SQL Server on Virtual Machines

Migrate SQL Server workloads to the cloud at the lowest TCO1

Industry-leading performance and manageability for your cloud database2

Lift and shift your SQL Server workloads to the cloud to get the combined performance, security and analytics of SQL Server with flexibility and hybrid connectivity of Azure with 100 per cent code compatibility. Access the latest SQL Server updates and releases, including SQL Server 2019.

Register your virtual machines with SQL IaaS Agent extension for automated virtual machine management at no additional cost.

SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines is part of the Azure SQL family, which allows you to migrate existing apps or build new apps on the best cloud destination for your mission-critical SQL Server workloads.

Best TCO – Save up to 84 per cent compared to AWS2

High-performance virtual machines (VMs) for SQL Server on Linux and Windows

Built-in security and manageability with automatic security updates not available in any other cloud

Up to three years of free extended support for SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 (only on Azure)

Best TCO with Azure Hybrid Benefit

Save up to 84 per cent compared to Amazon Web Services migrating SQL Server databases with Azure Hybrid Benefit and get free extended support for SQL Server 2008 R2 images in Azure IaaS. Activate Azure Hybrid Benefit when you provision SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines images from the Azure Marketplace.

High-performance VMs for SQL Server on Linux and Windows

Take advantage of SQL Server VMs with industry-leading performance2. Choose from images with Windows Server, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Enterprise Linux Server or Ubuntu Linux. Gain co-located, integrated support for your SQL workloads with Red Hat and SUSE.

Built-in security and manageability

Ease maintenance with automatic security updates and restore your database to a specific point in time with Azure Backup. Help protect your data at rest and in motion with the database rated as least vulnerable over the last nine years3, in the cloud with the most global, national/regional and industry certifications.

Advanced security on the most compliant cloud

  • Remediate potential threats in real time with intelligent threat protection and proactive vulnerability assessment alerts.
  • Get industry-leading, multi-layered protection with built-in security controls including network security, encryption and access control.
  • Take advantage of the most comprehensive compliance coverage of any cloud database service.
  • Protect your data with Always Encrypted technology, where encryption keys are never revealed to the database engine.

SQL Server 2019 images now available

SQL Server 2019 combines SQL Server with Apache Spark™ and Hadoop Distributed File System for a unified data platform that enables analytics and AI over all data, both relational and non-relational. In addition, SQL Server 2019 delivers a comprehensive data virtualisation solution that enables customers to combine data sets across multiple databases in a performant manner directly through SQL Server. SQL Server 2019 delivers unparalleled security and performance across all data with new enhanced security and performance capabilities across both Windows and Linux.

Trusted by companies of all sizes

Italian enterprise resource planning (ERP) leader reduces costs and effort in the cloud with Microsoft SQL Server on Linux-based Azure Virtual Machines

Using SQL Server on Azure, TeamSystem reduced the effort and cost of running its platform while increasing its agility and speed of deployment – all without compromising performance.

Team System

Financial tech company gains SQL Server performance and scalability on Linux

dv01 moved from PostgreSQL and Redshift to SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines. By doing this, it reduced query times from 30 seconds to one or two seconds.


Healthcare software manufacturer saves costs through cloud migration

Allscripts moved 600 on-premises virtual machines to Azure and re-used on-premises Windows Server and SQL Server licences in the cloud with Azure Hybrid Benefit to maximise cost savings in the cloud.


Pricing that helps you save with flexibility and choice

Manage costs across SQL Server editions and VM types on both Linux and Windows. Azure Hybrid Benefit and Azure Reserved Instances let you save on database and virtual machine services in the cloud using your existing on-premises licences and reserved pricing.4

Get started today

Choose the operating system and SQL Server edition for your virtual machine.

Configure basic settings, virtual machine size and optional features, and then customise your SQL Server settings, including automated patching and backup.

If you have questions, read our documentation.

