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For the past 25 years, companies of every size have trusted Windows Server and SQL Server to run their business-critical workloads. In fact, more than 70 percent of on-premises server workloads today run on Windows Server1. As more customers use the cloud for innovation and digital transformation, the first step is often migrating existing Windows Server and SQL Server applications and data to the cloud. Many of you have shared why you continue to choose Microsoft and stay with the vendor you trust. Below are the three main reasons that we hear.

Reason #1: Pay less with Azure

We understand that moving to the cloud needs to make sense for your bottom line, and we’re committed to making Azure the most cost-effective cloud for your Microsoft workloads.

The Azure Hybrid Benefit for Windows Server and SQL Server and reservation pricing have been helping customers save when moving to Azure. We are committed to keeping your server workloads secure and Azure now offers free Extended Security Updates for Windows Server and SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2. When you add it all up, AWS is 5 times more expensive than Azure for Windows Server and SQL Server. With savings like this, why would you run these workloads anywhere else?

“Azure Hybrid Benefit is very important to us for controlling our costs for our long-running, 24/7/365 applications. Through the use of Azure Hybrid Benefit, we'll be able to reduce our overall costs by up to 82 percent.”

Jeff Brady, Sr. Program Manager, Allscripts

In addition, Azure cost management, free to all Azure customers, helps you monitor and optimize what you spend in Azure. Not only do all these savings help your bottom line, but they also free up the budget you need to innovate with cloud services, create new business value and compete more effectively in your industry.

Reason #2: Azure delivers unmatched security and compliance

When you migrate Windows Server and SQL Server to Azure, you also benefit from the $1B Microsoft has invested to build security into a cloud platform that you can trust to run your most important applications and data. Azure can help you gain security benefits through our operational best practices and a global team of more than 3,500 cybersecurity experts.

Here are a few examples of unique Azure security features:

“Microsoft has a great commitment to the problems of the enterprise. The security built into Azure is huge for us and ensures the safety of our data wherever it is.”

Julia Anderson, Global Chief Information Officer, Smithfield Foods

Reason #3: Azure is the only consistent hybrid cloud

We understand that some applications and data make sense to migrate to the cloud today, while others need to stay on-premises. Our engineering teams work closely to deliver unique hybrid capabilities not available on any other cloud. Here are a few examples:

  • Identity is critical to your hybrid cloud strategy. With Azure, you can easily connect your on-premises Active Directory to Azure Active Directory for seamless directory services for all Office 365 and Azure services.
  • Use Windows Admin Center to protect your on-premises servers and data with Azure Backup and Azure Site Recovery. Use it to start your backup from on-premises servers in less than five clicks!
  • Take advantage of bottomless storage in Azure by replicating files from your on-premises Windows Servers to Azure using Azure File Sync.
  • Create your own private Azure region with Azure Stack. Use it to run IaaS – Windows Server and Linux Virtual Machines – as well as other Azure services in your own datacenter.

“Other cloud providers told us that this kind of hybrid-cloud architecture was impossible to construct, but with Microsoft, we not only accomplished it but did so in a very performant way that wasn’t all that complicated to set up.”

Tom Phillips, Vice President of Data and Infrastructure, Ambit Energy

Why run Windows Server and SQL Server anywhere else?

The answer is clear: migrating your workloads to Azure can yield significant savings. Don’t pay 5 times more for Windows Server and SQL Server on AWS. And finally, don’t overlook the value of a single point of support across your hybrid cloud. When issues arise, you get resolution faster with a single vendor to call.

“Microsoft really stepped up to the plate. We had an all-day hackathon with Microsoft to understand how Azure Service Fabric would work for us. We also had an onsite Microsoft account person who worked with us and quickly connected us to product experts at Microsoft when we had questions. The support from Microsoft was top-notch.”

Debra Moore, Senior Product Owner, Alaska Airlines

Next steps: Get started at the Azure Migration Center

You’ll find everything you need to get started at the Azure Migration Center. And make sure you start your journey right by taking the free “Assessing and Planning for Azure Migration” course offered by Microsoft Learn for a chance to win a Surface Go!


1IDC, Worldwide Operating Systems and Subsystems Market Shares, 2017: A Market Rebounds and Is Poised for Strong Gains, Doc #US43753318, May 2018

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