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Azure SQL Database is not a Virtual Machine

2014/07/17

[This is part Five of Top 10 Things You Will Hate About Azure SQL Database]

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You will hate hearing this and you will hate saying this, but you will probably say it. It is a hard argument to go against for SQL Server DBA’s because it brings back almost all of the control that you lose by selecting Azure SQL database.

However, these are separate solutions that fill different needs. Creating Azure Virtual Machines and migrating your servers to the cloud frees you up from running your own data center, but you still have the same responsibilities for managing these servers and you have to pay to license the server OS and SQL Server. You can configure your virtual machines for high availability just as you would on premises servers, but you don’t get the built in High Availability (two replicas of every database) and Disaster Recovery (geo-replication) that come with SQL Database. Don’t get me wrong there are still features that don’t exist in SQL database, there are resource limitations to consider, and it is harder to tie into existing security (active directory). Still, it comes back to the same point, if you are a developer and want to quickly spin up a database or want an enterprise level product without a full time DBA then SQL database is going to fit your scenario. SQL Database is going to cost less as well, certainly in the beginning and depending on the amount of data and the throughput that you need it will probably remain cheaper long term.

For DBA’s and companies that already have full time DBA’s going the virtual server route will always be tempting, but just like anything else in IT you want to correct tool for the job you need to do.

 

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