What to consider before migrating your SQL Server to the Azure Cloud

With support for SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 deployments having officially ended on July 9th 2019, many businesses will be looking to upgrade. Running these operating systems without official support opens you up to a wide range of threats, as vulnerabilities will no longer be patched.

But how can we ensure uptime and compatibility during the transition to a newer version of SQL Server?

Temporarily sticking with SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 deployments

If your business is not ready to commence the upgrade process to a newer version of SQL Server, there are some options available which can grant you more time:

  • The first option is available through the Extended Security Update (ESU) program from Microsoft. This is strictly for businesses running software packages that would otherwise be incompatible with newer versions of SQL Server. To qualify for the ESU program, you must have an active subscription to Microsoft’s Software Assurance licensing initiative. You can purchase either one, two, or three years of extended support, with support permanently stopping on July 12th 2022. Be aware that you will only get critical system updates, meaning low priority bugs will not be patched under this support scheme.
  • The second option will allow you to keep using SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 deployments but requires migration to the Azure Cloud. For businesses that choose not to migrate but want to take advantage of the ESU program, you will be charged 75% of the annual software license fee. On the other hand, businesses choosing to migrate and continue using SQL Server 2008 will be enrolled in the ESU program free of charge, saving money on licensing and setting a foundation for a cloud-based future for your business.

Read MoreBenefits of Migrating from SQL Server to Azure

A Migration Checklist

If you have decided that migrating to the Azure Cloud is a viable option for your business, there are many things you should consider before starting the migration process.

The first thing you should do when planning a migration is a thorough assessment of your business requirements. Straight away, it would be best if you were reaching out to the key decision-makers in your business. Ensuring that department heads are informed on the planned trajectory of your IT service provision is a great way to garner support and traction for further progress.

From here, you should collaborate to determine the priorities and goals for cloud migration. These goals are unique to every business and should be shaped around existing projects to ensure compatibility with your existing work culture. This collaboration should also consider change management and documentation requirements for a smooth transition to the cloud.

Read MoreCloud with AWS Managed Services

To further promote the idea of cloud migration in your business, and accurately budget for the migration, you should consider using Microsoft’s Total Cost of Ownership calculator. This calculator will allow you to input your current on-premises server infrastructure details, including core counts, RAM, and OS version, to get an accurate depiction of the real-world cost of running a similar system in the cloud.

Finally, it would help if you considered using the Microsoft Assessing and Planning Toolkit (MAP). This program is an agentless, automated planning and assessment tool for businesses considering a move to the cloud. MAP will assess your entire server network, determining which programs are ready to be run in the cloud. You can get some detailed information here, such as:

  • Server utilization data for virtualization planning with Hyper-V - This can help you conduct application benchmarking to determine the amount of processing power needed when migrating to the cloud.
  • Server Placement Identification - This can help you determine the best location for data storage on your network and also helps you to predict the storage requirements for your database in the future. This identification can also help you decide on the right services for ‘cold’ and ‘hot’ stored data. Since cold data is infrequently accessed, you can choose slower storage hardware for this purpose and vice versa with hot data.

Read MoreManaged IT Services Complement your Organization

Comprehensive SQL Migration Planning with Trianz

If your business is considering undergoing a SQL Server Azure Migration, then consider consulting with a SQL Server Support & Managed Services expert. Trianz is a SQL Server Consultancy specialist with decades of experience working with businesses to plan and implement changes in their IT infrastructure.

Get in contact using the form below, and start planning your cloud future with Trianz.

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