Migrating SQL Server to the AWS Cloud | Stratus10

Thu, 03/17/2022 - 16:30

Thanks to rapid advancements creating faster, more reliable computing technologies, many companies are veering away from traditional on-premise databases to cloud-based servers. For those considering migrating their Microsoft SQL Server databases to the cloud, the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud infrastructure remains the go-to hosting service.

High-performance SQL cloud databases offer flexible migration options with room for innovation and enhanced cloud productivity. Similarly, Amazon’s Relational Database Service (AWS RDS) provides enhanced cloud operationalization and scalability.

The State of SQL Server Cloud Migration in 2022

Years ago, Gartner predicted the massive migration of data storage and processing from on-premise databases to cloud infrastructure. In particular, their 2019 press release projected that, by 2022, 75% of databases would operate in one way or another on cloud infrastructure.

The exact percentage of cloud database usage is hard to pin down, but Gartner wasn’t wrong.

As of December 2021, the most recent Magic Quadrant for the cloud database management systems industry projects a 50% market share for cloud-based infrastructure in the broader database management systems industry. There’s reason to believe the market share will catch up with the 75% of all stored data prediction sooner rather than later, as Gartner’s June 2022 press release estimates growth in the public cloud services market to be over 40% in 2021.

In short: the cloud isn’t the future of database management any more; it’s the present. Many forward-thinking companies have already migrated to the cloud, and others will follow suit.

But why are so many companies migrating SQL Server to the cloud?

The Challenges/Pain Points of Using SQL Server

Using SQL Server with on-premise data centers consumes a tremendous amount of physical real estate and have cumbersome maintenance requirements. 

Beyond the physical demands of using SQL Server, companies often have to:

  • Pay expensive monthly fees to maintain SQL Server licensing
  • Hire or outsource staff to conduct routine maintenance of server hardware
  • Operate at the limited scalability of the on-premise SQL Server resources

Furthermore, most SQL Server on-premise configurations come with limited Disaster Recovery settings by default, making it more difficult to avoid potentially costly impacts to data integrity.

Faced with these pain points, many companies consider migrating SQL Server to the cloud.

What Pushes Companies to Migrate to the Cloud?

The challenges of on-premise servers are push factors, but cloud solutions have pull factors, as well. On the cloud, organizations can more easily increase operational efficiency in three ways.

First, migrating to the cloud empowers dynamic, innovative, scalable IT infrastructure:

  • When scaling an application for additional users, an on-premise SQL Server requires the creation of database replicas, which in turn require additional memory. With AWS, your replicas are created seamlessly and do not incur additional resource burdens on CPUs.

Second, cloud platforms such as AWS optimize data availability and accessibility for processing: 

  • Cloud database management allows users to provision resources, making them available near-instantly from any access point around the world. This is especially critical for any business expanding into new geographical locations, as it extends IT infrastructure on an as-needed basis, while also allowing for the same level of data security at all locations.

And third, cost reduction plays a key role in pushing companies to migrate to the cloud.

An Optimal Process for Migrating to the Cloud

Understandably, migrating to the cloud often seems like a complicated process, given the many different variables involved. Moving an entire infrastructure supporting high-performance data processing from on-premise to the cloud requires meticulous planning and seamless execution.

There is also a pressing question of the True Cost of Ownership (TCO) after migrating to the cloud—how much will it actually cost to run services on the cloud post-migration? In most cases, costs are drastically lower, especially true if the migration itself is well executed.

An effective, phased approach to migrating to the cloud simplifies the process into three steps:

  • Assessment – Evaluate on-premise assets and develop a cost projection for running apps at typical workloads in the cloud to project operational costs pre- and post-migration.
  • Mobilization – Address gaps identified during the assessment phase to develop a cloud environment ready for optimal performance immediately after migration to the cloud.
  • Migration and modernization – Develop and implement a plan for migrating assets to the cloud and modernizing your infrastructure to current AWS (or other host) standards.

Even with the differences in migration processes across organizations, and to different cloud computing platforms, working with a quality migration partner ensures smooth operation during and after the move, short- and long-term—regardless of industry, size, or location.

Key Considerations for Seamless AWS Cloud Migration

While the process above applies to all cloud migrations, organizations targeting a move to AWS specifically should target these best practices to make their migration is as seamless as possible:

  • Conduct a cost analysis to determine the TCO for running services on the cloud
  • Develop a comprehensive plan to clarify the specifics for each application or service
  • Understand and choose between the various licensing models available on AWS

Toolkits like an Optimized Licensing and TCO Assessment or Accelerated Migration Program can help you:

  • Understand the costs of running your applications and IT infrastructure on the cloud
  • Define the TCO for your specific organization during and post-migration
  • Assess the various options available for software licensing
  • Evaluate the licensing costs on AWS

Finally, you should work closely with your cloud migration partner to determine and optimize: 

  • Strategies for meeting business requirements for using AWS
  • Anticipated technology constraints following migration to AWS
  • Compliance and regulatory issues post-migration

Stratus10 works with our clients’ teams to integrate all of these best practices. Our partnership with Cloudamize ensures that clients fully understand the ramifications of migrating to the cloud and can make informed decisions—minimizing the often-overlooked cost estimate inaccuracies characteristic of on-premise-to-cloud technology migrations.

Migrate Your SQL Server to AWS Cloud with Stratus10

Stratus10 will help you migrate SQL Server and other on-premise assets to the cloud, ensuring high productivity at low costs. Although migrating your infrastructure to the cloud might seem challenging, our team of experts is happy to walk you through each step of the process. 

Contact us today to learn more and get started migrating your on-premise assets to the cloud!

About Stratus10 

Stratus10 helps companies migrate their infrastructure and applications to the cloud and implement best practices for continuous innovation. Stratus10 specializes in migration services, DevOps Automation, and Application Modernization to help clients take full advantage of the latest services AWS has to offer. 

Get in touch with a cloud expert today to discuss how Stratus10 can help!
Call us at 619.780.6100
Send us an email at Sales@Stratus10.com
Send us a message by filling out our Contact Form
Read our Customer Case Studies



1 Amazon. Learn Why AWS is the Best Cloud to Run Microsoft Windows Server and SQL Server Workloads. https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/learn-why-aws-is-the-best-cloud-to-run-microsoft-windows-server-and-sql-server-workloads/

2 Microsoft. Azure SQL. https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/products/azure-sql/#product-overview

3 Amazon. Amazon RDS. https://aws.amazon.com/rds/

4 Gartner. Gartner Says the Future of the Database Market Is the Cloud. https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2019-07-01-gartner-says-the-future-of-the-database-market-is-the

5 Gartner. Magic Quadrant for Cloud Database Management Systems. https://www.gartner.com/en/documents/4009286

6 Gartner. Gartner Says Worldwide IaaS Public Cloud Services Market Grew 41.4% in 2021.  https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2022-06-02-gartner-says-worldwide-iaas-public-cloud-services-market-grew-41-percent-in-2021

7 Microsoft. Socrates: The New SQL Server in the Cloud. https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/uploads/prod/2019/05/socrates.pdf

Newsletter Sign Up