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
Best TCO – Pay up to five times less with Azure Hybrid Benefit than with AWS1
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 Benefit1
Save up to five times as compared with Amazon Web Services when migrating SQL Server databases with Azure Hybrid Benefit, and get free extended support for SQL Server 2008 R2 images in Azure IaaS1. 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
Built-in security and manageability
Ease maintenance with automatic security patching 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 found to have the fewest vulnerabilities over a seven-year study, in the cloud with the most global, national and industry certifications3.
Advanced security on the most compliant cloud
- Microsoft invests over USD 1 billion annually on cyber security research and development.
- We employ more than 3,500 security experts who are completely focused on securing your data and privacy.
- Azure has more certifications than any other cloud provider. View the comprehensive list.
Trusted by companies of all sizes
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 1 to 2 seconds.
Healthcare software manufacturer saves costs through cloud migration
Allscripts moved 600 on-premises virtual machines to Azure and reused on-premises Windows Server and SQL Server licences in the cloud with Azure Hybrid Benefit.
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
SQL Server application development resources
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.
Find all the resources you need to quickly build intelligent, data-driven apps.
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.
Community and Azure support
Azure SQL VMs updates, blogs and announcements
Announcing Azure Migration Program
8 July, 2019
Thanks for 10 years and welcome to a new chapter in SQL innovation
Public Preview: Backup support for SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 for Azure Virtual Machines
Advanced Data Security available for SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines
18 March, 2019
Azure Backup for SQL Server in Azure Virtual Machines now generally available!
Extended Security Updates for SQL Server 2008 are available now
7 February, 2019
Simplify Always On availability group deployments on Azure VM with SQL VM CLI
13 December, 2018
Automate Always On availability group deployments with SQL Virtual Machine resource provider
26 November, 2018
Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines
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.
SQL Server VM on Ultra Disk is currently in private preview and will be generally available to purchase in the near future.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, SQL Server had the fewest security vulnerabilities from 2010 to 2017, in comparison with other major database vendors.
- 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.