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Matt Scherocman

SQL Server in the Public Cloud: SQL Database vs. SQL Server on Azure VMs

SQL Server in the Public Cloud: SQL Database vs. SQL Server on Azure VMs

When it comes to hosting SQL Server in the public cloud, there are two major options. 

  1. SQL Database
  2. SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines (VMs)

Customers can choose just one or both, as each is designed for different SQL workloads and fit into Microsoft’s platform a different way.

In order to choose the right route for your application workload, you’ll want to match your business requirements with the benefits and capabilities of these two options. But first, know that if you choose a cloud path, you don’t have to be all in the cloud. Same goes for an on-premises direction. A hybrid cloud option, which means having part of your data centers in the cloud while keeping a select workloads on-premises, is what most businesses choose and what Microsoft’s cloud platform is built for.

The diagram below, courtesy of Microsoft Azure, shows the relation of cloud options to the level of administration you have over the infrastructure and the degree of cost efficiency:

SQL Server in the Public Cloud

The public cloud options (represented in blue) are outlined below, starting with…

Microsoft Azure SQL Database

SQL Database is hosted, and maintained by Microsoft. This Azure cloud platform is categorized as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) or Platform as a Service (PaaS) and offers a few desirable features to help companies scale efficiently. First of which is cost flexibility. Users pay as they go, scaling up or down for more power and little interruption. You can also develop directly on the service using Azure's built-in features and functionality.

#1 Benefit: Lowered Overall Cost and Administration

In addition to lowering the overall cost of running multiple databases, SQL Database reduces ongoing administration costs because you don’t need a full IT team to manage any virtual machines, operating systems, or database software.

How to Purchase

SQL Database is sold as a service, not with a license. In order to limit your cost exposure, clients will need to manage and monitor what is in use along with what can be scaled back to reduce subscription fees.

Administration

With SQL Database, you can continue to administer your database, but Microsoft takes care of the underlying hardware, can replicate data to provide high availability, configures and upgrades the database software, manages load balancing, and does transparent failover if there is a server failure. Ultimately, taking away the time-consuming administration duties.

SQL Server on Azure VMs

SQL Server on Azure VMs allows you to run SQL Server inside a virtual machine in the cloud. This falls under the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) category and is meant to extend on premise SQL Server applications to the cloud.

#1 Benefit: Customizability

If you already have a full-time IT staff and need administrative rights, yet desire a fully customizable setup, SQL Server on Azure VMs is optimized exactly for your scenario.

How to Purchase

Traditional SQL Server licensing is available for SQL Server on Azure VMs. Customers with current software assurance have the ability to run use that license to cover their instances of SQL within Azure. If there is a workload running full time, it is typically less expensive to purchase the SQL than to subscribe to it in scenario 1. 

Administration

SQL Server on Azure VMs makes it possible to keep control over database location down to the location of the disk. You can upgrade on your own schedule.

When deciding what public cloud option is right for you, assess your situation first and determine which workloads fit which cloud scenarios best.  Keep in mind that you may want to reuse licensing that may already be used to run the same workload on premises. 

Whatever your situation, Interlink can help you determine the best fit and then take the right next steps from there. Contact Interlink.

SQL Modernization Assessment Ad

Sarah Bunt

On-Demand Webinar: Microsoft Azure Real World Scenarios [with Demo]

microsoft azure on demand webinar

Want to get one step closer to cloud readiness?

Learn how to embrace the power of Microsoft’s cloud computing platform in this on-demand webinar.

Please join Microsoft and Microsoft Heartland Area Partner of the Year - Interlink Cloud Advisors as we showcase the impact the Azure cloud platform can have across a variety of workloads through a live demo.

Designed for all business and IT professionals, this session will walk you through the Azure platform and how you can use it to can extend your data center, while working seamlessly with your existing tools and infrastructure. 

view webinar slides azure purple

We'll cover some of the most common workload scenarios and questions, including:

  • Speed to market - quickness of setting up and provisioning a server with Azure [demo]
  • Protecting data with off-site backups
  • Business continuance and disaster recovery
  • Cost-effective, on-demand dev/test environments
  • Funding available from Microsoft

Whether you have already started moving workloads to the cloud or are just getting started, this webinar offers some best practices and insights into promotions that can further accelerate your cloud projects.

Matt Scherocman

Documents come to life with Yammer!

Have you ever edited a collaboratively created document and wanted others to input without being restricted to comments? Microsoft has recently embedded the social collaboration capabilities of Yammer into the Office apps! This means that employees can communicate their ideas and expertise about Office documents right from within the application they are working in. Employees can ask questions and offer feedback to their co-workers from the documents they’re working in. Since people are communicating through a Yammer feed, they can view and participate in conversations outside of the document and any other place where a Yammer feed is embedded.

Check out this 30 second video for a great visual:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdL43ID0ccQ

Whenever you open a file in your browser a Yammer conversation pane will pop up on the right side of your screen. The Yammer pane also allows you to post messages, mention your coworkers, and publish to a Yammer group. The functionality is for internal Yammer networks.

This feature is expected to roll out this month so expect to see it soon!

Matt Scherocman

What are long- and short-term cost benefits of the cloud?

It varies for each client that we work with.  Some are bursting at the seams in their data center, some need the speed of adding new users, and with others it is just a cost savings play.  Here are some overview ideas on the areas that we are seeing customer savings. 

·         The elimination of a workload within their environment - Physical server support for Exchange

·         Hardware costs associated with the Exchange Server – Virtual machine processor and memory / SAN storage usage / Tape or Disk Backup / DR Setup / Maintenance Contracts

·         Software costs associated with Exchange Server – Exchange Server licenses / Windows Server Licenses / Backup Agents / Blackberry Server

·         Trade costs of migrating to an online platform versus upgrading to a new version

·         Services Costs – Email archiving, Email filtering, Antivirus Enterprise Plans, Tape offsite storage

·         Facilities Cost – Power / Cooling / Space

·         Reduction in future version upgrade costs / faster speed to deployment

·         Tiered workforce takes advantage of K plan economics

·        Economics of scale in setup – Example: Lync for mobile clients takes time to setup and software to ensure that it is deployed securely.  Lync in the cloud is as simple as downloading from the app store and entering a user’s email and password.

Matt Scherocman

Are You Ready for the Cloud? Are You Sure?

Microsoft has come out with a great assessment tool that helps you determine if you are ready for the cloud or is virtualization still the name of the game for you.  It is an 11 question survey that allows you to answer on a sliding scale of IT sophistication.  By putting in a more exact answer in the scale, the output is better customized that most of these type of tools that I have seen previously.  Plus, it doesn’t always tell you that the Microsoft Cloud is the best choice.  Many times it will indicate that on premise solutions could still be the best fit for the client. 

 

Welcome to the Interlink Cloud Blog

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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