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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.

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

Simple, familiar SQL Server on 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.

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.

Increase uptime 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.

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.

See options for protecting SQL Server 2012

Comprehensive security and compliance, built in

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.

Save with flexible pricing

Manage costs across SQL Server editions and virtual machine series on both Linux and Windows. Azure Hybrid Benefit and Azure Reserved Virtual Machine Instances let you save on database and virtual machine services in the cloud using your existing on-premises licenses and reserved pricing.3

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

Deploy a new Windows or Linux virtual machine and customize your experience using the SQL Server IaaS Agent extension, with guided storage optimization, monitoring configuration, and features including automated patching and backup.

Read the documentation to learn more.

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

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.


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 Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Ubuntu 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.

Ready when you are—let’s set up your Azure free account.

1Price-performance claims based on data from a study commissioned by Microsoft and conducted by GigaOm in April 2022. The study compared price performance between SQL Server 2019 Enterprise edition on Windows Server 2022 in Azure E32bds_v5 instance type with P30 Premium SSD disks and SQL Server 2019 Enterprise Edition on Windows Server 2022 in Amazon Web Services Elastic Cloud Compute instance type r5b.8xlarge with General Purpose (gp3) volumes. Benchmark data is taken from the GigaOm Transactional Field Test derived from a recognized industry standard, TPC Benchmark™ E (TPC-E). The Field Test does not implement the full TPC-E benchmark and as such is not comparable to any published TPC-E benchmarks. Prices are based on publicly available US pricing in North Central US for SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines and Oregon for AWS EC2 as of April 2022. The pricing incorporates three-year reservations for Azure and AWS compute pricing, Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server and Windows Server, and License Mobility for SQL Server in AWS, excluding Software Assurance and support costs. Actual results and prices may vary based on configuration and region.

2Total cost of ownership (TCO) is up to five times lower than SQL Server on AWS 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 at no additional cost. Prices are as of June 4, 2021, and subject to change. Actual regional pricing and program 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.

3There are currently no reserved virtual machine instances with SQL Server images preconfigured. You’ll need to manually install SQL Server on reserved virtual machines.

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