Interlink Cloud Blog
Matt Scherocman

Top 5 Benefits of Microsoft Azure SQL Database

Top 5 Benefits of Microsoft Azure SQL Database

The question of whether or not to put your business data in the cloud is getting easier and easier these days and a lot of that is thanks to Microsoft’s investment in Microsoft Azure. Their strategy to create an infrastructure, like Microsoft Azure SQL Database, that can manage big data (as big as petabyte-scale) and everything on down from that is working and it’s working well.

The advancements made in SQL Database are making it more and more possible businesses of all sizes to save money and scale up or down efficiently. Below are the top five benefits that companies are realizing with SQL Database as their database service:

1) Scalability and Beyond

First of all, flexible service plans for SQL Database meet the needs of both big and small business users. SQL is no longer way out of reach for smaller operations because the pricing structure allows users to pay as little as $4.99 per database per month with a maximum storage set at 150 GB per database. That’s a lot of space for very little cost.

Microsoft Azure SQL Database

2) High Speed and Minimal Down Time

High availability architectures mean high speed connectivity and data retrieval as well as low down time at your organization. There’s nothing worse than stopping business because your technology can’t keep up, but that is no longer a problem with SQL Database.

Secondly, companies can add application instances as needed through sharding, for example. Sharding is a type of database partitioning that separates very large databases into smaller, faster, more easily managed parts called data shards. Not only can you spin nodes up and down on demand, you can leverage a federation infrastructure to scale more easily without affecting other areas of the server. SQL Azure Federation Data Migration Wizardcan even further automate this process, which impacts your organization and the employees much less.

Lastly, there are multiple levels of implementation that you can benefit from. If you just need a website and a database, you can hitch a SQL Azure instance to an Azure website and you’re done! If you need a full-blownvirtual machine(VM) now or even down the road, you can get that as well. You can even use a locally deployed instance of SQL Server in the VM instead of SQL Azure. These implementation options help make your company more adaptable to the inevitable changes it undergoes on a regular basis. With SQL Azure, you’re not stuck. You’re on a foundation that encourages growth while working with it!

3) Improved Usability

SQL developers are familiar with all things SQL and SQL Database can be updated with SQLCMD or the SQL Server Management Studio. Better yet, there’s no coding required! Using standard SQL, it’s much easier to manage database systems without having to write or update a huge amount of code.

4) Time Is On Your Side

With no administrative duties on your physical location, employees can take time for strategic work to advance and grow all-around business success. When your database is hosted in the cloud, you don’t have to deal with setting up SQL Server, apportioning databases, and dealing with physical machine maintenance and upkeep. All of this results in better alignment of your organization and ultimately more time on your side.

5) Easy-to-Use Migration Tools

Ramp up time with SQL Database is now easier than ever and free! SQL Data Sync allows you to either sync your SQL Server-stored data or migrate the data without having to worry about the costs to migrate by syncing gigabyte-sized tables.

Take into account all that SQL Azure has to offer and contact us at Interlink if you have any questions. 

SQL Modernization Assessment Ad

Jason Wingert

Notice! Deprecation of Windows Azure Active Directory Sync (DirSync) and Azure AD Sync

Notice! Deprecation of Windows Azure Active Directory Sync (DirSync) and Azure AD Sync

Azure Active Directory Sync (DirSync) and Azure AD Sync are now deprecated and will reach end of support on April 13, 2017.

Microsoft Azure Active Directory (AD) Connect is the best way to connect your on-premises directory with Azure AD and Office 365. Now great time to upgrade to Azure AD Connect from Windows.

The two identity synchronization tools that are deprecated were offered for single forest customers (DirSync) and for multi-forest and other advanced customers (Azure AD Sync). They will reach end of support on April 13, 2017. 



These older tools have been replaced with a single solution that is available for all scenarios: Azure AD Connect. It offers new functionality, feature enhancements, and support for new scenarios. To be able to continue to synchronize your on-premises identity data to Azure AD and Office 365, we strongly recommend that you upgrade to Azure AD Connect. 



For more information about this transition, please visit the Azure AD Connect webpage.


If you have any questions, please reach out to the Interlink team - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.






Matt Scherocman

Top 5 Benefits to Upgrading Your SQL Server 2005 Databases

Top 5 Benefits to Upgrading Your SQL Server 2005 Databases

Time is winding down as extended support for SQL Server 2005 ends. For users still on this version, this milestone means no more hotfixes and security updates. In addition, you may also be missing out on a few very important benefits and costing your business more money.

By upgrading your SQL Server 2005 databases you can realize the five following benefits:

1. Better Compliance:

With an upgraded version of SQL Server, you can rest assured your data is protected and you’ll stay on top of regulatory compliance and internal security audits. As reporting requirements change and your business scales, make sure your systems are tracking every step along the way. The best way to do this is to stay current with SQL Server.

