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moving a DB shop to the cloud..

Posted on 2014-12-15
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Last Modified: 2014-12-19
Let’s suppose your management decides to let the main SQL Server go to a cloud environment. What are the possible scenarios questions you will be asking or hoping to provide to be documented for 2-way reference.. what else can you think of other than the below?
 
How many drives and how big? (Data/Log)
Drives – what RAID config?
How often the backups should happen for each db(FULL,TLog etc)
Performance monitoring.
Tech/Admin Contacts
High Availability/Disaster Recover options/policy
Any custom resources: (examples: extra 2 CPU Cores 8am-noon every Monday and Wednesday etc)
???
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Question by:25112
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by:PadawanDBA
PadawanDBA earned 450 total points
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The cloud platform matters.  Are you talking about moving to Azure or AWS or something completely different?  If it's Azure, are you talking about an Azure VM with SQL Server installed on it or migrating the databases into Azure SQL Databases?
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by:25112
ID: 40501261
I am sorry I was not totally aware abt Azure. I thought they will just move the databases to a SQL ____ 92012 or 2014) that you specify and we will connect to it through SSMS? how is Azure different than 2012/2014 versions?
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by:PadawanDBA
PadawanDBA earned 450 total points
ID: 40501300
So it's not really different in so far as what it does as compared to those versions.  If you are using Azure SQL Databases, there are some datatypes not supported and some other requirements around prepping your databases for migration.  You connect to the database, and have no direct administrative control/visibility into the instance level diagnostics/configurations.  If you are in a VM that's hosted in Azure and you install SQL Server in that, there are no aforementioned restrictions and you have complete control over the instance configuration/diagnostics - however minimal control over the VMs performance in Azure.  If you're going with the second, I can link you to one of my blog posts around best practices for deploying in that scenario (especially around achieving as-close-as-possible-to-linear scaling of storage IOPS/throughput).
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Transaction Monitoring Vs. Real User Monitoring

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by:Rob G
Rob G earned 50 total points
ID: 40501440
I would ask what the cost of bandwidth is.. Because if you don't have a fat pipe, and the WAN to support the amount of bandwidth this could create, i wouldn't bother.. Most people who go LAN to Cloud don't realize just how much more expensive it is in the long run.
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by:25112
ID: 40502330
>>If you're going with the second
yes please
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PadawanDBA earned 450 total points
ID: 40502738
http://padawandba.azurewebsites.net/sql-server/azure/sql-server-azure-best-practices/

Just to underscore a subtle point in this post: I did this research because a client used software RAID inside of windows to configure their disk - never, ever, ever do that in Azure =)  Also, try and price out one of the VM classes that gives you 16 disks.  You can go up to 1TB max on each (at least that's what it was when I wrote this... the limits and features and classes of VMs you can get are constantly changing - usually in favor of more resources/higher caps), and you only get charged for what you use (you may want to clarify with MS if that means the provisioned drive sizes carved out of the storage pools or the actual data stored).

edit: also the bandwidth point is a very good one.  however, it brings up the additional concern of your ability to sustain higher latency on data access (as you will be transferring the data over WAN).  I'm not going to lie, usually the move to cloud involves moving an entire application platform to the cloud (which also solves the bandwidth cost issue) - or a function such as reporting, with high inbound traffic, which you don't have to pay for, and low outbound traffic.

edit part 2: also, to go into your initial question a little more.  if you're going with SQL Server in an Azure VM, you are going to want to monitor it and perform maintenance on it just like you would any other VM =)  You also administer it just like you would any other SQL Instance, so you build out your availability options (mirroring, log shipping, replication or alwaysOn like you would for any SQL Environment)
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by:25112
ID: 40509393
Thank you!
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