Regarding cloud-based relational databases, two popular choices are Microsoft SQL in Azure and SQL Server. Both products offer a variety of features and benefits, but there are also some key differences you should be aware of before making a decision. In this blog post, we’ll compare SQL in Azure and SQL Server to help you understand the pros and cons of each.
SQL Server Fundamentals
SQL is a high-level programming language used for accessing and manipulating databases. In addition to commonly used basic commands –like those used to select which data to show in results and create tables –different database server systems offer many extensions with custom functionality.
SQL isn’t uniform as a widespread, standardized language employed in many different database systems – many implementations exist. Although this makes it easier to work with various software services, it also raises an important question: Which SQL variant should you use for specific tasks?
SQL in Azure Vs. SQL Server
Confusingly, many companies provide multiple SQL options. Microsoft’s SQL Server and Azure SQL product lines are prime examples of the following.
What Is Azure?
Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing service created by Microsoft for building, testing, deploying, and managing applications and services through a global network of Microsoft-managed data centers. It offers Platforms as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) services and supports Microsoft-specific and third-party software and systems. You can run anything on Azure virtual machines, including SQL-compliant databases and custom code you create in-house.
What Is An SQL Server?
SQL Server is a relational database management system (RDBMS). It’s a software product that stores and retrieves data requested by users or other software applications—which may run on the same computer or on another computer across a network (including the Internet). Unlike Azure, SQL Server is exclusively for database engine management.
Drawing Clearer Distinctions With An Azure And Microsoft SQL Server
As a cloud-based relational database service, Microsoft SQL in Azure offers many of the same features as SQL Server. However, Azure SQL includes extra cost-saving features, such as scaling on demand and paying only for what you use. Azure SQL also offers built-in availability and disaster recovery tools, so you can be sure your data is always accessible.
SQL Server, on the other hand, is a more traditional database product provided as a software install. It offers many of the same features as Azure SQL but lacks the same straightforward scalability and pay-as-you-go pricing. SQL Server also requires you to manage your availability and disaster recovery practices, which can be complex and time-consuming.
Picking The Right SQL Solution
Which option is right for you? It depends on your needs and preferences –and in some cases, enterprises even rely on outside help to determine where their best interests lie.
Azure SQL is a good choice if you want a cloud-based relational data software that is easy to scale and offers flexible pricing. If you prefer a more traditional database product that you can install on your private servers, then SQL Server may be a better option.
Key Takeaways About SQL Server Features
As compared to Azure SQL, SQL Server caters to the following businesses:
▪Larger organizations with more complex needs: SQL Server is a good match for setups that require custom tooling or backend integrations. Since you’re in charge of the deployment, you don’t have to compromise on configuration as much.
▪Organizations that require on-premises solutions: With Azure SQL, you can deploy on your hardware, but these products are designed for the cloud.
▪Organizations with legacy systems: If your company is running old software, then the costs of migrating to an entirely new tech stack might not be worth it when you could use SQL Server for backward compatibility.
On the other hand, using SQL in Azure may appeal to the following demographics:
▪Companies that prefer to use cloud-based solutions: Although you can get SQL-Server-powered business systems working with cloud deployments, there’s no guarantee they’ll play nice.
▪Enterprises just getting started: Azure’s scalability and pay-as-you-go billing can make it more cost-effective than SQL Server licensing fees. While these price-tag distinctions become less of a hassle once you’ve grown, they could make all the difference until your business model matures.
▪Companies that already have existing cloud deployments or use custom variants of SQL: Remember how we mentioned earlier that many database management systems use SQL? You’re not limited to Microsoft just because you’re using its products, but if you later migrate to some other database tool or cloud host, starting with Azure’s well-documented workflows might make it easier to adapt. This setup is especially worth considering if you’re working with edge deployments, like the Internet of Things (IoT) networks.
Building Business Systems With SQL
No matter which variant you choose, SQL implementations are critical elements of storing information in an organized, accessible way. By enforcing a rigorous structure framework on your data at scale, SQL makes it possible to glean insights, power business decision-making, and serve customers without as much manual effort.
Only some SQL options are a universal fit, however. Choosing the wrong product might mean you give up any potential advantages. Don’t let your database migration become more complex than it should be –or send you in an unproductive direction.
Handle Your Azure SQL Database With eSoftware Associates
Optimize your existing server license and streamline business processes with virtual machines. eSoftware Associates wants you to perfect your operating system and various Azure SQL Databases or SQL servers. Our team has experience with a wide array of database engines and any cloud-based service.
When managing any SQL server or Azure SQL database, eSoftware Associates can help you make an informed decision about the correct server and cloud platform that will benefit your business. Want to learn more about deploying, managing, and troubleshooting your chosen SQL stack as effectively as possible? Book a consultation today.
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