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Why You Should Migrate SQL Server to Azure

​So, let's talk about another on-premise data server that IT departments have in their server racks, SQL Server databases. Yup, you guessed it, this can be migrated into the cloud with Azure and it may be time to consider it. There are so many advantages to getting your SQL Server database into the cloud and it may be best for the business since the more on-premise server management you get rid of, the better. Here's why.

First, let's see about which SQL Server operating systems can be migrated into Azure SQL Database (ASD). If you are currently running your SQL Server database on any of these, there should be no problem migrating into Azure:

  1. SQL Server on-premises
  2. SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines
  3. Amazon Web Services (AWS) Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)
  4. AWS Relational Database Service (RDS)
  5. Compute Engine in Google Cloud Platform (GCP)
  6. Cloud SQL for SQL Server in GCP
If your SQL Server has a pretty big workload, Azure is certainly the right place to put it in the cloud, especially if it requires a fully managed platform as a service (PaaS). Here are some advantages of moving your SQL Server Database into Azure:

  1. ASD handles most database management functions
  2. Built in high availability
  3. Intelligent query processing
  4. Great scalability based on business and data needs
  5. Performance capabilities for multiple application types
These are just a few and because you get such great flexibility with ASC, it can be catered to so many different types of workloads and applications. The ability to choose from many different deployment models and service tiers makes this a no brainer migration. As the business grows, data grows, and it can be very expensive to have to continue to either upgrade your on-premise server, or buy a new one completely to fit the needs. Yikes!

Before we go into the migration process a bit, let's talk about some key considerations that need to be taken into account when migrating your SQL Server DB into ASD:

  1. Number of servers and databases 
  2. Size of databases
  3. Acceptable downtime during migration
These will all factor in when deciding to do a migration into Azure and it will be best to try to plan this out as best as possible before diving in.

Lastly, the migration process...

For the migration of SQL Server to Azure it's important to note some root features are unavailable in a SQL Managed Instance, which is why it's important to carry out this move with a partner. It's also important to estimate the compute size you'll need to run your systems. Using the Azure Calculator you can get an idea of cost, but you'll need to review compute power with an Azure Engineer to estimate how much usage you'll need vs. what you have now. 

  1. Migrate the data with Microsoft's Data Migration Assistant
  2. Review features alerted on completion that aren't available
  3. Build a network in Azure to allow access to systems previously connected to your old SQL instance
  4. Start testing

As with any migration of data, it's best to start with a migration plan. Feel free to reach out if you're in the planning phase and need assistance moving forward.


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