SQL Server application development resources

Build intelligent apps fast

Innovate with Microsoft data and developer solutions. Learn how to easily incorporate intelligence into your SQL Server applications while using the tools and platforms of your choice.

SQL Server tools and APIs

Find all the resources you need to quickly build intelligent, data-driven apps.

Guide for getting started

Build apps with SQL Server on macOS, Linux and Windows.

Migrate your database to Azure

Join 90 per cent of the Fortune 500 that have moved to Azure. Get the resources to migrate your apps, data and infrastructure at your own pace and use assessment, migration and cost management tools free of charge as you transition your on-premises workloads to Azure VMs. Use our step-by-step Database Migration Guide for detailed instructions for each source and target pair.

Begin your cloud migration journey

Community and Azure support

Ask questions and get support from Microsoft engineers and Azure community experts on Azure forums, MSDN and Stack Overflow, or chat with an Azure support specialist.

Azure SQL VMs updates, blogs and announcements


SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines e-book

Read this Packt e-book to learn how you can maximise value and performance by migrating your SQL Server workloads to Azure Virtual Machines.

Read the e-book

SQL IaaS GigaOm report

Read GigaOm’s report comparing performance and price performance for SQL Server running in Azure Virtual Machines and Amazon Web Services EC2.

Read the report

Frequently asked questions

  • The Azure Hybrid Benefit is special pricing designed to help you maximise the value of your current licensing investments while accelerating your migration to the cloud. There is no application process or waiting period. Learn more.
  • Azure offers pre-configured SQL Server VM images for Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Ubuntu Linux and Windows Server.
  • Ultra Disk for SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines is now generally available to purchase.
  • If you have SQL Server or Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 but don’t have Software Assurance, you can now migrate to Azure and get extended security updates for free for three years. Learn more.
  • We recommend you first consider Azure SQL Database Managed Instance fully managed relational cloud database service. This includes built-in intelligence that learns app patterns and adapts to maximise performance, reliability and data protection. If you need control over your database and operating system, and have dependencies on SQL Server Reporting Services, or you have ISV applications certified on particular SQL Server release years, you may benefit from using SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines. Learn more.
  1. Total cost of ownership (TCO) is up to five times lower than with SQL Server on Amazon Web Services EC2. Cost difference includes Azure Hybrid Benefit for Windows Server (exclusive to Azure) and a three-year offer of free Extended Security Updates in Azure Virtual Machines for no additional costs. Prices are as of 24 October 2018, and subject to change. Actual regional pricing and programme discounts may apply. Actual savings may vary based on region, instance size and performance tier. Savings exclude Software Assurance costs, which may vary based on Volume Licensing agreement. Contact your sales representative for more information. Learn more.
  2. Performance claims reflect comparison of throughput at a given price point for SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines with Premium SSD versus AWS General Purpose IOPS, and SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines with Ultra Disk versus SQL Server on AWS EC2 with Provisioned IOPS. Premium SSD is currently generally available to purchase. Ultra Disk is currently in limited private preview and will be generally available to purchase in the near future. To evaluate performance, we used the HammerDB implementation of the industry-standard TPC-C benchmark. The HammerDB TPC-C workload is derived from the TPC-C benchmark and as such is not comparable to published TPC-C results, as the HammerDB TPC-C results do not comply with the TPC-C benchmark. The HammerDB implementation of TPC-C can be described as follows: the schema and data were generated by HammerDB, the transactions were compliant with the standards set by TPC-C as implemented by HammerDB, the primary metric used was the total number of all transactions completed during the measurement interval, and the price performance metric was calculated as dollars per transaction which is defined as the normalised cost of running the HammerDB TPC-C workload on each of the platforms.
  3. National Institute of Standards and Technology Comprehensive Vulnerability Database
  4. There are currently no Reserved Virtual Machine Instances with SQL Server images pre-configured. You’ll need to manually install SQL Server on Reserved Virtual Machines.

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