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Modernizing Microsoft SQL Server with a Multicloud-By-Design Approach

We are in a multicloud world by default, and this presents challenges in controlling the complexity that can result across multicloud, on-premises and edge environments. Microsoft is addressing these complexities increasingly through Microsoft Azure-based solutions that simplify governance and management to deliver a consistent management platform.

An example of this is Microsoft Azure Arc, which enables organizations to achieve greater flexibility by bringing Microsoft Azure data services on premises, an approach that is particularly valuable for Microsoft SQL Server-based applications.

Most enterprise environments span nearly every version of Microsoft SQL Server from 2012 through 2019. Azure Arc provides a centralized, unified way to manage the entire environment together, regardless of current or future location.

By modernizing and consolidating databases and management platforms across a common management plane, IT teams have an opportunity to accelerate digital transformation initiatives across their organizations. One of the challenges, however, is to overcome the complexity that can typically be a roadblock to this type of modernization effort.

There are multiple ways of deploying SQL Server on premises, but all can leverage Azure Arc in different ways. Dell Technologies has solutions for traditional SQL Server deployments running on Windows Server and solutions for companies looking to embrace cloud-native concepts and deploying SQL Server in containers, managed by Kubernetes.

Microsoft brings cloud benefits to the on-premises environment by using Kubernetes for automation at scale, high availability and elastic scaling.  APEX Data Storage Services provides the validated storage foundation required. Storage has always been a critical component of any SQL Server-based application, and storage solutions from Dell Technologies have a proven heritage of performance, availability and agility.

Azure Arc-enabled data services, including PostreSQL, HyperScale and SQL Managed Instance (SQL MI), can now be deployed on the validated infrastructure of Dell Technologies. APEX Data Storage Services in combination with Microsoft Azure Arc-enabled data services provides an as-a-service solution with validated APEX Data Storage offerings for both Kubernetes and data services as defined by Microsoft.

This reduces complexity in managing and creating new databases and ensures that the latest features and capabilities of Azure are available consistently within your hybrid cloud. As applications are migrated or retired, the overall complexity of management is reduced.

The benefits of Dell’s as-a-service approach to Microsoft SQL Server modernization include: 

  • Faster time to value. Dell Technologies works with customers to ensure that the proper prerequisites for the infrastructure are in place and can be deployed in as few as 14 days.
  • Less burden on IT teams and DBAs. With APEX Data Storage Services, responsibility for installation, configuration, monitoring and capacity management shifts from your teams to Dell. This includes software updates, hardware upgrades and around-the-clock proactive support.
  • Lower storage costs and footprint. With APEX Data Storage Services, organizations eliminate the costs and risks of overprovisioning. APEX Data Storage Services customers have experienced a reduction in storage costs of up to 45%, according to a Total Economic Impact Study by Forrester Research.1
  • Easier management. Customers have the benefit of a single console to manage their entire APEX journey. An admin can onboard stakeholders, control access and manage individual privileges to provide self-service access where appropriate.
  • Stronger business resilience. SQL Server capacity requirements can vary according to application and performance needs. This may require the data services platform to work across multiple performance tiers. Regardless of the tiers, APEX Data Storage Services are designed for six-nines availability with sub-millisecond latency.

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Taking the Next Step
Microsoft SQL Server offers customers opportunities to modernize their SQL server environments with capabilities such as Kubernetes container orchestration and SQL MI for an on-premises version of SQL Server similar to Azure SQL MI.

While a modernization effort of this scale and scope can be daunting, using APEX Data Storage Services from Dell Technologies can take away the burden on IT teams and accelerate the transition. You can keep costs under control and have your organization up and running much faster than with an in-house modernization effort.

For more information on the benefits of using APEX Data Storage Services to modernize and maximize your Microsoft SQL Server environment, please visit Dell Technologies

Disclaimer: Deployment time (TTV) measured between order acceptance and activation. Subject to credit approval, acceptance of APEX terms by required parties and site qualification which must be completed before order placement, and participation in pre-order planning. Product availability, international shipping, holidays and other factors may impact deployment time. Not applicable to Dell-managed colocation deployment. For Time-To-Value objectives and regional offer availability, visit Dell.com/Access-APEX

1New Technology: The Projected Total Economic Impact™ Of Dell Technologies APEX Data Storage Services,” Forrester, June 2021