The Move from On-Prem to Cloud Azure SQL

The Move from On-Prem to Cloud Azure SQL

As technology continues to progress, many different businesses worldwide are looking towards the cloud as the backbone of their organisation. With this shift, organisations will need to move key aspects of their business to the cloud to modernise. This includes their SQL servers.

There are many great reasons to move your company’s SQL servers to the cloud. The cloud is an emerging technology that can provide lots of different upsides to your organisation, ultimately helping you attain long-term sustainable benefits regarding performance, efficiency, and cost.

In this article, we’re going to go over the reasons why you should take a look at the cloud for your SQL servers, as well as what your options are, and how you can get started easily.

Why Move SQL Servers to the Cloud?

There are several reasons why you should consider moving your SQL servers over to the cloud over sticking with a traditional on-premise system —

  • Saving Costs: Cloud providers offer more flexible, pay-as-you-go options for your organisation rather than having to pay the upfront capital expenditure of buying and maintaining on-prem hardware.
  • Scalability: The cloud is much easier to scale than on-prem, as you don’t have to invest in new hardware to scale up. You can simply scale by choosing how much you’re going to pay your provider.
  • Maintenance: With on-prem hardware, you actually have to invest in maintaining your hardware. However, the cloud server hardware is maintained by the provider, meaning that you don’t have to worry about maintenance at all.
  • Security: On-prem systems are easy to physically access as they’re within your organisation. Cloud servers are within the provider’s datacentre, meaning that an attacker can’t physically access the server as they won’t know where to even begin to find your specific data.
  • Availability and Coverage: With a cloud implementation, you can rest assured that the servers will be available whenever you need them, as there are multiple servers to connect to which means you can ensure availability at any time.
  • Agility: The cloud makes it much easier to experiment with different methodologies and technologies, meaning that you can innovate more efficiently and effectively and ultimately push your business forward.

With all of these reasons and many more becoming apparent as the cloud emerges, moving to the cloud is simply becoming more and more of a no-brainer in the modern world.

Options for Cloud Databases

Azure SQL Database

Azure SQL is Microsoft’s standard managed cloud database (PaaS) which uses Microsoft Azure’s cloud technology. It lets you run a Microsoft SQL Server in the cloud, allowing you to build and scale cloud apps faster than ever.

This option has the added benefit of being a managed service, which means that it requires no maintenance or capital expenditure to be able to get started.

While comparably simplistic to Managed Instance, it’s still a great option for any business looking towards the cloud as the future of their organisation that doesn’t rely heavily on older or legacy systems.

Azure SQL Managed Instance

Being Azure SQL Database’s big brother, Azure SQL Managed Instance has more features designed to support more complex needs.

This is commonly the case for organisations that have lots of legacy applications that rely on older SQL servers. Simply put, Azure SQL Managed Instance combines the benefits of both PaaS and traditional SQL Servers.

The biggest draw for enterprise users is that SQL Managed Instance allows existing SQL Server to shift their on-premises applications to the cloud with hardly any application or database changes. This allows frictionless migration, making it perfect for quick modernization of apps.

Managed Instance also provides VNet integration, which can be important to some organisations that need more control over their network environment.

SQL Service on Azure Virtual Machines

You can also run SQL on an Azure Virtual Machine, ultimately giving you all the control over your SQL setup. This would essentially be like running your own SQL server. But, you’re still benefiting from the scalability and high uptime of an Azure cloud deployment.

This can be a great option if you need a very specific setup – but it’s inherently less “plug and play” than the other two. Migration can therefore take more time and require specialist expertise if you’re embarking on your cloud journey.

How to Make the Move

The process of actually making the move to the cloud can be off-putting and complicated if you don’t know how. Here’s a simplified guide on how to move your SQL implementations to the cloud:

  1. Assessment: Understanding your current setup and dependencies is vital to ensuring the move is as smooth as possible.
  2. Plan: The next step is to plan the migration, determining the resources that you’ll need and the performance you’ll need.
  3. Backup: Backing up your data is vital to ensure that you have a point of recovery in case anything goes wrong.
  4. Network Configuration: Ensure that your network is set up correctly to allow the transfer from on-premises to the cloud.
  5. Data Migration: Here, you’ll move the data over to the cloud.
  6. Data Validation: Verifying your data is correct after the transfer is vital, to ensure that nothing has migrated incorrectly.
  7. Complete the Switch: Redirect and reroute everything within your organisation to run on the new cloud implementation.

How We Can Help

Moving your SQL server to the cloud can have lots of upside for your organisation. By doing so, you can enjoy many cost-saving and efficiency-boosting benefits and also simply remove the hassle of having to operate on-premise hardware. Azure SQL is the best way to get started with SQL, as there are a few different options that you can go for to figure out what best fits your needs.

If you’re looking to get started with Azure SQL and don’t know where to begin moving to the cloud, reach out to our experts today. We’ll be able to help you figure out exactly what you need, and provide you with a helping hand throughout and after the whole process.

Contact us now and see how we can help.