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Should We Move to Azure?

This editorial was originally published on May 23, 2014. It is being re-published as Steve is out of the office, with a few minor editorial changes.

Update: We made a number of changes last year, upgraded the forums, and have continued to implement bug fixes. We are still considering this idea.

At SQLServerCentral we have been debating some architectural changes to the site. We'd like to improve the way a few of our features work, add new ones, and replace a few items that are buggy and hard to maintain. The site has worked well over the years, but we've made relatively few improvements, mainly due to the fact that like many companies, this website isn't our business, and work has a lower priority than some other areas in the company.

Recently I had a suggestion presented to me and I wasn't sure how I felt. There were certainly pros and cons to both taking advantage of the opportunity as well as passing it up. While we are still talking about the process, I wanted to ask the community what they might think this week.

Should we move SQLServerCentral to Azure?

I really like the idea of PaaS. There are issues, and certainly I think Microsoft could do a better job of creating competition as well as securing and even deploying their platform. However I think the idea of just consuming services as opposed to installing and managing pieces of software, is a great direction in which to move. SQLServerCentral would seem to be a perfect type of application that fits in the cloud.

We run a generic ASP.NET site, using fairly common and simple database features in SQL Server. We don't store or manage much in the way of PII, financial, or medical data outside of email addresses, and we don't have the need to scale to high levels, either in data storage or computational resources. The one problematic area is our email requirements. I'm not sure what the cost is to send emails from Azure, but we send millions per week, and CAN-SPAM requirements can be tricky to meet in the cloud.

However I'm just wondering what the community thinks. If we successfully moved to the cloud, and disclosed details about the process, would that give you more confidence in the cloud? Would it be interesting? Or is SQLServerCentral just a service and you don't care how it works, as long as it does. Let us know this week.

Steve Jones from SQLServerCentral.com

Join the debate, and respond to today's editorial on the forums

SQL Prompt

Could your SQL coding be more efficient?

Data Platform MVPs and SQL Server experts share their tips on how to standardize formatting whilst stripping out the repetition of coding with SQL Prompt. Over these 20 short videos we will help you write better, shareable SQL faster. Check out the tips


Database migrations inside Visual Studio

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Stairway to AlwaysOn Level 4: Analyse and Deploy a Windows Server Failover Cluster

Perry Whittle from SQLServerCentral.com

In level 4 of the stairway to AlwaysOn we look at creating a Windows Server Failover Cluster. More »


Free eBook: SQL Server Backup and Restore

Press Release from Redgate

In this free eBook Shawn McGehee offers advice on query tuning, cutting stored procedures, and system process design and implementation for high availability. Discover how to perform backup and restore operations using SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS), basic T-SQL scripts and Redgate's SQL Backup tool. More »


SQL Server R Services: Working with Data Frames

Additional Articles from SimpleTalk

Although you can get started with R in SQL Server without understanding data frames, they are a key structure of the R language that are the equivalent of SQL Server table variables. They give you many ways of manipulating and analyzing data and passing it between R and SQL Server. For a database professional, they provide a clear and familiar concept when getting to grips with integrating R into the database. More »


From the SQLServerCentral Blogs - SQL Server Phantom Reads

Arun Sirpal from SQLServerCentral Blogs

With Halloween around the corner what better topic to discuss than phantom reads. A phantom read occurs when rows have... More »


From the SQLServerCentral Blogs - Line-Continuation in T-SQL

Solomon Rutzky from SQLServerCentral Blogs

Some (or maybe most?) languages and operating system command shells allow for breaking up long lines into multiple lines (i.e.... More »

Question of the Day

Today's Question (by Steve Jones):

I ran this in R Studio:

> library(randomForest)

This was the result:

Error in library(randomForest) :

there is no package called ‘randomForest’

What should I do to remove this error?

Think you know the answer? Click here, and find out if you are right.

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SQL Server Query Store In Action

The Query Store changes the way you monitor performance on your databases and the way you tune the performance of those same databases. This book represents a deep dive into a large number of topics in and around the Query Store. Get your copy from Amazon today.

Yesterday's Question of the Day

Yesterday's Question (by Avinash):

What's the output from this code?

    @dt DATETIME
  , @bin VARBINARY(20)
SET @bin = 0x00000020; -- binary value of 32
SET @dt = '2001-01-01'
SELECT @dt + @bin

Answer: 2001-01-01 00:00:00.107


The data type precedence will keep this a datetime and add 32 to the value. In this case, this results in 107 milliseconds being added.

Ref: Data Type Precedence - click here

» Discuss this question and answer on the forums

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