Server are available for installation in an IaaS virtual machine.  

What differentiates SQL Database and SQL Managed Instance is that SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines allows full control over the database engine. Azure virtual machines also provide automated updates and backups and Azure storage providers higher availability and performance.  

Cost & Licensing:  

For Virtual SQL Server, you can either pay-as-you-go for a SQL Server license already included in a SQL Server image or easily use an existing license. All the supported SQL server versions (2008R2, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2019) and editions (developer, express, web, standard, enterprise) are available. You can also stop or resume the VM, as needed.  

Next Steps: Begin Planning Your SQL Server Migration to Azure 

Is your business considering a migration to Azure? Arraya Solutions can help.  

Our application experts can help you formulate a plan that will positively impact both your top and bottom lines.  

Start modernizing your applications today by migrating to Azure so you can take advantage of reduced costs, better security, and unlimited innovation. Contact one of our Arraya experts to get started.  

Visithttps://www.arrayasolutions.com/contact-us/ to connect with our team now. 

Comment on this and all of our posts on: LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.     

Follow us to stay up to date on our industry insights and unique IT learning opportunities.