As a way for managing rapidly expanding data across hybrid clouds, Microsoft’s new SQL Server 2016 release candidate now features transactional replication to Azure’s SQL DBaaS which dynamically stretches on-premises warm and cold data to Azure for virtually limitless compute capacity and storage. It also released a preview of StorSimple Virtual Array.
According to Mark Jewett, Director of Product Marketing for Microsoft’s Cloud Platform, these capabilities make it easier than ever to choose whether you store your data on-premises or in the cloud. It also lets organizations safely and securely expand their capacity to deal with massive data growth.
Transactional replication to Azure SQL DB is most useful for two scenarios: downtime-free Azure SQL DB data migration; and bridging on-premise SQL Server instances to Azure SQL DB. Database administrators don’t really have to change anything other than enter Azure SQL DB URL when creating a new subscriber. Because there is no “replication service” in Azure SQL DB, the data replication done using the distribution agents.
The Microsoft Azure StorSimple Virtual Array is easily managed file server or iSCSI server that manages storage tasks between an on-premise virtual device running in a hypervisor and Microsoft Azure cloud storage.
These features are aimed at eliminating many of the issues and expenses associated with enterprise storage and data protection, and provides tiering to the cloud, cloud backup, fast restore, item-level recovery, and disaster recovery features.
Microsoft sees these new features as a way to integrate hybrid capabilities into the Microsoft data platform products customers are already using, easing their inevitable transition to the hybrid cloud.