Moving SQL Server to the Cloud with the Skills You Have Today

ManagedInstanceThe cloud has a lot of benefits to offer DBAs: scalability, high performance, and reduced operating expenses, just to name a few. However, many DBAs I speak to think they need special skills to move to the cloud. That couldn’t be further from the truth. If you’re running SQL Server on-premises, you can move to the cloud with the skills you have today. Read how other organizations are using cloud database services in the e-book “Future-Proof Your Data Infrastructure with Azure: A Business Case for Database Administrators.”.

Azure SQL Database Managed Instance has near 100 percent compatibility with the latest SQL Server on-premises database engine. Managed Instance supports backward compatibility to SQL 2008 databases, so you can lift and shift almost any database you have on-premises to Azure. This is achived by making use of the Database Compatibility setting for your migrated databases More information on supproted settings can be found in the Microsoft Docs. It doesn’t get any easier than that.

Azure SQL Database Managed Instance is a fully managed SQL Server database engine instance hosted in Azure and placed in your network. It shares the same code with the latest version of SQL Server Database Engine and has the latest features, performance improvements, and security patches. However, the servicing model is automated so that by making use of Azure SQL Database Managed Instance you will not have to apply Cumulative Updates or patches as this is handled by Microsoft. This means that you will always be running on the latest version of SQL Server, so no more lengthy and difficult upgrades.

Speaking of security, you’re covered there, too. Every instance is fully isolated from other customers and placed in your dedicated subnet with an assigned private IP address. Only applications in your network can access Managed Instance. Your network administrators have full control and can configure access to Managed Instance using standard methods such as Network Security Groups and firewalls. They don’t need any special skills, either.

In addition, you get all the benefits of the cloud when you migrate to Azure SQL Database Managed Instance. Managed Instance is a platform as a service (PaaS) database solution. As such, high availability, automated backups, point-in-time restore, automatic plan correction, threat detection, vulnerability assessment, and other intelligent features are built into the service and provided at no additional charge. OS patching and database upgrades are handled automatically, so there’s no need to plan and schedule maintenance outages. At the end of the day, you benefit from significantly reduced management overhead and total cost of ownership.

It’s worth noting that when you run Managed Instance, you always have access to the latest and greatest SQL Server features and capabilities. The Managed Instance deployment option is always up to date in the cloud, while some features in on-premises SQL Server may be either obsolete, retired, or have alternatives.

When it comes to monitoring and managing Managed Instance, the service includes built-in monitoring and maintenance features. Plus, most of the system views are exposed, so you can also use any third-party tool to monitor and manage your instance. Many of these third party tools have already got Azure SQL Database Managed Instance support so it can seemlessly fit into existing systems and processes.

Hopefully now you will see that with Azure SQL Database Managed Instance, you don’t need any special cloud skills to migrate your database to the cloud. Your team can use the knowledge it already has to run a fully managed SQL Server Instance in Azure. So, what are you waiting for?

If you want more information about migrating your database to Azure, download “Future-Proof Your Data Infrastructure with Azure: A Business Case for Database Administrators.”

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