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An overview of the rapid migration process from SQL Server to Azure SQL Database

database migration

Migration of SQL Server to Azure SQL

Making decisions about your current SQL Servers is a necessary step in modernizing your data platform. Apart from offering many deployment choices and service levels, Azure SQL Database offers a multitude of use cases.

Overview of Azure SQL Database

Azure SQL Database is the ideal choice for SQL Server workloads that require a fully managed platform as a service (PaaS). Most database management tasks are handled by SQL Database. It also has performance capabilities that are appropriate for a variety of applications, scalability, intelligent query processing, and high availability built right in.

Numerous service tiers and deployment strategies are offered to support a broad range of workloads and applications.


You can improve your application by utilizing PaaS capabilities by migrating to a SQL database. SQL Agent jobs and other instance-scoped technical components are not necessary.


By switching from on-premises SQL Server licensing to Azure SQL Database, the Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server can also help you save money. You can use this feature if you select the vCore-based purchasing model.

Ascertain whether the SQL Server database engine features offered by Azure SQL Database are compatible with your migration target.

The following platforms' SQL Server databases that are currently in use can be moved.

We have several options to choose from when moving your SQL Server databases to Azure SQL Databases.

  • SQL Server on-premises Azure Virtual Machines with SQL Server installed
  • Amazon Web Services (EC2) and Elastic Compute Cloud (ECC)
  • A Google Cloud Compute Engine (GCP) service that offers a relational database (RDS)
  • Cloud SQL is a way to access SQL Server in GCP.


The migration process and best practices for relocation

Successful data migration requires completing a number of phases in a recursive process. All of the activities that occur throughout this process are divided into the following three categories:

Before Migration

Make sure the database is compatible with your source environment before starting the pre-migration phase. You should also begin evaluating the viability of the migration while locating resources and highlighting any major obstacles to the process.



Make sure that before you start, your network is free of any SQL Server instances and other critical components. You can find out if every on-premises server can be migrated to the cloud and how much it will cost to operate in Azure by using Azure Migrate.



You should assess how well your SQL Server databases work with the Azure SQL Database. Data Migration Assistant may suggest Azure targets and SKUs (virtual machine sizes) for your workloads as of version 4.1.


How to carry out the evaluation:

  • Launch the DMA, or Data Migration Assistant. Choose a File.
  • Choose a new evaluation.
  • Name your project precisely. Select SQL Server under Source and Azure SQL Database under Target.



After completing the pre-migration phase, you can start moving your data using Data Migration Assistant.


Here are the steps to follow:

  • Installing and downloading DMA is a must.
  • Choose the project type of Migration when starting a new one.
  • Source and target, respectively, are SQL Server. By choosing Schema and data, create a migration.
  • Include the source server's name and login information (such as its IP address) in your migration project.


After Migration

After a successful migration stage, carrying out post-migration procedures can help guarantee that everything is operating as it should.

Software adaptation

Once your data has been migrated, make sure that the applications that were using your source database can now access and use the destination database. In some cases, your applications might need to be changed.



Tests will ensure that both your source and target databases are operating as intended. You can achieve this by creating a set of validation queries. Next, set up a testing environment (a different copy of the databases that need to be assessed) and run validation and performance tests there.

Tools for SQL Server Migration

Azure Migrate

Azure Migrate offers a modernization, optimization, and easier migration service for Azure. Pre-migration activities for infrastructure, data, and applications are all covered, including discovery, assessments, and the appropriate size of on-premises resources.


Sql Server Migration Options

When moving a SQL Server database from on-premises to the AWS Cloud, there are essentially two options: moving off of SQL Server (heterogeneous migration) or staying on SQL Server (homogeneous migration). A homogenous migration does not involve database engine changes.

Microsoft Data Migration Blog

One solution that can assist you in streamlining, directing, and automating your database migration to Azure is the Azure Database Migration Service. Your data, schema, and objects can be easily and widely moved to the cloud from a variety of sources.

Database Experimentation Assistant

One tool for testing SQL Server upgrades is Database Experimentation Assistant (DEA). You can assess a specific SQL Server version for a given workload with the use of DEA. The tool's analytical metrics are available to customers who are upgrading from earlier SQL Server versions (beginning with 2005) to more recent versions.

Migration scenarios

Migration situations can be classified according to three factors: migration time (how quickly it must be completed), scale (the number of servers or apps involved), and length of downtime permitted during cutover. The selection of AWS services that best enable the migration is influenced by these factors.

SQL Server

Relational database administration is offered by Microsoft SQL Server. as a database server that, via the client-server architecture, uses a local computer to store and retrieve data when called upon by other software programs running on another computer. SQL Server is available online as a web service through Microsoft's APIs.

Microsoft Azure SQL Database

Fully managed relational database service designed for the Azure cloud, Azure SQL is a member of the Azure SQL family. A fully managed SQL database with backups, auto-scaling, and AI built in can help you build your next app.

Azure virtual machines

To enable connectivity, security, and high availability for your applications, Azure Virtual Machines provides a variety of networking features and related services, including Azure Virtual Network, public and private IP addresses, network security groups, virtual private networks (VPNs), and Azure ExpressRoute.

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud

You can create and host your software systems using Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), a web service that offers resizable processing capability, or servers housed in Amazon's data centers.


Migrating from SQL Server to Azure SQL Database offers numerous benefits, including scalability, high availability, security, and cost-efficiency. By following a structured migration process and leveraging Microsoft's tools and services, businesses can seamlessly transition their databases to the cloud and unlock the full potential of Azure SQL Database. Whether you're looking to modernize your existing applications or embark on a cloud-native journey, Azure SQL Database provides a robust and scalable platform for your relational database workloads.