Moving workloads like SQL Server and Windows Server to the cloud can benefit your organisation with enhanced cost savings, and Microsoft Azure provides a robust and scalable platform for running these critical workloads.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the top use cases, the advantages of using Azure, and best practices for implementation.

Use Cases

Migrating SQL Server and Windows Server to Azure makes sense for:

  • Lift-and-shift migrations – Organisations can “lift” their on-premises workloads and “shift” them to Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) in Azure, helping you leverage the flexibility and scale of the cloud without refactoring applications.
  • Cloud-native development – Azure provides fully managed Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) options like Azure SQL Database for building cloud-native apps, allowing for modern development without managing infrastructure.
  • Hybrid environments – With Azure, companies can create hybrid environments where some workloads run on-premises and some in the cloud. This enables flexibility for migrating gradually.
  • Disaster recovery – Organisations can replicate on-premises SQL Server and Windows Server instances to Azure to enable disaster recovery.

Why Azure?

There are several advantages to running SQL Server and Windows Server on Azure, such as easy scaling up or down to match demand and avoiding over-provisioning on-premises. It provides high uptime and disaster recovery through availability zones and regions, and you can realise cost savings by only paying for what you use.

Azure enables cutting-edge technologies like machine learning, AI, IoT, and more. It also provides a secure, enterprise-grade cloud environment with built-in security capabilities, helping you meet security standards.

Steps for implementation

Migrating critical workloads like SQL Server and Windows Server to the cloud may seem daunting. Still, Microsoft Azure provides an enterprise-ready platform to smoothly transition these workloads without overstretching your IT department.

To successfully implement SQL Server and Windows Server on Azure, you should assess workloads and determine the right migration strategy, whether lift-and-shift or re-platforming. Optimise configurations to balance performance and costs and use autoscaling and one-click solutions.

You should manage costs by analysing usage and optimising to reduce unnecessary expenses, including using discounted reserved instances.

You can assure high availability by using availability sets or zones and implementing failover clustering. Finally, secure data and applications by leveraging Azure’s tools like firewalls, role-based access control, and encryption.

Summing up

With the right strategy, configuration, and best practices, you can unlock the benefits of Azure for Windows-based workloads, including cost savings, agility, availability, and better leveraging of data within enterprise environments.

While careful planning is required, the long-term gains of moving to Azure far outweigh the short-term challenges for SQL Server and Windows Server workloads. Do get in touch if you want to know more about harnessing Microsoft Azure for SQL Server and Windows Server Workloads.