2. Faster Performance:

SQL Server 2014 delivers 13x performance gains relative to SQL Server 2005 and 5.5x performance gains over SQL Server 2008. If you’re looking to speed up your business processes and streamline operations, this is the area to focus on.

3. Reduced Total Cost of Ownership (TCO):

Azure Virtual Machines can help you reduce the TCO of deployment, management, and maintenance of your enterprise database applications as it’s all managed and maintained in the cloud instead of under your roof!

4. Easier Migration:

Microsoft Azure SQL Database has enhanced compatibility with SQL Server that makes it easier than ever to migrate from SQL Server 2005 to SQL Server 2014 and Microsoft Azure SQL Database. With helpful tools and support directly from Microsoft, upgrading does not have to be an overwhelming task that results in a ton of downtime for your business.

5. Short Payback Period:

You can maximize your IT spend by seeing a return on your investment quicker than ever! According to the Forrester Total Economic Impact of Microsoft SQL Server study, you can also experience a payback period of just 9.5 months for moving to SQL Server 2012 or 2014.


If you need help with your SQL Server Upgrade, Interlink offers a SQL MODERNIZATION ASSESSMENT or POC.

SQL Modernization Assessment Ad

These offers help you learn the right approach, technologies, and tools for a data platform modernization to either SQL Server 2014 and/or Azure SQL Database.*

Contact us today!

* Some organizations may qualify for free Microsoft funding to cover the assessment and POC.

Matt Scherocman

The Azure Hybrid Use Benefit – Don’t Purchase Windows Server Twice

microsoft azure hybrid use benefit

One of the primary reason companies move their software to the cloud is because of the cost savings, but there are still ramp-up expenses to consider even if it’s not a capital expense anymore. As companies undergo the transition to the cloud, whether it be a hybrid solution or all in the cloud, every little bit of savings counts.

Until now, many organizations have owned Windows Server licensing through a licensing agreement and then purchased access to Windows Server again when they setup a new virtual machine on Azure. Many clients were paying for the same functionality twice!

The Azure Hybrid Use Benefit has changed all of that. As of February 1, 2016, the Azure Hybrid Use Benefit lets those owning Windows Server Licenses with Software Assurance to use that existing license on Azure, which saves money. For each Windows Server 2 processor license with Software Assurance, customers may run two virtual machines with up to 8 cores each or one virtual machine with up to 16 cores.

Azure hybrid use benefit savings chart

Savings based on a D2 instance in US East 2 Region, operating at the full time hourly rate, and including the cost of Software Assurance. (source)

Next Steps

The Azure Hybrid Use Benefit is Microsoft’s effort to help you get the most value from licenses, on-premises and in the cloud. But first find out…

  • Do You Qualify? The Azure Hybrid Use Benefit is currently available for customers with Windows Server licenses covered with Software Assurance.
  • What Next? The Azure Hybrid Use Benefit is applied by creating a Windows virtual machine through PowerShell and setting the new license Type property for each virtual machine. Windows virtual machines with the new property are billed at the base compute rate, with a specific notation in the bill that the benefit has been applied.

Do you want to save with this new Azure Hybrid Use Benefit? Check out the FAQ here and contact us to learn more!

* Base compute rate is described in the FAQ.

Matt Scherocman

Is Disaster Recovery important when using the cloud? Yes!

Disaster Recovery or DR for short, is a hot topic for many companies and with the spate of hacks and natural disasters and incredible storms, i.e. the snowstorm that hit Buffalo, NY just a few weeks ago, has many companies revisiting their disaster recovery solutions. Today’s blog will talk about DR for your applications running in Azure.

Just because you are storing your app in the cloud doesn’t mean you don’t need a DR strategy, should something like mentioned above happen; are you fully prepared for a temporary or even large scale failure? Before you answer that question, let me ask you another question. Does your company rehearse these failures? Has your company determined what applications, should they go down, what your tolerance level is for that app(s)? Some things to consider when creating your cloud DR plan:

  1. Test your recovery of databases to ensure you have the correct process in place
  2. High Availability
  3. Availability
  4. Scalability
  5. Fault Tolerance

Azure DR

DR is a key component to every company’s long-term success. Taking a short-sighted approach to a DR strategy isn’t sound business. As more and more companies put more and more business critical applications in the cloud, the attention paid to DR needs to be evaluated with each application that goes into the cloud, the impact its failure can have on a company and the impact it can have as it is recovered.

In addition to dealing with unexpected disasters, rolling back failed changes and handling data corruption issues are key considerations that sometimes get forgotten when deploying to cloud platforms with greater than 99.99% uptime. 

Microsoft Azure services have a number of ways that you can meet this challenge. For more detailed information on how to setup your Azure DR strategy for your applications running in Azure you can check out a white paper Disaster recovery and high availability for applications built on Microsoft Azure


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All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations or warranties regarding the information from our partners or other external sources.

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