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Enterprise workloads underpinned by Microsoft® SQL Server are mission-critical, which can make organizations hesitant to trust them solely to the cloud, especially to a multi-tenant public cloud. However, new options for leveraging SQL Server in hybrid cloud environments provide advanced benefits including improved replication, backup, security, moving databases and workloads, and cost-effective storage. Whether you run SQL Server on a dedicated server, use database as a service in a public cloud, run SQL Server on Azure® or other public cloud platforms, new configuration options can help you streamline IT service and reduce costs. The challenge is figuring out which scenario meets your needs, and how to implement it without an army of experts. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each so you can reduce costs and improve service without adding headcount.
SQL Server on Bare Metal to a Microsoft Private Cloud
This is the traditional model for Microsoft SQL hosting. This model is popular with several groups, including: DIY customers who want to move out of colocation or in-house server rooms but maintain overall control of their environment; customers with heavy compliance requirements who wish to remove all types of multi-tenancy from their data layer; and customers with massive performance requirements who want to remove as much overhead as possible to pour all available compute into data processing. This configuration has the smallest technical overhead on the database compute nodes because there are no hypervisors and no multi-tenancy. However, network latency becomes an important gating factor, and it has none of the built-in resiliency that a cloud provides.
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SQL Server on an Azure VM
This is a highly flexible configuration with good availability. However, multi-tenancy can lead to performance limitations. This model is useful for dev/test deployments and is a great solution for customers without advanced needs who are more cloudy but still administer environments in the traditional model mentioned above. This configuration offers fast deployment, resilient cloud services and is integrated with other Azure services, but does not deliver high performance. It can still be a good disaster recovery solution for those customers who already have high performance.
SQL as a Service on a Microsoft Private Cloud
This configuration is best for enterprises with central IT who want to tightly manage licensing proliferation while still acting quickly to provide data stores to their departmental and branch customers. This configuration is highly flexible, helps IT maintain control of license usage, and allows performance to scale to the equipment provided. However, more help desk and facilitation support can be required as less technical customers are attracted to the easy-to-use platform.
SQL as a Service on SQL Azure
Inexpensive, highly available and very easy to use, the downside of this configuration is limited configurability. It’s still a great solution for smaller organizations that don’t have high-performance data service needs; you get highly resilient services without the need to spend much time on normal database administrator work. This configuration features the fastest deployment and the smallest management overhead and works well for short-term experiments or for solving for emergency database needs. However, you can’t use SQL 2014, it has highly restricted configurability, and it lacks integration, analysis, or reporting services.
Get Expert Help Leveraging SQL Server Hybrid Cloud
Rackspace® offers subscription-based support services and can provide Professional Services across all four of these deployment scenarios and use cases. As part of Fanatical Support®, services can be as all-inclusive or as incremental as you need them to be, and can be tailored to best suit your current and anticipated future needs. Rackspace Managed Services helps remove the pressure and complexity of implementing and managing these deployment models, allowing you take advantage of the model best suited for you.