The global events of the last couple of years have introduced significant changes to how companies operate and the way we work, accelerating digital transformation for many as they seek the additional flexibility, scale, and cost savings of the cloud. More companies are choosing Azure SQL for their SQL Server workloads and it’s easy to see why. Azure SQL provides a full range of deployment options ranging from edge to cloud and a consistent unified experience that makes the most of your on-premises skills and experience. It’s very cost-effective, too, when you use the Azure Hybrid Benefit to maximize your on-premises licensing investments.
Customers moving SQL Server workloads to the cloud have choices. Whether simply migrating to virtual machines (VMs) to offload infrastructure costs or modernizing on fully-managed database services that do more on your behalf, every choice on Azure is a great one.
SQL Managed Instance leads in price-performance for mission-critical workloads
More companies are choosing managed services because of the benefits they provide like lower total cost of ownership, productivity gains, and even accelerated time to market.
According to a study by Enterprise Strategy Group, customers who migrated their SQL Server data from on-premises to Azure Virtual Machines reduced their costs by up to 47 percent. Customers who continued to modernize their data from virtual machines to managed database services realized an additional 17 percent cost savings and an expected incremental $30M in new revenue due to faster release cycles. When it comes to modernizing your SQL Server data at scale, Azure SQL Managed Instance is your best choice.
It’s also a price-performance leader. Principled Technologies, an independent research firm, recently published a study where they benchmarked SQL Managed Instance and SQL Server on Amazon Web Services (AWS) RDS across three different workloads. SQL Managed Instance emerged as the leader across each of these workloads, with up to five times faster performance while costing up to 93 percent less than AWS RDS.1
SQL Managed Instance combines the broadest SQL Server engine compatibility back to SQL Server 2008, with all the benefits of a fully managed and always up-to-date platform-as-a-service (PaaS). You can use it to quickly and confidently modernize your custom and vendor-provided apps to Azure and further unlock the benefits of Azure’s integrated service platform. When a hybrid approach is required, you can run Azure Arc-enabled SQL Managed Instance on the infrastructure of your choice.
“We wanted an easy transition from on-premises SQL Server, and Azure SQL Managed Instance looks just like SQL Server—with all the operational benefits of a platform as a service.”—Hardayal Singh, Senior Principal Enterprise Architect, City National Rochdale
SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines leads SQL Server on AWS EC2
SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines saves money and simplifies management of security and high availability at no additional cost. SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines not only saves money, is flexible at scale, meets peaks in demands, and accelerates innovation, but leads SQL Server on Amazon Web Services (AWS) Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) in overall speed and price performance.
In a recent study from GigaOm, performance was tested between Microsoft SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines versus SQL Server on AWS EC2 instances across transactional and analytical workloads. Microsoft SQL Server came out on top meeting customers’ mission-critical requirements with up to 42 percent faster transactional performance while costing up to 31 percent less than AWS EC2.2
With SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines you can shift your SQL workloads with ease and maintain 100 percent SQL Server compatibility and operating system-level access. In addition, when you register your self-installed VMs with SQL Server IaaS Agent extension, you can save money and simplify management of security, high availability, and storage administration. With SQL Server IaaS Agent extension, you get built-in security and management benefits, including automated backups, for free and pay only for what you use by converting licenses between pay-as-you-go, Azure Hybrid Benefit, and HA/DR license types.
H&R Block made plans to stay ahead of the changes, providing seamless multichannel experiences and unifying its disparate data sources to better serve its customers. By moving its various workloads to Microsoft SQL Server the tax provider has been able to enhance service delivery, scale to meet its peaks in demand, and accelerate innovation. The company was able to move its customer-facing systems—including a DIY online tax-filing app and an appointment application used by 10,000 offices—to SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines with minimal issues before, during, and after migration.
“Investing in Azure data services and data platforms has really set up an amazing foundation for us to continue to deliver and accelerate new products and services to our clients.”—Aditya Thadani, Vice President of Architecture and Information Management, H&R Block
Get started today
- Read the reports from Principled Technologies and GigaOm.
- Ready for that next step? Use Azure Migrate to assess your data’s readiness for the cloud and use the provided tools to start your journey today.
1Price-performance claims based on data from a study commissioned by Microsoft and conducted by Principled Technologies in April 2022. The study compared performance and price performance between a 16 vCore, 64 vCore and 80 vCore Azure SQL Managed Instance using premium-series hardware on the business-critical service tier and the db.m6i.32xlarge, db.r5b.4xlarge and db.r5b.16xlarge offerings for Amazon Web Services Relational Database Service (AWS RDS) on SQL Server. Benchmark data is taken from a Principled Technologies report using recognized standards, HammerDB TPROC-C, HammerDB TPROC-H and Microsoft MSOLTPE, a workload derived from TPC-E. The MSOLTPE is derived from the TPC-E benchmark and as such is not comparable to published TPC-E results, as MSOLTPE results do not comply with the TPC-E Specification. The results are based on a mixture of read-only and update intensive transactions that simulate activities found in complex OLTP and analytics application environments. Price-performance is calculated by Principled Technologies as the cost of running the cloud platform continuously divided by transactions per minute or per second throughput, based upon the standard. Prices are based on publicly available US pricing in South Central US for Azure SQL Managed Instance and US East for AWS RDS as of April 2022 and incorporates Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server, excluding Software Assurance and support costs. Performance and price-performance results are based upon the configurations detailed in the Principled Technologies report. Actual results and prices may vary based on configuration and region.
2Price-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 a 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 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, and 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.