• 5 min read

Making Azure the best place for all your applications and data

The confluence of cloud, data and AI is driving unprecedented change. The ability to utilize data and turn it into breakthrough actions and experiences, is foundational to innovation today.…

The confluence of cloud, data and AI is driving unprecedented change. The ability to utilize data and turn it into breakthrough actions and experiences, is foundational to innovation today. Organizations are using cloud technologies to accelerate the innovation that drives their business—migrating applications and data to the cloud is a key initiative within this strategy.
Only Microsoft delivers a consistent and global platform optimized for hybrid cloud for all applications and data. Microsoft provides the flexibility to maintain consistent hybrid cloud environments, while also providing rich choice of migration and modernization options. This consistency enables you to distribute your applications and data workloads on your terms, without the complexity of having to maintain different skillsets, systems, and tools while extracting the insights from data to drive innovation.

Today, we are excited to announce investments that dramatically expand the choice and ROI of moving your SQL Server and open source applications to Azure. SQL Server customers can now try the preview for SQL Database Managed Instance, Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server license benefit which can help customers save up to 30%*, and Azure Database Migration Service preview for Managed Instance. Additionally, we are excited to announce the preview for Apache Tomcat® support in Azure App Service and the general availability of Azure Database for MySQL and PostgreSQL in the coming weeks, making even easier to bring your open source powered applications to Azure.

Migrate SQL Server Workloads

We are making it seamless to move any SQL Server application to Azure without application changes with the new deployment option in Azure SQL Database, Managed Instance. Managed Instance offers full engine compatibility with existing SQL Server deployments including capabilities like SQLAgent, DBMail, and Change Data Capture, to name a few, and built-on the highly productive SQL Database service. Customers who participated in the limited preview are excited by the differentiated value Azure SQL Database delivers versus other options available in the market; including a fully managed service, built-in HA, and semi-autonomous database functionality including performance monitoring and tuning and Threat Detection which serves as an alarm system for your databases.

With the launch of SQL Database Managed Instance, we are also expanding the Azure Hybrid Benefit program to include support for SQL Server. You can now move your on-premises SQL Server licenses with active Software Assurance to Managed Instance and soon your SQL Server Integration Services licenses to Azure Data Factory for discounted pricing, helping you save up to 30%*.

Managed Instance preview customers like Pivot Technology Solutions are loving the combination of the fully managed database service with licensing discounts. “SQL Managed Instance is that happy medium we were looking for. We needed the power and compatibility of SQL Server, but without the management overhead and cost that comes with running VMs 24×7, states Robert Shurbet, Senior Software Development Professional, Pivot Technology Solutions. “Not only will we get that power and ease of management, we’ll also be able to use the Azure Hybrid benefit, which allows us to use our existing SQL Server licensing through Software Assurance. Developing, deploying and managing our application is getting a whole lot easier and cheaper with Azure and SQL Managed Instance.”

And finally, to help you streamline the migration of your databases to SQL Database Managed Instance, we are also excited to expand Azure Database Migration Service to support SQL Database Managed Instance. The Azure Database Migration Service is designed as a seamless, end-to-end solution for moving your on-premises SQL Server to Azure SQL Database as the beginning of a full roadmap of database support. The complete service roadmap will support database migrations across a variety of database sources and destinations —including upcoming support for MySQL and PostgreSQL databases to Azure Database for MySQL and Azure Database for PostgreSQL.

Migrate open source workloads

Making Azure the best destination for all your applications and data requires full support for your open source-powered workloads. Today, we are excited to introduce a preview of built-in support for Apache Tomcat and OpenJDK 8 from Azure App Service, making it easy for Java developers to deploy web applications and APIs to Azure’s market leading PaaS. Just bring your .jar or .war file to App Service and we’ll take care of the capacity provisioning, server maintenance and load balancing. If you have other preferred images such as Jetty and different versions of JRE, you can also build your own Docker image and deploy it to App Service by pointing to your container registry.  Once your Java application is deployed, you can then extend it with the Azure SDK for Java to work with various Azure services such as Storage, Azure Database for MySQL, and Azure Database for PostgreSQL. 

We are also excited to release Azure database services for MySQL and PostgreSQL into general availability in the coming weeks. These preview services have enjoyed tremendous growth since launching into preview last year, proving that developers want database choice delivered on a simple, fully managed service platform that removes the complexities around data availability, protection, and scale. Azure database services for MySQL and PostgreSQL offer the community versions to ensure simplest migration and fastest path to development with these services on Azure. Open source supported services on Azure make it extremely easy for companies like GeekWire to move their workloads to the cloud without disruption to their technology stack and developer culture.

According to Kevin Lisota, GeekWire developer, “the [GeekWire] website is our lifeblood. Reliability of the site if critical. It’s not unusual for the site to experience a 5x, 10x increase in traffic. We migrated the site to Azure and we host the site on a variety of different Azure services to support those really unpredictable traffic spikes. GeekWire runs on WordPress, running Nginx and PHP…the key decision-maker [to migrate to Azure] was when Microsoft launched Azure Database for MySQL so we could also run the database layer together with the whole stack.”

Azure is the best place for your applications and data

Today’s announcements are yet another step towards making Azure the best place for all your apps, data, and infrastructure needs. On February 28, we also announced the general availability of Azure Migrate. Azure Migrate helps you confidently plan cloud migration projects with rich insight, including prescriptive guidance on workload readiness, right-sized resources, and cost estimates. Our vision is to make Azure Migrate the single place for you to discover and assess all your on-premises workloads.  

These investments together deliver deeper platform consistency across on-premises and cloud, a rich open source application framework and database support, and expanded cost-savings for Microsoft customers. We’re committed to making your migration to Azure as smooth as possible, while paving the way for accelerated innovation. Our goal is to build technology that empowers today’s innovators to unleash the power of their applications and data and reimagine possibilities that will improve our world.

Get started today!

We are excited for you to try these exciting new technologies! Get started today and let us know your feedback.

*Pricing for an Azure SQL DB Managed Instance price on US East price. The savings are calculated for Base rate when compared to fully priced (license included). The SA cost included above is for Open, NL. The SA prices may vary based on EA agreement.