Should We Move to Azure?

  • Does Red Gate SQL Monitor work with SQL Azure; could we still peel back the covers and see that, if SQLServerCentral were hosted on Azure?

    "Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Instead, seek what they sought." - Matsuo Basho

  • Like everything else, it is a business decision.

    Does it lower costs?

    Does it increase revenue?

    Is it easier to manage?

    Is there majors risks associated with either doing nothing or moving to the cloud?

    I have my doubts that you will see any return on investment compared to doing nothing.

    If you were just starting the site with no established infrastructure, then it might make more sense.

    It might make sense if you were doing such a major overhaul to the site that it was really a new site.

    What is your current setup? Hosted on your own infrastructure, hosted in a hosting center, etc.?

  • I'd REALLY be interested in this especially if a comparison of costs between the current rendition of SSC and the cloud version were CAREFULLY TRACKED and revealed. I think that there will be a fair number of hidden costs and savings revealed and this would be a beautiful chance to do such a comparison.

    As to the following comment of...

    Since you really don't have any medical, financial or legally sensitive information and SSC is a web site, not a critical business service set in a "real" enterprise, you should be a perfect candidate for Azure.

    ... heh... lose my stuff and it may become a medically sensitive issue for someone when I make a personal visit in my postal uniform to find out where my stuff went. 😛

    --Jeff Moden


    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a ROW... think, instead, of what you want to do to a COLUMN.
    "Change is inevitable... change for the better is not".

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    How to Post Performance Problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)
    Intro to Tally Tables and Functions

  • Dalkeith (5/23/2014)


    No better way to learn the benefits or problems than try to try to implement a solution / application at production.

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/seliot/archive/2011/04/25/i-don-t-always-test-my-code-but-when-i-do-i-do-it-in-production.aspx

    😛

    "Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Instead, seek what they sought." - Matsuo Basho

  • SQLServerCentral just a service and I don't care how it works, as long as it does 🙂

    RegardsRudy KomacsarSenior Database Administrator"Ave Caesar! - Morituri te salutamus."

  • Echoing other responses: do it, it will make a really great case study. Side benefit: since this is a high-profile site in the SQL community, any shortcomings of the Azure platform will be highlighted and brought to Microsoft's attention to fix. Not that that is the aim of this site, but it will benefit the platform and thus the community in general.

    Hakim Ali
    www.sqlzen.com

  • Steve, are you considering hosting both the web application and database in Azure, or just the database?

    "Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Instead, seek what they sought." - Matsuo Basho

  • Eric M Russell (5/23/2014)


    SQL Server Azure offers scalability when it comes to storage, memory, and CPU,

    Yes it does, but lets not forget that it does require the application to be designed to take advantage of it.

  • I've run SQL Server since V 4. When I started at my current job, we were running SS 2005 on a Dell SAN with blades. Bunch of other stuff and the Colo cost $6,000/month not to mention license upgrades for newer versions of OS/SS.... It took 6 months of heavy effort of which 5% was SQL Server changes and 10% environment changes (it was old code that needed a lot of trimming) to get converted to Azure. Now we pay $1500/month and all software licenses are included. Best move we have made. Costs go down, easy to scale and easy to work on from anywhere. We would never go back.

    You will get frustrated by some missing SQL Server features (cross database is a big one) and you will learn new ways to do old things which is frustrating and fun but after a week or two and a few "What do you mean I can't do xxx", it will be great.

    Maybe it will convince Red Gate to finally make their software fully Azure compliant. That would be a bonus.

  • David.Poole (5/23/2014)


    I think it would be an interesting case study. To be honest I'm surprised that you haven't already done it.

    Time and resources.

    We aren't sure if we'd do SQL Server in an Azure VM or SQL Azure database. I think we could do either, and I'd certainly vote for the PaaS solution.

  • chrisn-585491 (5/23/2014)


    DO IT!

    As for email, you need to tweak it anyway. I currently get two emails to the same email address, everyday. Figure this out, you might be able to reduce your emails. Also consider forcing people to renew/validate every couple of years.

    You should report this. We've gone through lots of hurdles to get email working well. Likely if you're getting two, you have two subscriptions somehow. Send a note to the webmaster and we'll track it down.

    As for jabbering, is that a good or bad term? We try to talk about relevant topics for data pros. I think the cloud is one such topic.

  • Eric M Russell (5/23/2014)


    SQL Server Azure offers scalability when it comes to storage, memory, and CPU, but I'm guessing that this website really isn't that massive and it grows over time in a predictable way. I'm guessing that your biggest concern should be how moving your websute and databases to the cloud would impact accessibility and latency. Latency; that's probably the game changer.

    Not sure what would be the issue, but I'd like to find out.

  • John Hanrahan (5/23/2014)


    I'd like to also see your planning for cloud failure. This would be very interesting for me. I have read about cases where a cloud provider goes out of business and end-users are given only a few days to pull everything off. Also an exploration of the legal aspects would be interesting. Right now my understanding of the law says that if the Feds grabbed the servers for an unrelated issue they wouldn't have to give SSC back their data. How will you prepare for that (and should you?). All very interesting. Another question might be now that you don't control your servers and data 100% will you do anything different. An admin at a cloud provider was recently fired and used some back doors he set up to cause trouble. Will you prepare for that? Will you save money? What's your ROI? Will you prep an ROI analysis before moving?

    I think you should do it (all of it).

    Great questions, and I have no idea on many of these.

    AFA ROI goes, I think we could do this, but part of this might be some help from MS, so that would skew ROI from what others might encounter. I'm not sure how we would value that, but we certainly could ROI the ongoing expenses, depending on what happens with email.

  • Eric M Russell (5/23/2014)


    Does Red Gate SQL Monitor work with SQL Azure; could we still peel back the covers and see that, if SQLServerCentral were hosted on Azure?

    Some of it does. How much certainly impacts our decision to move forward because our IT group uses Monitor for monitoring.

  • Michael Valentine Jones (5/23/2014)


    Like everything else, it is a business decision.

    Does it lower costs?

    Does it increase revenue?

    Is it easier to manage?

    Is there majors risks associated with either doing nothing or moving to the cloud?

    I have my doubts that you will see any return on investment compared to doing nothing.

    Good questions at the top, but the "doing nothing" is a complex item. For sure we would change some code as we moved, and that is part of a learning exercise, a little development improvement, and potentially some lower costs. There are some goodwill items in there that the "value" of is hard to measure, but for sure there would be no value if we do nothing.

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