What You Need to Know about Azure SQL

By Ryan Freeman

August 1, 2022

azure, azure SQL

Azure SQL is a family of managed, secure, and intelligent products that use the SQL Server database engine in the Azure cloud.

There are three different products to choose from including Azure SQL Database, Azure SQL Managed Instance and SQL Server on Azure VMs.

Let’s take a look at each and then at some of the considerations for choosing the right product for your organisation.

Azure SQL Database

Azure SQL Database is a relational database-as-a-service (DBaaS) hosted in Azure that falls into the industry category of Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS).

Azure SQL Database is fully managed and always on the latest version of SQL. You will have the ability to rapidly deliver modern, intelligent apps. You can hyperscale your most demanding workloads. You can also optimise costs with compute that scales automatically.

Azure SQL Managed Instance

Azure SQL Managed Instance is a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering and is best for most migrations to the cloud. SQL Managed Instance is a collection of system and user databases with a shared set of resources that is lift-and-shift ready.

With Azure SQL Managed Instance you can always operate on the latest version of SQL. It is fully managed and optimised for database administrator productivity. You can maintain SQL Server application compatibility and fully isolate and secure your data.

SQL Server on Azure VM

SQL Server on Azure VM falls into the industry category Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and allows you to run SQL Server inside a fully managed virtual machine (VM) in Azure.

With SQL Server on Azure VM you have the opportunity to lower your total cost of ownership (TCO) with Azure Hybrid Benefit. Simplify SQL Server migration to Azure. Be prepared with robust and simple high availability/disaster recovery (HA/DR). Protect your data with free, built-in security.


Pricing is another big consideration but it’s good to know that Azure is 2.9 times faster and up to 86 percent less expensive than AWS for SQL workloads.

You can control your costs across all your Azure SQL database deployments by using your existing on-premises licenses on Azure with Azure Hybrid Benefit. Also, you can further maximise your savings by paying in advance for predictable workloads with Azure reservation pricing.

Help is at hand

We will deep-dive into each member of the Azure family in future posts but in the meantime if we can be of assistance then please feel free to get in touch.

Digital Samurai live and breathe SQL Server, and now Azure SQL – which is built on SQL Server. We would love to hear what plans you have for your Data Platforms whether you are working on-premises with SQL Server, thinking of migrating to the cloud or have even been ‘born in the cloud’!

With our team of SQL Server and Azure SQL experts we offer help in all areas (upgrades, migrations, management, analytics, security …) and are a friendly bunch so please feel free to get in touch!

Ryan Freeman

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