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SQL Server in Azure

SQL Server in Azure

As all of us in the technology industry are fully cognizant of now,  Microsoft ended extended support for SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2 (actually, back in July of 2019).

What this means for you as an organization, is that there are no longer updates available for your mission critical database applications running on SQL Server 2008.  This includes important security updates and enhancements which leaves your environment vulnerable to potential hacks, breaches and other security issues.  It also means that you are now likely out of compliance with several industry standard, government regulations and laws.  This is further complicated by Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 extended support ended in January of 2020.  If you run SQL Server 2008 on Windows Server 2008, you will experience a double whammy!   This is just one of many use cases for considering an upgrade to SQL Server 2019, whether that be on-premises, hybrid, or cloud.

Some of the questions that many customers are asking themselves are:

  • Should I upgrade of migrate to SQL Server 2019? Is now the right time?
  • Is the SQL Server experience on Linux the same or comparable?  I need feature parity!
  • How do I deploy SQL Server in a container? What does that look like?
  • Is Kubernetes a viable option for deploying SQL Server in a container and getting high availability?
  • Can someone explain all the options available to me for SQL Server in the cloud? 
  • What are my different options when I have multiple business use cases?
  • Am I going to gain or lose anything by moving my SQL Server environment to the cloud?
  • Will the SQL Server skills I have today still be applicable in the cloud?
  • Can someone explain SQL Edge?

There are these, and many more questions that business decision makers, as well as technology professionals, have when considering a move to SQL Server 2019, whether that be an on-premises upgrade, a hybrid environment or move to the cloud.

In addition to common business use cases, there are several technical challenges faced every day by data and analytics professionals:

  • Reduce the need for complex ETL
  • Integrate with big data applications and payloads
  • Need for increased confidential computing
  • Need for increased uptime
  • Need super speed deployment
  • Desire to stop using a dedicated development SQL server / environment
  • Need fast patching
  • Need to integrate Big Data with SQL
  • I need an end to end machine learning experience

Where all can you host your SQL Server environment today? Literally, almost everywhere!

  • SQL Server 2019 – on-premises or private cloud.  Best option for modernizing your data landscape in your private cloud or on-premises environment.
  • SQL on Linux – Best option for a SQL compatible environment on Linux.
  • SQL in Containers – Best for portable, consistent and easy to patch SQL environments.
  • SQL on Kubernetes – Best for database containers at scale and with built in high availability.
  • SQL Virtual Machines – Best option for migrations and applications requiring operating system level access.
  • SQL Managed instances – Best for “lift and shift” migrations to the cloud. Instance pool options are available. Instance pools is a new managed instance option that provides a convenient and cost-effective way to migrate smaller instances to the cloud at scale, reducing or eliminating the extra work of consolidating less compute-intensive workloads.
  • SQL Databases – Azure options for modern cloud applications.  Provides elastic pools, Hyperscale and Serverless options.
  • SQL Edge – Best for data and machine learning applications on IOT Edge.

Some sample use cases or technical challenges:

Many organizations are struggling with the need to:

  • Reduce the need for complex ETL in their data landscape
  • Integrate big data sources into their data environments for advanced analytics
  • Extend T-SQL
  • Increase confidential computing

SQL server 2019 helps to address these challenges through data virtualization (a topic we covered in more detail here.  This is enabled through SQL Server Big Data Clusters and Polybase.  This and other enhancements to SQL Server 2019 allow the creation of a Data Hub.

sql server 2019 data hub

Many organizations desire to continue using SQL on Linux

  • Desire the best use of Linux with SQL
  • Need for a better price for performance database platform on Linux
  • Desire to maintain a consistent database platform when Linux is also part of a mixed environment
the sql server linux story

SQL on Linux advantages:

Major Linux distributions follow the familiar pattern of using a package manager.

  • RHEL – RPM and yum
  • Ubuntu – Debian and apt-get
  • SUSE – RPM and Zypper

Package includes all required binaries and instructions for installation

Benefits – dependency management, automatic versioning, one-tool-to-rule-them-all, and architecture control.

Can I Put my SQL in a Container?

  • Need for quick, “super speed” deployment
  • Desire to get away from DEV SQL servers in the environment
  • A dedicated VM for SQL is too heavy for my needs
  • Need for fast way to patch SQL
sql server containers


  • Consistent SQL image across operating systems
  • Containers are isolated but share on operating system
  • Same surface area, tools and T-SQL
  • Deployment fast and integrated with your continuous integration / continuous delivery (CI/CD)

In addition to the above, many organizations want to deploy SQL Server containers in a highly scalable and highly available manner.  This need is addressed with SQL Server on Kubernetes.

As noted above:

  • Consistent SQL image across operating systems
  • Containers are isolated but share on operating system
  • Same surface area, tools and T-SQL
  • But it is also highly scalable, and Kubernetes provides built in basic high availability
sql server shared storage kubernetes

These are but a few of the challenges and potential solutions available to you as you examine options for SQL Server in your environment, based on particular use cases or technical challenge.

CLICK HERE to register for our upcoming webinar on this topic.

Have additional questions? Please send us a note below to be connected to our Data & Analytics Team.

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