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SQL Server migration

Move your SQL Server databases to Azure with few to no app code changes

Why customers trust Microsoft for SQL in the cloud

Azure is the cloud service that knows SQL Server migration best. Use our tools and guidance for migrating to the cloud and run SQL workloads on the industry-leading database engine while taking advantage of cost-saving opportunities and cloud migration resources.

With built-in security controls, layers of protection and advanced threat protection, rest assured that your data is stored in a more secured and compliant environment. Ensure peak productivity with our evergreen SQL offering that never needs to be patched or upgraded, and AI-powered features to optimise performance and security.

With full SQL Server parity and a consistent code base, you can leverage your on-premises skills and knowledge in the cloud. Save time and resources on easy lift-and-shift migrations and app modernisations with the help of the Database Migration Guide.

Maximise existing investments in on-premises licences by taking them to the cloud with Azure Hybrid Benefit and combine them with reserved instances for up to 85 per cent savings. Additionally, explore dev/test pricing, and enjoy up to three free years of Extended Security Updates. Learn more about optimising costs with Azure.

Rely on expert migration support with the Azure Migration Programme. Take advantage of free migration tools such as Azure Migrate to discover and assess your on-premises migration readiness, and Database Migration Service to move your on-premises databases to Azure.

Learn more about products and services for SQL Server migration

Learn more through example solution architectures

See how migrating your SQL Server to Azure can create innovation opportunities and cost savings for your organisation during your cloud migration process.

Windows n-tier app on Azure with SQL Server (virtual machines or managed instances)

Windows n-tier app on Azure with SQL Server (virtual machines or managed instances)

Use Azure SQL to build a resilient and scalable app environment with separate tiers, allowing for fewer outages and quicker diagnosis.

Loan credit risk with SQL Server (SQL virtual machines)

Loan credit risk with SQL Server (SQL virtual machines)

Using SQL Server with machine learning services, a lending institution can make use of predictive analytics to reduce the number of loans that they offer to those borrowers most likely to default.

Scalable Sitecore marketing website (SQL Database)

Scalable Sitecore marketing website (SQL Database)

Scale a marketing website with access to the data, integrated tools and automation capabilities you need to actively engage with customers throughout their life cycle.

Get the latest SQL Server migration news and resources

Trusted by companies of all sizes

Allscripts, a leading healthcare software manufacturer, looked to transform its apps and host them securely and reliably. They turned to Azure SQL, and, in three weeks, rehosted dozens of apps running on 1,000 virtual machines to the cloud.


Komatsu knows that using data to gain a better understanding of its business is key to being a leader. By moving mainframe apps to Azure SQL Managed Instance, they improved performance, reduced costs by half and provided critical data.


H&R Block wanted to unify its disparate data sources to deliver seamless multichannel experiences. By moving their workloads to Azure SQL, the tax provider has been able to enhance service delivery, scale to meet demand and accelerate innovation.

H&R Block

Frequently asked questions

  • Azure SQL is a family of fully managed, secure and intelligent SQL database services, built upon the same SQL Server engine. With Azure SQL, you can rehost SQL workloads on SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines, modernise existing applications with Azure SQL Managed Instance and support modern cloud applications with Azure SQL Database. You can manage your entire portfolio through a consistent and unified Azure portal experience.
  • There are three primary considerations for selecting the right Azure SQL service for your requirements. If you require control of the underlying OS due to compliance or software dependencies and would prefer to remain on your current version of SQL Server, then rehosting to SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines would be your best option. If, however, OS control is not a requirement and you prefer to be on the latest “versionless” SQL Server, then modernising your existing applications or supporting modern cloud applications on fully managed solutions such as Azure SQL Database or Azure SQL Managed Instance would be optimal.
  • First, use Azure Migrate to download and install Data Migration Assistant. This tool generates assessment reports that identify requirements before migration, and it recommends target migration SKUs in Azure. Then, use the Database Migration Service to migrate your database to your selected destination.
  • The Azure Migration and Modernisation Programme is a curated, step-by-step guided process led by Azure engineers and expert partners, that provides free resources and a proven end-to-end approach to help you move forwards with confidence.
  • The Azure Hybrid Benefit is a pricing benefit for customers who have licences with Software Assurance, which helps maximise the value of existing on-premises Windows Server and SQL Server licence investments when migrating to Azure. Eligible customers can save up to 40 per cent* on Azure Virtual Machines (infrastructure as a service, or IaaS), and save up to 55 per cent on Azure SQL Database (platform as a service, or PaaS) and SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines (IaaS).

    * Actual savings may vary based on region, instance type or usage.

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