From “All in” to “Hybrid”

For the past 3 years…up until TechEd 2013, Microsoft was “All in” when it came to the cloud. Their goal was to see all new features and services come to the Azure platform first. The idea was they were going to put everything they had into helping their customers see the cloud as the answer to many of the IT problems they face. This meant that Microsoft could shorten development schedules, adopting a more agile approach to their products. They could respond more quickly to bug reports, and feature requests. All great things in my opinion.

Over the past 3 years we’ve seen a healthy adoption rate. The most recent articles indicate that “more than 50 percent of the fortune 500 are using Windows Azure already“. And that’s not even the core market when you look at the pricing model for Windows Azure services. Microsoft has priced this thing for small and mid-market companies.

The real problem was many business people were gun-shy about the cloud. They came to the table with a lot of ideas about what the cloud was and how it would work. Some were accurate, some not so much. There is this emerging segment of the market that wants to hold on to their on-premises machines and test drive the cloud. Now, with SQL 2014, we have a much easier way of accomplishing that!

Most of our core clients don’t have the funds to spin up 3 SQL servers for High Availability. Even fewer could afford to spin those servers up in two different data centers. But now, with SQL 2014, we have additional High Availability and Disaster Recovery options! We can spin up a secondary SQL Server Virtual Machine in Windows Azure for $133 per month and if there’s a problem with their primary SQL Server on premise, the VM picks up the workload and keeps on chugging!

For our clients who need a little more power, but don’t need it all the time, we can set the Virtual Machine as the primary, Increase the number of cores and amount of memory, and let the on premise server serve as the backup. That way they can pay for the extra power as they need it, and scale up or down as needed with little down time. Notice I didn’t say zero down time. There is a small time cost to adjust your VM up or down safely.

There are some awesome new features in SQL 2014 that is going to help me help our clients move the parts of their business best suited for the cloud. They’re going to see cost savings, performance benefits, and reliability. This is why Microsoft was pushing “all in” to the cloud. I’m a firm believer that there is a place and a time for each. But with all the work Microsoft has put in, you have to review the options that are out there, and let me help you see where the cloud makes sense, and where on-premises makes sense.

I’m here to help!

By Shannon Lowder

Shannon Lowder is the Database Engineer you've been looking for! Look no further for expertise in: Business Analysis to gather the business requirements for the database; Database Architecting to design the logical design of the database; Database Development to actually build the objects needed by the business logic; finally, Database Administration to keep the database running in top form, and making sure there is a disaster recovery plan.

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