Explaining to Customers the move to Azure if they have already spent Capex on a new data center

Copper Contributor

Hi all,


I have one last question that I cant quite answer when talking about the move to Azure. in this case I'm talking SQL Servers and databases.


If the company have already paid a lot of money on new data centers and we are trying to get them to decommission to move to Azure. 


Their point is that they have already paid the money on the on premeses data centers so moving to Azure wont save them money because its already been spent.


It would be great if someone could give me a tip on how to deal with this kind of question.


Thanks in advance



5 Replies


Consider future cost avoidance.  The typical support contract for new hardware is 3-5 years, and then it has to be renewed.  Planning and getting infrastructure in place now will prepare them for moving serveries to the cloud when hardware needs to be renewed or preplaced.  They could use services until then to avoid upgrades.  Azure Storage could help to avoid adding storage capacity on-prem or WVD could help them scale remote desktops without adding hardware.


There are also services they can’t easily replicate on-prem.  Services like CDN or Traffic Manager could be used in a hybrid model to get them started with Azure.


The customer is in a good point to start talking about cloud services.  It takes time to plan and move to the cloud.  If they have IIS services for example, they could evaluate App Services and begin to plan a migration off IIS.  The same with SQL, they could evaluate the different options and advantages Azure has over on-prem and begin planning the move before a hardware refresh.


I may say, there are many action items to consider in order to argument that move. The cloud infrastructure is not free. You may want to do the sizing that will give you some understanding around the initial spend. Aside from that, you gonna need to add the 'lift-and-shift' efforts by the implementation team.

Here's the resource that will help to size the deployment:


Also, as you know, the cloud-based ver. of SQL Server utilizes so-called DTUs. To figure how all this fit in to the CPU/Memory/Disk, please use the following article: http://dtucalculator.azurewebsites.net/

Other benefits to consider:

  • Managed SQL Server instance
  • No licensing hassle
  • Pay-as-you-go (PAYG) model
  • Flexible scalability & cost management

Some caveats:

  • Most of the clients I've been working with were reluctant to move due to the security concerns. You'll need to learn compliance model more carefully and see if it fits/satisfies the client (I had no issues with that so far, but this is another world, though)
  • Even though we're talking about managed instances, some maintenance will be required anyway
  • Database migrations may not be straightforward. They may need to be adjusted before transferring to the cloud

@Command0r  thats all great. thank you both of you. 


One thing I said was that they have to do a lot of work when moving to new On Prem servers (This is a move from 2012 to 2019) 


I said that once you have migrated to Azure and done the work there, servers are simply updated and you don't have to have the pain of migrating to new SQL Servers any more.


Am I correct in that assumption?


That is correct. At the same time, please keep in mind two different deployment models related to SQL Server. 1st, you can use Managed SQL Server instance and support of the underlying infrastructure is on Microsoft (this does not include database maintenance, even with all that automation in place, this will be on you anyway). 2nd, you can deploy to SQL Server VMs (PaaS offering). In this case, architecting resiliency and scalability as well as updating those VMs will be entirely on you.