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Get a Smooth SQL Server 2012 End of Life Upgrade: Unlocking the Potential of Azure SQL Server PaaS Solutions

Author: JP Chen | | August 22, 2023

Migrating your SQL Server 2012 databases to a cloud-based Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) solution offers many benefits, including enhanced manageability, scalability, and future-proofing against end-of-life concerns. In this blog post, we will explore two PaaS offerings on Microsoft Azure: Azure SQL Managed Instance (MI) and Azure SQL Database. We will delve into the unique features of each solution and discuss the migration process, empowering you to make an informed decision for your database modernization journey.

Migrate Seamlessly to Azure SQL Managed Instance

Azure SQL MI is a fully managed data platform designed to alleviate concerns about end-of-life dates and simplify the transition to a PaaS version of SQL Server. This “version-free” option ensures you can embrace the benefits of a managed SQL Server database in the cloud without the complexities associated with traditional upgrades.

The notable advantage of Azure SQL MI is its broad SQL Server engine compatibility. It supports SQL Server 2008 onwards, making migration from on-premises SQL Server 2012 a relatively straightforward process. With minimal changes required, you can seamlessly shift your databases to Azure SQL MI while maintaining compatibility with your existing applications.

Harness the Power of Azure Ecosystem Integration

Aside from the inherent benefits of a PaaS database, migrating to Azure SQL MI provides enhanced integration capabilities with other Azure platform services. Compared to connecting to an on-premises SQL Server instance, integrating with Azure services becomes significantly easier. This opens up a world of possibilities for leveraging other Azure offerings, enabling you to build powerful, integrated solutions tailored to your business needs.

Modernize SQL Server 2012 with Azure SQL Database

Azure SQL Database represents the cloud-native incarnation of SQL Server, purpose-built to fully capitalize on cloud capabilities while remaining perpetually up-to-date. As a scalable and flexible multi-model database, Azure SQL Database offers a future-proof solution, shielding you from end-of-life concerns.

However, migrating from SQL Server 2012 to Azure SQL Database requires a more substantial effort in terms of the upgrade process. The cloud-native architecture of Azure SQL Database necessitates refactoring your databases and applications, which can consume considerable time and resources. This is especially true when migrating from on-premises environments to Azure SQL Database, compared to working with a SQL Server 2012 database already residing in the cloud.

Careful Consideration for Optimal Database Modernization

When deciding between Azure SQL MI and Azure SQL Database, it is essential to weigh the trade-offs. While Azure SQL MI provides a smoother migration experience with its comprehensive engine compatibility, Azure SQL Database delivers the full benefits of a cloud-native solution and perpetual updates. Consider the complexity of your existing applications, the time available for migration, and your long-term objectives to make an informed decision that aligns with your organization’s needs.

Begin your database modernization journey today and experience the power, scalability, and flexibility offered by Azure’s comprehensive suite of services. Get our guide “4 Ways to Deal with SQL Server 2012 End of Extended Support” to learn about other options available for your end of life strategy.


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