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SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines

Host enterprise SQL server apps in the cloud and save.

Migrate SQL Server to virtual machines and save

SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines is part of the Azure SQL family of databases. Migrate your SQL Server workloads to the cloud to get the performance and security of SQL Server combined with the flexibility and hybrid connectivity of Azure. Lower your total cost of ownership (TCO)1 and get free, built-in security and automated management when you register your virtual machines (VMs) with the SQL Server IaaS Agent extension at no extra cost.

Higher performance and lower TCO for running SQL Server in the cloud.

Simple, familiar SQL Server for versatile virtual machines.

Robust, simple high availability/disaster recovery (HA/DR) with Always On availability groups.

Built-in security and management with automated security updates and simplified configuration management.

Get higher performance and lower TCO

SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines performs up to 42 percent faster and is up to 31 percent less expensive than AWS EC21. Migrate on-premises SQL Server licenses to the cloud at no additional cost with Azure Hybrid Benefit. Migrate your SQL Server workloads to Azure and get free Extended Security Updates for SQL Server 2008, 2008 R2, and 2012, only in Azure. Taken together AWS is up to five times more expensive than Azure for Windows Server and SQL Server2.

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Use simple, familiar SQL Server

SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines is 100 percent compatible with SQL Server on-premises workloads but with more management capabilities. Deploy on Linux or Windows, and use preconfigured Azure Marketplace images on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Ubuntu Pro Linux, and Windows Server. Migrate with no code changes.

Assemble workloads with robust and simple HA/DR

Use SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines as a disaster recovery site for on-premises SQL Server instances with the high availability/disaster recovery (HA/DR) Software Assurance benefit, accessible through the SQL Server IaaS Agent extension. Easily configure Always On availability groups to monitor and manage their health.

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Help protect your data with built-in security

Azure has the most comprehensive compliance coverage of any cloud service provider. Use the extension to deploy SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines with preconfigured security and management best practices, and automate installation of Windows and SQL Server security updates within a customer-defined maintenance window. Plus, easily implement transparent data encryption (TDE) to protect data at rest with Azure Key Vault.

Comprehensive security and compliance, built in

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SQL Server 2022 now available

SQL Server 2022 is the most Azure-enabled release of SQL Server, with continued innovation across performance, security, and availability. Gain deeper insights, predictions, and governance from your data at scale—SQL Server 2022 is interoperable with Azure Synapse Link and Microsoft Purview. Take advantage of enhanced performance and scalability with built-in query intelligence.

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Trusted by companies of all sizes

Rx.Health revamps automated processes with Azure

"Our engineers and clinicians are creating automation and monitoring magic in healthcare with our platform, and Microsoft Azure is the foundation."

Richard Strobridge, CEO, Rx.Health

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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 licenses in the cloud with Azure Hybrid Benefit to maximize cost savings.

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Frequently asked questions about SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines

  • Azure Hybrid Benefit is special pricing designed to help you maximize the value of your current licensing investments while accelerating your migration to the cloud. There’s no application process or waiting period. Read the Azure Hybrid Benefit FAQ.

  • Azure offers preconfigured SQL Server virtual machine images for Red Hat Enterprise LinuxSUSE Linux Enterprise ServerUbuntu Linux, and Windows Server.

  • Azure Ultra Disk Storage is now generally available.

  • SQL Server 2012 Extended Support ended on July 12, 2022. If you have SQL Server 2012 but don't have Software Assurance, you can still migrate to Azure and get Extended Security Updates free for three years. If you have SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 but don't have Software Assurance, you can still enjoy Extended Security Updates in Azure. This includes one additional year of 2008 Extended Security Updates, only in Azure, until July 9, 2023, for SQL Server 2008/2008 R2.

  • SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines (IaaS) is a fast and straightforward migration option, but it requires a more hands-on approach to database administration. You'll continue to purchase, install, and manage your own software, including operating systems and applications. Azure SQL Managed Instance (PaaS) eliminates day-to-day administration but may require changes to the application code. Automated features boost performance and data protection, while serverless and hyperscale automatically scale compute and storage.

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