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5 Benefits of Migrating to the Cloud using the Azure SQL Database

data-migration-SQL 5 Benefits of Migrating to the Cloud using the Azure SQL Database

As we move into 2021, migrating data to the cloud has been the norm for the last few years. We would even go as far to say that it’s becoming an essential part of any thriving business model, especially as COVID forced the world to shift online. With the pandemic came budget cuts, less resources to put toward technical training, and decreased business agility. These pain points can all be lessened by undergoing cloud migration. What does it take to migrate to the cloud using Azure SQL? Keep reading to learn what the process entails, who should use it, and how you will benefit.

What Does Migrating to the Cloud with Azure SQL Look Like?

Migrating to the cloud, regardless of what path you take to get there is a great idea. But using Azure SQL ensures you the cloud database options to fit your needs. Maintaining your systems with ease, Azure helps you seamlessly migrate to the cloud. Another aspect to note, expanded on in more detail later, is that SQL has the option to provide both a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS). And if you’re already using SQL, Azure SQL is built on the same Server technology that you are already familiar with, meaning there’s no need to relearn SQL skills when making the transition.

Who Does This Apply To?

dat-amigration-benefits 5 Benefits of Migrating to the Cloud using the Azure SQL Database

This service is perfect for anyone who needs to migrate their SQL workload and modernize their applications. It keeps applications updated without the tiresome upkeep that can be so grueling.

The 5 Big Benefits:

benefits-of-migrating-to-the-cloud 5 Benefits of Migrating to the Cloud using the Azure SQL Database

1. Competitive Pricing

Using SQL managed instance, you can gain up to a 238% return on investment. This means you spend a fraction of the money that your competition does and boost performance at the same time. Want to know how much you could gain? Try out the Azure Hybrid Benefit calculator to view simulations of monthly and annual savings using the SQL server.

2. License Free Development and QA Environments 

Visual Studio users with subscriptions pay only for compute charges and can save up to 55% on dev and QA workloads. This allows for greater flexibility for customers who have dev teams. 

3. Modernizes Apps and Keeps You Up to Date

Azure services allows for the highest service level agreement (SLA) and an industry new SLA on RPO and RTO. Azure provides a wide range of choices depending on your needs. For more details on how to leverage this benefit, click here.

4. Consolidates Dozens of Data Centres Into One Place

Utilising Azure Managed Services is one of the best ways to maintain all your data centres in one accessible location. Instead of monitoring your workload across dozens of different interfaces, use just one portal to keep tabs on all your SQL databases, pools, instances and more. 

5. Provides both IaaS and PaaS

As previously mentioned, Azure SQL has three different options, providing both IaaS and PaaS, making it incredibly versatile. The first is Azure SQL Database, a PaaS, and it builds up-to-date cloud applications on the newest SQL server. The second is Azure SQL Managed Instance, another PaaS. Modernizing and migrating your SQL applications to the newest server version, it does so with minimal code changes meaning no patching or maintenance is required. And finally, the SQL Server on Azure VMs is an IaaS that rehosts SQL apps to the new server while also rehosting sunset applications. One of the biggest benefits with the SQL Server on Azure VMs is full SSRS, SSIS, and SSAS support. 

 

Interested?

If you want to take advantage of the benefits of migrating data to the cloud and all the profits that come along with it, contact us at: info@optimusinfo.com

 

How to Overcome Data Migration Hurdles

data-center How to Overcome Data Migration Hurdles

Overcome Data Migration Hurdles

We overcome data migration hurdles when we plan around them. Recently, we migrated a client’s 20 terabyte SQL server on an on-prem database running an old operating system. We loved the challenge of the task and each problem we solved. We learned a few lessons along the way, and we’d like to share them with you. This article examines possible hurdles you might face when migrating an overextended SQL server with legacy schema to Azure, and which data migration method might serve your organization’s needs.

Azure Site Recovery

Azure provides a number of technologies around site recovery. Those technologies can also be used to trick your system into a behind-the-scenes migration to the cloud. Typically, this Azure Site Recovery is used to create a backup in case of a failover. However, you can set up an existing on-prem datacenter to backup to the Azure datacenter. So, not only is the data backed-up, but it’s now on the cloud (and ready to make use of other Azure services). Beware though: some data centers are running on older operating systems that won’t support Azure Site Recovery.

Physical Migration with Data Box

Physical migration is like using a giant USB stick called a data box. In this scenario, the data box is physically hooked up to the data center, and all the SQL data files are transferred. The device is then taken to a Microsoft server facility where it is hooked up, and all the data is downloaded to several storage accounts. Keep in mind: the data center and Microsoft server facility would need to be relatively close in proximity to one another and you will need to migrate any new data accumulated from your backup point.  

Replication

Replication is another method that can be used for data migration. Replication copies and distributes data and database objects from one database to another. It then synchronizes between databases to maintain consistency. However, this method can take a long period of time because it is restricted by the bandwidth available. Relying on a relatively slow bandwidth to migrate 20 terabytes of data could take a month for the system to sync up. 

Replication can be use to migrate any data that may have accumulated while transporting the data box. Since the data box would have all the data up to a specific backup point, replication could be used to synchronize, and therefore, migrate the remaining data. However, when replication is used, the data schema in your product needs to be conducive to replication. That means, tables need to use a primary key, which uniquely identifies each row/record in a database table, and Azure backups need to be stored in standard SQL backup format. Even with these things in place, using replication still might not be an option if there is legacy technical debt in your schema. 

Azure ExpressRoute

Azure ExpressRoute lets you connect your on-prem networks to Azure over a private connection. Since the connections don’t go over the public Internet, this offers more reliability, faster speeds, consistent latencies, and higher security. Another data migration hurdle is having a lot of data to migrate and a small window to do it in (e.g. 48 hours over the weekend). Having a faster network speed is crucial in this scenario. Watch out for bottlenecks! Read on to plan ahead.

To avoid a bottleneck, you will need to find a balance between your network, VM, and disk speeds. Here are a few things you’ll want to consider:

  • Is your VM storage optimized? Storage optimized VM sizes offer high disk throughput and input-output speeds. This is ideal for Big Data, SQL, NoSQL databases, data warehousing, and large transactional databases.
  • Is your VM memory optimized? Memory optimized VM sizes offer a high memory-to-CPU ratio.
  • Do you have the right disk size? The wrong disk size can limit your speed because it won’t have the throughput needed.
  • Are you copying from on-prem disks to storage accounts on Azure or to managed disks? If so, you’ll need to use a copy tool like AZCopy. However, depending on what you’re copying from and to, there might not be a commercially available tool.

Overcoming data migration hurdles can quickly get quite complex. Leveraging the help of Azure experts can save you time and keep you on budget. Contact us to schedule a complimentary discovery session with one of our solution architects. 

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