Microsoft Azure Consulting

Microsoft Azure allows you to run SQL Server databases in the Microsoft Cloud. Azure Standard provides several tangible advantages vs. a locally-hosted SQL Server database, including:

  • Easy, low-cost Maintenance: self-managed, with nearly zero maintenance
  • Robust: High availability and durability with 99.95% SLA
  • Increased Flexibility: performance, and the number of SQL databases can be instantly dialed-up or down, depending on your needs
  • Scalable: can run both Windows Azure Standard Edition of SQL Server, and Windows Azure Enterprise Edition of SQL Server
  • Secure: data is protected with replication and self-service restore
  • Time to market: 10 minutes to have your Virtual Machine with SQL Server running in the Microsoft Azure Cloud

Azure Standard: The Economics

Windows Azure with SQL Server can be MUCH less expensive than purchasing and managing your own hardware plus incurring the SQL Server licensing costs, not to mention the ongoing maintenance and upgrade costs. Prices for SQL Server running in the Microsoft Azure Standard Cloud start at $134/month for a 2 core system, 3.5 Gb RAM with SQL Server Web edition, and can increase up to $1000+/mos for a massive Enterprise system.

In practice, we normally see prices in the ~$300 to $500/month range, but your resource needs may vary. The experts at PCA will work closely with you to understand your needs, and right-size your VM and SQL Server implementation.

Windows Azure Standard Vs. SQL Azure: Important Differences

Windows Azure runs a virtual windows computer in the Microsoft Cloud, which optionally has SQL Server (Real SQL Server, not SQL Azure) in any edition (Enterprise, Standard or Web). SQL Azure is a scaled-back version of SQL Server, which is missing key functionality that real SQL Server has, like using the CLR, scheduling jobs, compression, and control over the file system. With Windows Azure, you get to Remote Desktop into your Windows Virtual Machine in the Microsoft Cloud, and manage it in the same way you would manage any other local Server.