If you have some control over the code used in the application layer, administrative and operational costs can be reduced overall by migrating your data tier towards platform services (PaaS) instead of SQL Server in a virtual machine (Infrastructure as a Service, otherwise known as IaaS).
For a relational database, Microsoft’s SQL Server engine also comes in PaaS, and provides the following deployment options for an Azure SQL database:
For Azure SQL Database or Managed Instance, you do not have to manage upgrades, high availability, or backups. In general, Azure SQL Database can dramatically increase the number of databases managed by a single IT or development resource. Elastic pools also support SaaS multi-tenant application architectures with features including tenant isolation and the ability to scale to reduce costs by sharing resources across databases. Managed instance provides support for instance-scoped features enabling easy migration of existing applications, as well as sharing resources amongst databases.
Azure SQL Database offers three service tiers that are designed for different types of applications:
When to choose the General Purpose/Standard service tier
General Purpose service tier is a default service tier in Azure SQL Database that is designed for most of the generic workloads. If you need a fully managed database engine with 99.99% SLA with storage latency between 5 and 10 ms that match Azure SQL IaaS in most of the cases, General Purpose tier is the option for you.
Find resource characteristics (number of cores, IO, memory) of General Purpose/Standard tier in Managed Instance, Single database in vCore model or DTU model, or Elastic pool (groups of databases with aggregate throughput) in vCore model and DTU model.
Who should consider the Business Critical service tier
Business Critical service tier is designed for the applications that require low-latency responses from the underlying SSD storage (1-2 ms in average), fast recovery if the underlying infrastructure fails, or need to off-load reports, analytics, and read-only queries to the free of charge readable secondary replica of the primary database.
Some key reasons why you should choose Business Critical service tier instead of General Purpose tier are:
Who should consider the Hyperscale service tier
The Hyperscale service tier is intended for most business workloads as it provides great flexibility and high performance with independently scalable compute and storage resources. With the ability to auto-scale storage up to 100 TB, it’s a great choice for customers who:
The Hyperscale service tier supports a broad range of SQL Server workloads, from pure OLTP to pure analytics, but it is primarily optimized for OLTP and hybrid transaction and analytical processing (HTAP) workloads.
I hope this helps guide you in deciding on the Platform as a Service SQL Server options in Azure.
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