SQL Server on Virtual Machines

Migrate your workloads for easy SQL Server virtualization

  • Choose a virtual machine size that’s right for you, up to 32 cores and 448 GB
  • Shift apps to Azure, and leave the datacenter management to us
  • Rely on automated configuration and replication, simplifying management
  • Get powerful high availability (HA) and disaster recovery (DR) with AlwaysOn Availability Groups

Seamless no-hassle migration

Ready to walk away from datacenter management of your SQL Server apps? Azure makes it easy. Just spin up a virtual machine (VM), back up your SQL Server instance, and restore it into Azure. It’s that easy to reduce your capital investments and optimize operational expenses by migrating your on-premises SQL Server to the cloud. And if you already have SQL Server licenses with Software Assurance, you can even use our BYOL (Bring-Your-Own-License) images, eliminating the need to manually install SQL Server.

Why choose Azure for SQL Server virtualization?

All cloud services are not the same. Azure offers you:

  • Cloud flexibility—Set up and manage your SQL Server deployments in minutes, then scale up or scale down on the fly.
  • Tuned for performance—Meet your toughest demands with virtual machines optimized by the team that built SQL Server.
  • Hybrid connectivity—Get the most out of your on-premises investments, and take advantage of all that Azure offers.
  • Secured and trusted—Protect your entire data estate with a secured database on the most compliant cloud.

Simplify security with automation

Trust our secured environment, which uses encrypted storage and private virtual networks and offers the broadest compliance available. Plus, easily configure SQL Server to optimize VM storage for your target workload (such as transaction processing or data warehousing), and automate common operations such as database backups and OS patching.

Learn how to back up your SQL Server database to Azure

Develop and test cost effectively

Spin up a new development environment in minutes, paying only for what you use. Our SQL Server Developer images, including SQL Server 2016, provide a full SQL Server feature set in a free license for development and testing. And SQL Server Express images allow you to host lightweight workloads (<1 GB memory, <10 GB storage) with a free license as well. Low VM usage costs mean you pay only cents per hour, while using all the features you need for development and testing.

How to spin up a virtual machine with SQL Server

Improve business continuity

Improve business continuity in the event of disaster by placing your SQL Server AlwaysOn Availability Group replicas in virtual machines. SQL Server 2016 gives you up to eight readable replicas, which you can deploy to a fast-growing list of Azure regions around the world. Set up fast failover for database applications running in Azure, and strategically place your SQL Server replicas for peace of mind in case of on-premises failure.

Learn more about AlwaysOn Availability Groups

Choose an edition of SQL Server that’s right for you

Provision a virtual machine image with an edition of SQL Server that works best for your scenario.

Edition Description
SQL Server 2016 Developer Create Free edition licensed for development and testing only, not production
SQL Server 2016 Express Create Entry-level free database system for lightweight applications
SQL Server 2016 Web Create Low-cost database solution for medium-size web applications
SQL Server 2016 Standard Create Core data management capabilities for medium-size transactional processing and data warehousing
SQL Server 2016 Enterprise Create Comprehensive capabilities for mission-critical transactional processing, data warehousing, and business intelligence

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Try SQL Server on Virtual Machines today