When it comes to migrating your SQL workloads to Azure, you have a choice of three main platforms: Azure SQL Database, SQL Server on Virtual Machines, and Azure SQL Managed Instance. Each Azure SQL deployment options provides a different in their cost and the level of control they provide over the underlying cloud platform. You may use the option that best meets your needs for every application you migrate to the cloud without the need to increase complexity. That said, each of these SQL server migration options has its own benefits. So how do you know which one is right for your workload? Continue reading to find out.
Azure SQL refers to a family of secure, intelligent, and managed products that leverage the SQL Server database platform in the Azure cloud. It is built upon the familiar SQL server engine, such that you can migrate databases easily and continue using database management tools and resources you are familiar with.
Here is a discussion of the three main Azure SQL options to help you choose the one that meets your needs.
Azure SQL Database is a general-purpose relation database offered as a managed service. Classified as a PaaS (Platform as a Service), Azure SQL Database is created on standardized software and hardware that's hosted, maintained, and managed by Microsoft. When using it, you pay-as-you-go – and it provides scalability options to meet your business needs. Azure SQL Database offers the following deployment options:
Recommendation: Go for Azure SQL Database when you want to develop modern cloud applications or when you have time constraints in development and marketing.
This is a scalable and intelligent cloud database that integrates SQL Server engine compatibility with the numerous benefits of an evergreen, fully managed PaaS - it's a collection of user databases and systems with a shared set of resources that's lift-and-shift ready .Azure SQL Managed Instance is classified as a PaaS (Platform as a Service) and is best for most migrations to the cloud. With SQL Managed Instance, you can confidently modernize your existing applications at scale by merging your experience with familiar skills, tools, and resources and do more with what you already have. Managed SQL service supports database migration from on-premises with little to no database changes. With it, you will also get all the PaaS benefits of using Azure SQL Database but with additional capabilities. These include almost perfect compatibility with on-premise SQL servers, native virtual network, and intelligent threat detection to keep your data secure. Azure SQL Managed Instance also provides complete SQL server access and compatibility features that facilitate for migration of SQL Servers to Microsoft Azure.
Recommendation: Best for existing on-premise applications or new applications that want to utilize the latest stable SQL Server features and are migrated to the cloud with minimal changes.
SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines provides you with complete administrative control over the SQL Server instance and the underlying operating system for migration to Azure. Categorized as an IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service).You can either use bring your own applicable SQL Server licenses or pay-as-you-go for a SQL Server license that's already included in a SQL Server image. The most significant difference between SQL Managed Instance and SQL on VM is that SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines provides you complete control over the database engine. You can decide when to begin patching/maintenance, alter the recovery model to bulk or simple-logged, and begin or pause the service when needed. It's also optimized for migrating existing apps to Azure or extending the existing on-premise applications to a cloud platform in hybrid deployments. What's more, you can use it to develop and test traditional SQL Server applications. SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines is the ideal choice when a business already has its IT resources available to maintain the virtual machines. Its capabilities enable you to build an increasingly customized system that addresses your application's specific performance and availability requirements.
Recommendation: Go for SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines when you want to migrate applications that require OS-level access or when you are moving applications that require quick migration and minimal changes.