Risk-Free Ways to Explore SQL Server on Azure

Azure SQL Server

According to a Gartner report published in June 2019, the future of DBMS is the cloud.

Moving forward, on-premise database installations should be considered only for special requirements or for maintaining legacy applications.

What does that mean to you as a database administrator? Perhaps, you don’t have much experience with database workloads on the cloud and are thinking of migration of your existing database setup to the cloud?

If so, it is time for you to consider SQL Server on Microsoft Azure. Furthermore, you can do so without incurring any costs.

Here are a few risk-free ways to start exploring SQL Server on Azure.

1) Carry out a price-performance analysis between SQL Server on Azure and a similar setup on AWS

Before deciding on any new cloud platform, you should choose the best one available for your database setup. There are quite a few alternatives to cloud platforms such as Azure, and it is vital to get inputs from various sources.

It is crucial to find out about the costs and performance implications between different cloud platforms. A GigaOm report compares SQL server workloads running on Azure and also on AWS.

It concluded that SQL Server on Azure costs 87% lesser and is up to 3.4 times faster than the same setup on AWS.

2) Get independent reviews from people you trust

One way to explore SQL Server performance on Azure is to reach out to your network of technical contacts. These can be your colleagues, associates, business partners, or clients.

You should ask them about the experience they had with such a setup. Getting independent reviews and feedback from contacts that have experience with SQL Server on Azure will help you understand and relate to the topic in a better way.

3) Get a free trial

Microsoft is offering a free trial of Azure, which includes 12 months of free services. In addition to this, you also get a credit of $200 to explore Azure services.

With this free access, you can carry out a range of tasks ranging from implementing server virtualization to SQL database migration.

The free account does have limitations that you should be aware of. Still, if you are interested in evaluating the platform, then this is a great risk-free way to go about it. You can create SQL databases that can go up to 250 GB without spending any money for the first 12 months.

You also get free access to 12 AI services for the same period. In case you want to continue after the free period ends, you will, of course, have to pay. But, 12 months should be a sufficient amount of time for you to explore all of Azure’s capabilities.

How to handle the migration of your databases to the cloud

Migrating databases to the cloud can be a daunting thought if you have been working only in on-premise environments. But, with the cloud becoming ubiquitous, you’ll need to become familiar with working in cloud environments sooner rather than later.

Getting a free Azure account with Microsoft gives you a year to evaluate the platform. In addition to this, reading up on cloud migration to Azure best practices will help you plan the migration and post-migration operations.

You should carry out migration dry runs and also get an idea of how to provision cloud resources accurately.

In summary

The three risk-free ways we have highlighted above are perfect for evaluating SQL Server on Azure without committing yourself to a costly contract.

By following this process, you can get ready for an inevitable future. You will also be able to help your company save money and get faster results by implementing SQL Server on Azure.

About Kevin Kline

Kevin serves as Principal Program Manager at SentryOne. He is a founder and former president of PASS and the author of popular IT books like SQL in a Nutshell. Kevin is a renowned database expert, software industry veteran, Microsoft SQL Server MVP, and long-time blogger at SentryOne.

As a noted leader in the SQL Server community, Kevin blogs about Microsoft Data Platform features and best practices, SQL Server trends, and professional development for data professionals.

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