Cloud computing is one of the fastest-growing enterprise technologies. Online data storage is particularly popular with organizations looking for better alternatives to on-premise data centers and servers. In fact, more and more organizations are recognizing the benefits of moving databases from on-prem facilities to a public or hybrid cloud infrastructure. According to Statista, 50 percent of all corporate data already resides in the cloud. The adoption of cloud storage systems has grown drastically over the last couple of years and continues to grow still.

Microsoft’s SQL Server Database is a favourite solution among enterprises keen on leveraging cloud storage. The Microsoft SQL Server ranks among the top-rated cloud-based data management systems. It’s a general-purpose relational DBMS with numerous data storage, processing, and analytics applications in a corporate setting. The server is part of the Azure Cloud Platform and can be used within the Azure environment or as a standalone DBMS for third-party apps.

What makes Microsoft’s SQL Server Database so popular? To answer that, let’s look at the main business advantages of moving your SQL database to Azure.

Immense cost savings

One of the main reasons businesses migrate to the cloud is to reduce IT capital investments and overheads. Switching to Azure SQL Database cuts your IT costs by eliminating the need for expensive data handling software and hardware. Plus, you won’t incur any maintenance costs for servicing, updates, or upgrades. In short, you get a robust database system for a fraction of the price without compromising performance.

Additionally, Azure DBaaS (Database as a Service) subscription plans are priced based on the client’s preferred database performance level and features. There is an ideal package for any volume or structure of data. Microsoft provides a DTU (Database Transaction Unit)-based purchase model starting with a Basic 5 DTUs tier for only $6.9 per month. You also have a choice of vCore packages and several other pricing and cost optimization options.

Dependable data security

Data security is a growing and valid concern among businesses hosting their data on the cloud. Cybercriminals are turning their attention to cloud services. Plus, threats are increasingly becoming sophisticated and dangerous. But despite this, cloud storage remains the safest way to keep corporate data. A majority of the 500+ IT leaders and executives who took part in a Deloitte survey ranked cybersecurity and data protection as the primary drivers for cloud migration.

Data residing in Azure’s DBaaS sits beneath multiple layers of impenetrable protection. The Azure platform combines strong network security, access management, advanced threat detection and protection, encryption, and integrated compliance policies to ensure the safety of customer data. If your business handles any form of highly sensitive information, moving it to Azure is an easy way to keep it safe.

Easy scalability

With most locally hosted databases, you can’t expand database instances or the underlying system’s performance. Making such adjustments is often prohibitively expensive or impractical. Rigidity in database performance means you can’t maximize its capabilities to accommodate seasonal or unexpected traffic spikes.

Dynamic database scaling is something that Microsoft understands and takes very seriously. The flexibility in Azure SQL Server allows two types of performance scaling:

  • Vertical scaling: You can increase or decrease computing power either by changing the Azure DB performance tier or using elastic database features that automatically adjust computing throughput, depending on the workload.
  • Horizontal scaling: This allows you to add more database instances and partition your data into shards to spread the load over multiple databases.

Scaling support lets you maximize database performance during peak seasons with just a few clicks or even autonomously. Learn more about Azure SQL Database scaling here.

Easier administration

Moving an SQL database to Azure simplifies its management drastically. Azure SQL Database is a fully managed Platform as a Service (PaaS) that automatically handles essential database management functions, such as patching, updating, monitoring user activities, performance checks, and data backups.

Moreover, moving data to Azure Database is seamless and quick with the SQL Data Sync feature that lets you mesh data across multiple on-prem and cloud databases. And that’s not all. You can also automate everyday database management tasks and connections within the Azure platform using PowerShell and Power Automate.

Reliable disaster recovery

Transferring your SQL database to Azure Platform does not mean you have to discard your local data repository. It’s understandable if you’re not ready to make the move to solely cloud-based database management. However, replicating your SQL database on Azure can be part of your disaster recovery plan.

With Azure Site Recovery (ASR) and Azure Backup, you can seamlessly use the platform as a data safety net. ASR allows you to neatly transfer your database traffic to Azure Database whenever the on-prem server goes offline or becomes overloaded. For static and incremental backups, Azure Backup will keep six encrypted copies of your data across several data centers. The ultimate goal is to ensure data availability and integrity at all times.

Making the switch to Azure SQL Database

Clearly, there are many compelling reasons to move your SQL Server database to the cloud. But it’s up to you to decide which of these corresponds with your IT goals in terms of costs, performance, security, and convenience.

Although Azure makes it easy to migrate SQL Server databases to the cloud, you should make some key considerations first. For instance, you have to determine the subscription packages ideal for your organization and its data estate. If you need help doing all this, Softlanding is here for you. We assist businesses in adopting and integrating Microsoft enterprise solutions, including the whole range of Azure services. Reach out to us for expert guidance on cloud migration.

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Softlanding is a long-established IT services provider of transformation, professional services and managed IT services that helps organizations boost innovation and drive business value. We are a multi-award-winning Microsoft Gold Partner with 13 Gold Competencies and we use our experience and expertise to be a trusted advisor to our clients. Headquartered in Vancouver, BC, we have staff and offices in Toronto, Montreal and Calgary to serve clients across Canada.

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