Comparing SQL Server in Azure IAAS VM with Azure SQL Database

Comparing SQL Server in Azure IAAS VM with Azure SQL Database

There has been quite a lot of discussion about how Azure SQL Database PAAS Service compares with running SQL Server in a VM on Azure using the IAAS method. (Infrastructure as a Service). Here are the high level items to look into, before deciding on which one suits your need.

Comparing SQL Server in Azure IAAS VM with Azure SQL Database

SQL Server in Azure VM

• You would need a specific version of SQL Server or Windows. The version of SQL Server should be compatible with the Operating system, just like you would on-premises.

• If you need instance-level SQL features like System Tables, SSIS for ETL purposes, Reporting Services, Distributed queries (e.g. Agent Job, Linked Servers, DTC)

• You are responsible for configuring/managing SQL Server and Windows. OS level patching and security updates are provided by Microsoft.

• Great for migrating existing On-Premise Line of business Applications. SQL Hybrid topologies are also pretty flexible and can co-exit.

• You access a VM using Remote Desktop software where your SQL Server is installed

• You manage SQL Server and Windows Backups. You would ideally need a DBA or a support technician who will do the patching, high availability, or backups.

• You select the SQL Server and Windows version and edition.

• There are different VM sizes available: From Shared A0 (1 core, 1GB mem, 100GB) to a G5 system (32 cores, 512GB mem, 32TB) system.

• Microsoft will only ensure VM availability with a SLA of 99.95% in an Availability Set. Microsoft will not provide any SQL level SLA.

Comparing SQL Server in Azure IAAS VM with Azure SQL Database

Azure SQL Database

• You don’t need a specific version of SQL Server or Windows to choose. You only choose a database type, i.e. Basic, Standard or Premium.

• You cannot access the VM or RDP into it. If you don’t need instance-level SQL features, this is the feature to go with.

• Microsoft will take care of VM maintainance, backup’s and availability. You don’t have to configure and manage SQL Server or Windows.

Great for new apps
You access a database
Database is fully managed
Runs latest SQL Server build with the latest features.

• You can choose different Database sizes: From Basic (2GB, 5tps) to Premium (500GB, 735tps)

• Database availability SLA of 99.99% without any Availability set requirement.

T-SQL surface area is also less in Azure SQL Database. Please see notes here.

 

 

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