On-Prem To The Cloud (episode 7): Migrating to Azure SQL

Jay Gordon

Our customers have been wanting some more basic, getting started material on taking their on-prem applications and moving them to the cloud. This video series does just that. Starting with a simple on-prem solution, lifting and shifting and then slowly evolving the app through its many stages until it is a 100% cloud native app. On Episode 7 we will dive into our database solution and explore using a Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering.

We’ve worked through some of the big tasks getting our customer’s app from their data center to Azure. In previous parts of this series, we discussed how to “Lift and Shift” our resources to get started. Then we moved everything a bit further along and worked to rub some DevOps on our app environment by creating a CI/CD pipeline. We codified our environment for reliability and repeatability by creating Infrastructure as Code (IaC) templates for Azure Resource Manager and then creating an Azure DevOps Pipeline for deploying them.

Now we’ll move into using Azure SQL to host our customer’s database solution.

Jump to:
[02:45] Azure SQL Deployment Options
[06:02] Azure Database Migration Service
[12:27] Database Migration Assistant

What is Azure SQL? From the product page directly:

Part of the Azure SQL family, Azure SQL Database is an intelligent, scalable, relational database service built for the cloud. Optimize performance and durability with automated, AI-powered features that are always up to date. With serverless compute and Hyperscale storage options that automatically scale resources on demand, you’re free to focus on building new applications without worrying about storage size or resource management.

The benefits of using a PaaS platform for your databases are huge! First let’s talk about some of the basics. Firstly, Azure SQL is a fully managed platform meaning that most of the underlying work normally tasked to a DBA is handled for you by Azure. Processes like backups, scaling, monitoring, and tuning become automated so you can stay focused on improving services and adding new features to your applications. You can ensure the correct networks are allowed in by using the firewall service that comes part of your Azure SQL deployment.

Migration tools are going to be a big part of our transition into Azure SQL. Luckily, Azure provides a are options to execute our migration. In the video, you’ll be able to see how you can use these two options to evaluate and then migrate your data.

Azure Database Migration Service

Azure Database Migration Service is a tool that helps you simplify, guide, and automate your database migration to Azure. Easily migrate your data, schema, and objects from multiple sources to the cloud at scale.

Data Migration Assistant

The Data Migration Assistant (DMA) helps you upgrade to a modern data platform by detecting compatibility issues that can impact database functionality in your new version of SQL Server or Azure SQL Database. DMA recommends performance and reliability improvements for your target environment and allows you to move your schema, data, and uncontained objects from your source server to your target server. You can utilize the assessment tools to ensure compatibility along with right-sizing your target environment to help you best determine capacity.

Learn more:
Azure SQL documentation
Quickstart: Create an Azure SQL Database single database
SQL tools overview
Azure Migrate documentation
Azure Database Migration Guides
Overview of Data Migration Assistant
Azure Database Migration Service documentation
Connecting to an Azure SQL database

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