Microsoft kills off SQL Server 2008, waves customers onto Azure

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Microsoft finally pulls the plug on SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 today, while simultaneously teasing new services to tempt the remaining on-prem holdouts to its Azure counterparts to the aging databases.

John Chirapurath, general manager, SQL Server and Azure Data + AI, marked the big switch off with a blog post that thanked customers “for the ten amazing years we’ve had together” while simultaneously pointing customers at its Azure platform.

Microsoft is banking on customers moving to either its Azure SQL Database option, or to SQL Server hosted on Azure Virtual Machines.

Chirapurath described the former as “evergreen SQL” with customers able to move their on-prem workloads to Azure and not having to concern themselves “with patching, upgrades or end of support again.” The vendor is also making a big play of the security of running your SQL in its managed service, as well as the potential for going hyperscale, and/or getting “anticipated ROI of 212 percent and a payback period of as little as 6 months

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Alternatively, customers are being offered the choice of rehosting their SQL 2008 and 2008 R2 installations on Azure Virtual Machines and getting a further three years of security updates. Microsoft is promising this should entail “few or no application code changes”. Or if you really really want to keep your database on prem, there is an option to purchase a further three years of “critical” only security updates. But, we’re guessing, Microsoft is banking on very few customers having the stomach for that setup.

At the same time, Microsoft is teasing SQL customers with previews of a brace of new SQL services. First up is the promise of a simplified portal for their SQL databases in Azure, which will allow you to manage both Azure SQL Database, and SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines. The service is in preview now. The second new offering is a preview of SQL Server big data clusters, which hooks up SQL Server withApache Spark and Hadoop to deliver the joy of relational and non-relational data together.

Meanwhile, just to prove there is a world beyond Microsoft SQL, the vendor has launched previews of “large storage” for Azure Database for MySQL and PostgreSQL. These both offer 16TB of storage and up to 20,000 IOPS, which Microsoft reckons should be enough for “your most demanding, large scale workloads”.

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