Migrating Access To Sql Server – In the previous article, Migrating SQL workloads to Microsoft Azure: Planning the leap, we discussed the key points to check and consider when developing a plan to migrate SQL workloads from on-premises data centers to Microsoft Azure. In this article, we’ll take a look at the various database services provided by Microsoft Azure to help you choose the right service that can power your SQL workload when migrating to Microsoft Azure.
Before choosing an appropriate Microsoft Azure database service that meets your requirements, you must determine the appropriate Azure platform. Microsoft Azure offers two high-level platform options: Infrastructure as a Service, also known as IaaS, and Platform as a Service, also known as PaaS. The choice of platform determines the Azure services that can be used and the control that you can have over the services on that platform.
Migrating Access To Sql Server
When you choose an IaaS platform, you rent IT infrastructure servers and virtual machines from a cloud service provider. This includes storage, networks and operating systems. With this platform, you are still responsible and in control of the OS layer and all layers of the OS, including service installation, OS patching, etc.
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On the other hand, a PaaS platform provides the ability to build, test, and deploy applications without having to worry about managing the underlying infrastructure. In other words, you are not responsible for installing the operating system or patching the machine with the latest security and system updates.
The image below shows your responsibilities in light blue and a list of levels you don’t need to worry about in dark blue, where a cloud service provider like Microsoft is responsible for managing the tasks that fall under that level. . You can see that you are responsible for everything when you host databases in your own data center and these tasks require many teams, which is not possible for startups and small businesses, as shown below:
Now we are familiar with the differences between the platforms provided by Microsoft Azure. We need to identify the database services provided on each platform.
In the IaaS platform, you can rent a virtual machine and install your own instance of SQL Server on it, where you will be responsible for the installation and management tasks of the operating system and SQL Server on that service.
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When you move to PaaS, you can see that Microsoft Azure offers a variety of options depending on the type of workload you have. For example, you can use Azure SQL Database or Azure SQL Managed Instance for your SQL transactional workloads and use Azure Cosmos DB for your non-SQL transactional workloads. For analytical workloads, you can use an Azure SQL Data Warehouse instance in Azure Synapse Analytics.
The IaaS platform provides the ability to install and run an instance of SQL Server on a fully managed Azure virtual machine. This option is the best choice if you plan to lift and migrate from an on-premises environment to Microsoft Azure with minimal potential changes to your application and database schema, giving you full control over your SQL Server instance and management and security of the operating system configurations, which allow you to host an unlimited amount of user data in this SQL Server virtual machine and provides the ability to configure a customized high availability and disaster recovery solution.
SQL Server on Azure VM is right for you if your company already has IT teams managing this VM from an operating system, network and security perspective. And you’ll be charged for both the storage space used to store your data and the computing operations consumed in that virtual machine.
Instead of waiting for new hardware purchase approval, you can easily deploy a new virtual machine in Azure in minutes, install a new SQL Server instance using your license, and connect to that SQL Server instance with the scale it up and down. to your requirements and would stop it during idle time and resume it again when needed.
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Classified as a PaaS platform, Azure SQL Database is a cloud-based database service that provides the ability to host and use SQL databases in the cloud without worrying about hardware and software requirements. Although you are not responsible for the hardware security, patching and security of the operating system and database files encrypted at rest using the TDE feature, you are still responsible for preventing unauthorized access to the data by limiting the permitted IP addresses from the firewall side and authorized users from the access and license configuration database.
Our Azure SQL Database provides many features, including the ability to automate backup operations and retain backups for up to 10 years, create a readable secondary copy to distribute reporting workloads to another data center, automatic performance tuning, point restore time , built-in high availability and the ability to scale database resources up and down by changing the database data flow unit (DTU) price and scaling without downtime without having to wait for any new hardware order, such as in local scale processes, as shown below:
By providing a database name and a few other options, your database will be up and ready to handle your transaction load in minutes. If you don’t need to buy or manage the hardware or operating system, you’ll only pay for what you use. Use the Azure Total Cost Calculator to estimate the cost of using a PaaS service.
Azure SQL Database can be deployed as a single database, purchased from DTU or vCore models, with its own set of resources managed by a logical SQL server that can be used when database usage is stable. It can also be deployed using an elastic pool purchased from the eDTU or vCore models, which contain a group of databases that share the same resource pool and are managed by a logical SQL Server, providing the best option for databases with frequently changing usage patterns . . If your application surface is contained in the database layer, the best option is to use Azure SQL Database.
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Azure SQL Managed Instance is the best choice for migrating transactional SQL workloads to the Microsoft Azure PaaS platform with minimal potential database changes. It provides all the benefits of Azure SQL Database, along with all the other features of SQL Server hosted in an Azure virtual machine. It includes SQL Agent used to manage, automate and schedule various types of jobs, MSDTC responsible for managing distributed transactions, Data Quality Service, Master Data Service, Database Mail, Filstream, FileTable, Polybase and related servers. .
Azure SQL Managed Instance is suitable for applications whose surface is instance-level in scope. Where it provides an isolated environment, configurable backup storage and recovery, advanced workload analysis with Database Advisor and log analysis, automatic database tuning and maintenance, data encryption in transit and at rest, and no patch or release upgrades.
Azure SQL Data Warehouse, part of Azure Synapse Analytics, which combines Azure Data Warehouse, big data analytics capabilities, and data integration to move data, is a cloud-based Enterprise Data Warehouse solution that uses a massively parallel processing architecture (MPP) for fast Run complex analytic queries on large data because the data will be stored in relational tables with column storage, reducing data storage costs and improving query performance from hours to minutes.
Azure SQL Data Warehouse is suitable for analytical workloads that require big data with the ability to individually scale compute and storage resources based on workload requirements and suspend compute resources when they are not needed to reduce costs.
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In this article, we looked at the SQL database services provided by Microsoft Azure, making the decision to choose an appropriate Azure database service as a target for migrating SQL workloads. In the next article, we will discuss various tools that can be used to migrate SQL workloads to Azure. Stay tuned!
Ahmad Yaseen is a Microsoft Big Data Engineer with deep knowledge and experience in SQL BI, SQL Server database management and development.
He is a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert in Data Management and Analysis, a Microsoft Certified Solutions Partner in SQL Database Management and Development, an Azure Developer Associate and a Microsoft Certified Trainer.
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