[This article was contributed by the SQL Azure team.]
Every web startup plans to hit the big payday and exit through IPO or acquisition; SQL Azure and the Windows Azure Platform can make the acquisition process easier.
What most young entrepreneurs do not understand is that when they sell their web site for $100 million dollars, they do not get all the money up-front when they sign the contract. In fact, full payment does not come until all the assets are transferred. Usually these assets include domain names, intellectual property, physical assets like desk/chairs and digital assets like source code, web sites, and databases. It can take up to a year to transfer all assets, delaying payment considerably. One of the hardest assets to transfer is physical servers in your datacenter.
Your assets on Windows Azure and SQL Azure can be transferred as easily as changing the service account.
Typically, the entrepreneur when creating the startup spends a lot of time designing the computer systems for growth and scaling, including vetting the data center, purchasing the machines, installation, tuning, routing, backups and failover. When your business is acquired, the purchaser wants to consolidate resources, usually moving your servers to their datacenter to be maintained by their IT staff.
If you do the leasing of servers, and renting data center space, moving datacenters can be a considerable hassle. You need to plan for downtime, physical transfer of the servers (ship them across country potentially), getting them installed and bringing their IT staff up to speed. The headaches can be enormous, and the risks great since once the complete asset transfer is complete only then will you usually receive final payment. Imagine shipping a server that is literally worth $20 million if it arrives safely.
SQL Azure makes the transfer of web server and databases easier then the domain name transfer. Just change the server account to the purchaser’s information and you are done. You can do this by modifying the service account at the Microsoft Online Customer Portal.
In addition, the purchaser knows that they are in a trusted redundant and scalability environment when running on the Windows Azure Platform.
Do you have questions, concerns, comments? Post them below and we will try to address them.