Applications and data are at the heart of how organizations drive competitive value and improve efficiency. However, this digital transformation is resulting in an explosion of data. Enterprises have to figure out how to get a handle on this data – how to increase their storage capacity and keep their data safe and secure, without drastically increasing IT costs.
Microsoft believes a hybrid cloud approach can offer unique ways to manage this data proliferation. We believe you should be able to take advantage of the best of the public cloud and the best of your on-premises technology. Hybrid solutions should enable mission critical, recent, or latency-sensitive data to remain on-premises, while backups and archival data can seamlessly move to low cost and nearly-limitless cloud storage. Applications and tools can access the data transparently, no matter where it is – so that it’s always available to you. And you can do it all without investing in new infrastructure, saving you time and money to focus on driving innovation.
Microsoft is investing in building hybrid capabilities across our product portfolio to help you take advantage of all that hybrid has to offer, simply and cost effectively. Today, we are extending that commitment with new offerings in SQL Server 2016 and StorSimple that make it even easier for you to leverage a hybrid cloud model to put you in control of how you store and protect your applications and data.
Leverage the infinite capacity of Azure with SQL Server Database updates
This week we are introducing the SQL Server 2016 Release Candidate with new hybrid enhancements available in preview. These capabilities make it easier than ever for you to choose whether you store your data on-premises or in the cloud. These new features integrate hybrid capabilities into the market-leading Microsoft data platform product you use today, empowering you to leverage the cloud to extend capacity for your massive data growth, while ensuring your data is protected.
SQL Server 2016 with SQL Server Stretch Database service, a new Azure companion service, enables you to dynamically stretch your on-premises warm and cold data to Azure for virtually endless compute capacity and storage. Now you can keep as much data as you need in the cloud, up to 60 terabytes per database in preview, without the high costs of traditional enterprise storage. The Stretch Database service makes remote query processing possible by providing compute and storage in a way that’s completely transparent to the application. SQL Server Stretch Database also works with Always Encrypted technology, which encrypts data before sending to Azure and the encryption key remains on-premises to give you added piece of mind that your data is protected no matter where it’s stored. SQL Server 2016 with the new Stretch Database service enable you to keep more data accessible for deep insights at significantly lower cost.
Another new hybrid capability available in SQL Server 2016 is support for Transactional Replication to Azure SQL Database which expands on the existing option for replicating data to SQL Server in an Azure virtual machine (VM). With this feature you can now replicate data directly to Azure SQL Database and benefit from a fully managed database. This extends the options you have to back up your data to the cloud to ensure it’s protected in worst-case scenarios. You can also migrate data from SQL Server on-premises to Azure SQL Database – providing a simple mechanism to move data to the cloud without downtime to an on-premises database.
Simplifying hybrid storage with Azure StorSimple Virtual Array
Azure StorSimple is another great example of how Microsoft has increased the hybrid capabilities of its products. Designed to help you increase storage capacity and data availability without investing in new infrastructure, StorSimple offers economical cloud storage or on-premises storage so you can choose where to store your data.
Today we are extending the StorSimple offering with StorSimple Virtual Array, a version of StorSimple offered in a virtual machine form, now generally available. The VM enables additional scenarios, in particular environments with minimal IT infrastructure and management, for customers to take advantage of StorSimple. The virtual array is built on the success of existing StorSimple technology, which uses a hybrid cloud storage approach for on-demand capacity scaling in the cloud and cloud-based data protection and disaster recovery. The hybrid approach centers around your choice to store the most used data on the virtual array and optionally tier older data to Azure. The virtual array can be run as a virtual machine on your Hyper-V or VMware ESXi hypervisors and can be configured as a File Server (NAS) or as an iSCSI server. It also provides the ability to back up your data to Azure.
Both SQL Server 2016 and StorSimple enhancements are available for you to try out today. We hope that you’ll test drive these exciting new offerings and let us know what you think.