Historically, it has been difficult for businesses to find an all-in-one solution for data management. Thankfully, this decade has given us several successful software solutions that offer a centralized, unified dashboard for managing your IT infrastructure.
Microsoft has been hard at work with their Azure platform for business. Running a database in the cloud has never been easier, thanks to a wide range of cloud-native applications in Azure.
Azure SQL Database is a managed, intelligent cloud database solution, with Microsoft having the broadest SQL engine compatibility of any cloud provider.
Microsoft has made planning and migrating to the Azure Cloud much easier, thanks to the Data Migration Service (DMS), and incentives through the Azure Hybrid Cloud Benefit scheme. They have a range of options available to cater for small and large businesses, through their Single, Elastic Pool, and Managed Instances of SQL Server. These all come with a 99.99% uptime service level agreement, and automatic storage of full server backups for up to 35 days, depending on your service plan.
A SQL virtual machine allows you to run a full version of SQL Server in the cloud, without worrying about the maintenance of on-premise IT infrastructure. Microsoft also offers a pay as you go model for OS licensing, resulting in better cash flow for your business.
Unlike other Azure options, a virtual machine allows you to run UNIX-based operating systems. The newly released SQL Server 2019 can currently run on Red Hat Enterprise 7.6, SUSE Enterprise v12 SP2, and Ubuntu 16.04LTS using an XFS or EXT4 filesystem.
For those currently using MySQL, Microsoft also supports MySQL Community Editions 5.6, 5.7, and 8.
From the Azure Portal, you click “create a resource” and choose the “Azure Database for MySQL” option. From here, you can go through setup and have a MySQL instance up and running within 20 minutes.
Despite using MySQL instead of SQL Server, you will still get access to monitoring tools in the Azure Portal. You can also use dynamic scaling for load balancing, and benefit from Microsoft’s 99.99% uptime service level agreement.
If you use PostgreSQL, Microsoft also has a solution on the Azure Cloud for you.
Earlier this year, Microsoft added support for Hyperscale (Citus). This deployment option allows for data scaling across multiple physical nodes, and automated data sharding using low-level internal database hooks.
Like MySQL, you benefit from monitoring, dynamic scaling, and a 99.99% uptime SLA.
Microsoft also offers support for those using MariaDB, a fork of MySQL.
MariaDB offers improved performance, better compatibility with storage engines, and faster security updates compared to MySQL.
It is entirely possible to use MariaDB 5.5 as a drop-in replacement for MySQL 5.5 by merely installing and launching a MariaDB server and pointing it to the MySQL database file. In later versions, there has been some divergence, which makes this more difficult.
Microsoft offers the same monitoring, dynamic scaling, and uptime promises with MariaDB as they do with other SQL instances in the Azure Cloud.
CosmosDB is a NoSQL database from Microsoft that offers rapid JSON querying, with a high 99.999% availability for both read and write operations.
Where SQL Server is built for consistency and data integrity, CosmosDB instead focuses on geographic distribution and high-speed access to stored datasets using edge computing.
CosmosDB works differently from traditional database solutions and scales outwards rather than upwards. This means that multiple copies of the database are stored across various locations, resulting in speed and latency improvements over a centralized SQL database.
Traditionally, a centralized database has been preferred as it offers “a single version of the truth” to ensure data consistency. CosmosDB goes against this by scaling out, with the aim of “eventual consistency” with a dataset.
As you can see, Microsoft offers a massive range of solutions for database administration and hosting in the Azure platform, making them our go-to when building a Modern Data Estate.
Trianz has achieved Microsoft Azure Managed Service Partner accreditation, thanks to our vast industry experience and human-first approach to IT consultancy. If you are considering implementing a new IT infrastructure for your business, make sure you get it right!
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