As we begin to transition into a post-COVID world, companies are still dealing with the pandemic’s effects. Some are slowing down operations and looking for more cost-effective solutions, while others are looking for new growth opportunities to compensate for the uncertainty.
For those looking to accomplish both, now is a perfect time to consider migrating your SQL Server workloads to the cloud. In this article, we’ll cover some of the benefits of migrating your SQL Server infrastructure to the cloud, which cloud hyperscaler provides the best value and the tools you need at your disposal.
The benefits of SQL in the cloud
1- Cost savings
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2- Enhanced performance and scalability
When you migrate your SQL Server workloads to the cloud, you can spin up additional instances at a moment’s notice to accommodate rapid user growth, seasonal changes, or unforeseen traffic spikes. As with most things in the cloud, you only pay for what you use. This means that as soon as your server requirements shrink, so does your cloud expenditure.
Additionally, those running SQL in the cloud will likely experience performance benefits, particularly when running on Azure, as Microsoft’s cloud offering has been designed specifically with SQL support in mind (more on this later).
3- Superior disaster recovery and business continuity
For those not yet ready to commit to moving their entire infrastructure to the cloud, leveraging SQL as cloud-based disaster recovery and business continuity tool is a great place to start. Cloud databases can automatically engage whenever traffic exceeds the capacity of your on-premises hardware. For example, in the event of an onsite outage, Azure Site Recovery can seamlessly and automatically transition traffic to the cloud in case of an outage. Once on-premises services are restored, traffic is automatically routed back.
Which cloud provider is best for SQL Server workloads?
As a two-time Microsoft Partner of the Year Award Winner and Azure Managed Service Provider for over 15 years, Hanu will be the first to admit that on the subject of cloud providers, we’re a bit biased. But there’s a reason for this: Microsoft Azure is by far the best cloud platform for your SQL Servers.
Research and analysis firm GigaOm found that SQL Server on Azure can process 698.07 transactions per second, whereas SQL hosted on AWS clocked in at a mere 194.08 transactions per second[i]. Further, they found that SQL on Azure costs over 70% less than hosting SQL on Azure.
The advantages of Azure extend beyond cost and performance bonuses to include a plethora of tools and resources that are only offered by Microsoft.
Introducing Azure SQL
These tools fall under the umbrella of Azure SQL. These secure, intelligent, and fully managed SQL database services support everything from cloud application development to modernizing existing SQL Server workloads to re-hosting existing applications. As the entire Azure SQL suite is built on the SQL Server database engine, you can continue to use the resources, tools, and languages you’re used to while migrating on-premises applications to Azure. And because the platforms are so similar, you’ll find that your skills and experience transfer quickly to the cloud.
Azure SQL is also budget-friendly – a Forrester study found that the operational and financial benefits of application modernization on Azure SQL resulted in a 238% ROI and a 40% increase in database administrator productivity[i].
Finally, Azure SQL helps you remain agile in a continuously shifting market through easier performance management and reduced costs. Hyperscale storage is available on cloud-native architecture so you can grow as needed and scale to 100 TB and beyond. AI-powered features such as Advanced Threat Protection take the pressure off data security and protection, and serverless compute helps you meet workload demand by continuously right-sizing resources.
Azure SQL also comes with several Microsoft incentives. The Azure Hybrid Benefit allows anyone with SQL Server and Windows Licences to reuse those licenses in the cloud for up to 82% cost savings on the pay-as-you-go rates for Azure SQL Managed Instance, SQL Database, and Virtual Machines. For companies willing to commit to a term of over one year, pay-as-you-go rates can be reduced by up to another 80%.
Whether you’re looking to go all-in with SQL in the cloud or begin with a basic disaster recovery implementation, our experienced team will help you find the right path forward with Azure. Contact the experts at Hanu today – we’re happy to answer any questions you have regarding your specific SQL requirements.