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Microsoft’s Cloud Guidance Addresses SQL Server

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Last week Microsoft released guidance on choosing between Windows Azure SQL Database and SQL Server in a Windows Azure VM. This article thoughtfully describes the scenarios and decision points which go into making the choice of hosting SQL Server on an Azure VM versus using Azure’s native SQL Database. Various charts, graphs, and lists offer various perspectives to consider when making this strategic choice; easily empowering the reader to make the best decision for their situation.

While this article is specifically geared towards SQL Server, both in the “on the metal” and cloud-hosted varieties, it also helps its readers address many of the issues associated with cloud-based persistence, such as service level agreements, availability, and scaling needs. Whether an application uses Azure or not, choosing how to host a database server in the cloud is a usually a necessary decision for all cloud solutions and this guide can be applied to technologies and platforms that offer similar options for persistence and virtual machines.

This installment of guidance is the latest in a series of articles written by Microsoft to help cloud developers choose the best options when creating their solutions. Other articles have focused on architectural considerations such as implementing CQRS and Developing Multi-Tenant Applications.

CQRS Journey was released in August 2012 and gives a step by step commentary of a team’s first CQRS project. While not a purest approach to the CQRS topic, this does introduce a number of concepts relevant to cloud applications regardless of their technology or platform choice. This model of guidance, which demonstrates different viewpoints of various team members and stakeholders, is very enlightening and has been duplicated in further articles from Microsoft.

Developing Multi-Tenant Applications for the Cloud’s 3rd edition was released in December 2012 and provides detailed information regarding the choices and situations imposed by cloud-based Multi-Tenant systems. While many of the answers yield Azure solutions, use of this guidance document can be easily translated to other platforms.

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