Microsoft Corp. today announced new cloud-hosted versions of its SQL Server database service as two older on-premises varieties finally will see the end of extended support Tuesday.
Having transformed itself during the intervening years into a company that’s predominantly focused on the cloud, Microsoft now wants users of those platforms to do the same thing. To that end, it’s announcing the coming availability of a new SQL Database service hosted on its Azure cloud platform to replace SQL Server 2008 and AQL Server 2008R2.
Azure SQL Database is described as a “cloud implementation” of SQL Server and it comes in quite a few flavors. For example, customers can choose to go with Azure SQL Database managed instance, which provides what the company calls “evergreen SQL” wherein the software and infrastructure is continuously update and upgraded and is fully managed. This service also runs on an isolated virtual network for added security and uses machine learning algorithms to help with fine tuning the infrastructure, detecting systems threats and other self-management tasks.
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There’s also the Azure SQL Database Hyperscale option for customers that wish to migrate on-premises databases to the cloud that currently store massive amounts of data in the “double-digit-terabyte range.” A third version includes SQL Server Azure Virtual Machines, which provides more flexible configuration options, John “JG” Chirapurath, general manager of SQL Server and Azure Data + AI at Microsoft, wrote in a blog post.
Azure SQL Database will become available in preview “soon,” though an exact date has yet to be announced.
Microsoft is also planning to launch a new “portal experience” called “Azure SQL” that will enable customers to manage both the Azure SQL Database and SQL Server on Azure VM implementations in a single environment. Customers will be able to access new license management options plus auto-backup and auto-patching functions, Chirapurath said.
In addition to those releases, there’s also a new on-premises version of the database that Microsoft is calling SQL Server 2019 Big Data Clusters, which adds integration with big-data services such as Apache Spark and Apache Hadoop. SQL Server 2019 Big Data Clusters will be made available as a public preview on July 24.
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