Migrating from SQL Azure to Amazon EC2/RDS

  • My employer began using SQL Azure several months ago, but during the past 2-3 months the quality of service has markedly decreased. To date we've experienced at least one system-wide outage (defeats the purpose of a cloud solution to begin with); we've also been struggling for weeks with how to handle with Azure's aggressive connection management behavior. Plus, there's the Azure-enforced T-SQL limitations to deal with: no more SELECT... INTO in stored procedures, unable to change column data types of columns in an existing clustered index without recreating an entire table, etc etc. And while we're not ready to jump ship just yet, I have been asked to investigate alternatives.

    An Amazon cloud solution -- some combination of EC2/RDS/EBS/S3 for for web hosting, OLTP and backups -- seems like a pretty good place to start, especially since they offer a free 30-day trial. I've seen plenty of suggestions for migrating from SQL Server to Azure, but not so much on migrating away from SQL Azure and into Amazon RDS. Does anyone have ideas or suggestions on where to look?

  • Something to think about. The development paradigm in Windows Azure can be different from AWS. In AWS you are essentially renting a VM with SQL Server on it for the database side. All the normal stuff you do from SSMS locally works with AWS, except a few instance level items since you don't have complete control of the instance level stuff. You also don't have Windows Auth working.

    The SQL Database in Azure has a different paradigm and may have more/less SQL Server features at any point in time. At some point I think it will be always ahead of the boxed product in all areas, but not right now.

    Therefore, if you are using SQL Database and looking to move, you should consider code changes involved.

    In moving the data, I suspect SSIS would be one way to do this. I think you can get a bacpac of your schema/data as well, but I'm not sure if that's better or worse. In terms of backups from Azure: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windowsazure/hh335292.aspx

    Import side: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh710052.aspx

    My company (Red Gate), makes some tools that might help as well: http://cloudservices.red-gate.com/. Our SQL Compare and Data Compare tools could also work with limited data sets.

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