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Matt Scherocman

Six Reasons Microsoft Azure SQL Database Provides the Best Data Security Around

Six Reasons Microsoft Azure SQL Database Provides the Best Data Security Around

Companies leveraging the cloud for business have a multitude of options. They also have a lot of security concerns when transitioning their data to the cloud. Microsoft has built on the SQL Server foundation, bringing a new level of security to help ease the mind of these cloud-driven companies with six enhancements. All of which are crucial reasons to consider Microsoft Azure SQL Database as your company’s cloud platform of choice:

  1. Always Encrypted: Exactly how it sounds, Always Encrypted means your data remains encrypted…all the time to help you protect sensitive data. Data is encrypted in transit, in memory, on a disk, and during query processing.

  2. Transparent Data Encryption: For those of us constantly keeping up on compliance regulations and requirements, this encrypts databases with associated backups as well as transaction log files without needing changes to your applications. The audit trail is clear in order to stay in compliance while keeping data safe from any breach.

  3. Row-Level Security: This feature can limit access to individual rows of data based on a user's identity, role, or query execution context to ensure only the right people can view that data. This also simplifies the application code so that data isn’t accidently shared in any situation.



  4. Azure Active Directory (AD) Authentication: Different from SQL Authentication, Azure AD
    Authentication simplifies password management by allowing you to access a number of Azure services using the same identity. This does not compromise the level of security. It reduces the amount of IT time spends on retrieving lost passwords and login details while maintaining access control every step of the way.

  5. Dynamic Data Masking: Another, more sophisticated, form of encryption allows users to define masking patterns on actual database columns. For example, users can set a masking rule that masks all but the last four digits of any social security number in the result set of any query to ensure that sensitive data is truly safe.

  6. SQL Database Threat Detection: This feature alerts set users of any suspicious database activities automatically and complements Azure SQL Database Auditing, which records database events and writes audited events to an audit log in the Azure Storage account. 

    Microsoft Azure SQL Database Security

Both features are great examples of how users can monitor and quickly respond to risk. Advanced Threat Analytics is yet another approach to helping users stay ahead of sophisticated malware attacks.

Another (bonus) reason to consider Azure SQL Database that’s best shared through this diagram, courtesy of Microsoft Azure, is that SQL Server’s track record speaks for itself. When you’re in the cloud, you can’t be vulnerable and SQL Server lives up to that motto…six years running!

microsoft azure sql database unparalleded security

Data security in the cloud isn’t a set it and forget it process. It is a constant work in progress because the security risks keep changing and technology keeps advancing. Choosing Microsoft as your partner in mitigating those risks is a smart and educated decision in keeping your data safe.

Learn more about these security enhancements by downloading the Security and Azure SQL Database whitepaper and contact us at Interlink for more information.

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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 End of SQL Server 2005 Support is Near - Does Your Database Need an Upgrade?

sql server end of life interlink

Databases can sometimes be forgotten - hidden behind the applications that they support. Yet, if you find yourself without support and your datis left exposed – even temporarily, you may be putting your organization at risk.

For those organizations still running SQL Server 2005, it may be time to seriously start evaluating an upgrade. On April 12, 2016, after ten years of going strong, extended support for all versions of SQL Server 2005 is coming to an endThe good news is, over the last decade, Microsoft has continued to invest in this technology and SQL Server has evolved to be an enterprise-class solution to support the growing business needs of organizations - large and smallUpgrading is not just a maintenance task, but an opportunity to provide new value to your business. 

With April 12th right around the cornerthere's no better time to start the evaluation process. 

Depending on the type of application, the migration destination, the scale of the move and resources allocated, migrations can take several months, and without extended support you will no longer get security updates and may also experience:

  • Higher maintenance costs

  • Potential compliance issues 

Watch this short video Is It Time To Upgrade You Database? to help you determine if it’s the right time to migrate and begin achieving breakthrough performance with a move to SQL Server 2014 and/or Azure SQL Database.

In addition to deciding if it’s the right time for you to upgrade, you'll need to weigh all your migration options. 

  1. SQL Server 2014 (On-Premise Server) 
    SQL Server 2014 can provide very fast performance with built-in technology to speed up applications compared to older versions of SQL Server. In fact, SQL Server 2014 benchmarked 13x faster than SQL Server 2005 and 5.5x faster than SQL Server 2008. Reduced downtime, increased mission-critical uptime, fast failover, improved manageability, and better use of hardware resources are just some of the benefits that users report after leveraging SQL Server 2014

  2. SQL Azure (Cloud)
    With SQL Server 2014 available on Azure, you can prioritize cost savings and minimal administration.There are currently two options for hosting: SQL Server workloads in the cloud through Azure SQL Database (Software-as-a-Service/ SaaS) or SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines (Infrastructure as a Service/ IaaS).  We can walk you through which options make the most sense for you.  
  1. Hybrid Approach: On-Premise Server + Cloud
    Microsoft has added several hybrid cloud options to SQL Server 2014 that is showing real value, even for those who continue to run on premise. The hybrid cloud options don’t require you to move your entire SQL Server databases to the cloud. Instead, you can extend to on premise SQL Server instances to the cloud where it makes sense for your business. With enhancements to SQL Server 2014’s Backup, AlwaysOn Replicas, and SQL Server Data Files, these hybrid options can cover all the bases of a complete and secure SQL Server setup. 

  2. Disaster Recovery As A Service – DRAAS
    Allows on premise database to sync out to the cloud for backup and disaster recovery. This can be the best of both world while it allows for fast on LAN speeds and full operation ability in the cloud.  

 

What is the best path for you?

Utilizing Microsoft-based funding, Interlink is currently offering a detailed SQL Modernization Assessment along with a Proof of Concept for SQL Server 2014 and SQL AzureThrough both the assessment and POC, our team can help you determine the right approach, technologies and tools for data platform modernization for SQL Server 2014 and/or SQL Azure Database. The scope, activities, and deliverables for each will vary based on your unique objectives, ultimately tailoring the right fit for your organization the first time.

SQL Assessment

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