Budget optimization without sacrificing service quality is crucial for CFOs and IT managers. Changing to cloud-based database systems, such as Azure SQL from Microsoft, can significantly impact the goal of cost-effectiveness.
The following are the top 10 financial benefits of switching to Azure SQL:
1. At this time, license compliance is lacking:
Due to its complexity and frequent misunderstandings, many firms must comply with Microsoft SQL Server Client Access Licensing (CAL). The following are some widespread misunderstandings and explanations for why clients frequently fail to comply:
Licensing Models: SQL Server comes with two primary licensing models: the Server + CAL model and the Core-based approach. Consumers may need to be made aware of the distinctions between the two, mainly in which one to use.
User vs. Device CALs: CALs come in two varieties: User CALs and Device CALs. One person can access SQL Server using a person’s CAL, regardless of their device. No matter how many people use SQL Server, a single device may access it thanks to a Device CAL. Compliance problems may arise from combining the two or insufficient amounts of each category.
Non-Human Operated Devices: Many businesses overlook that Device CALs are needed for SQL Server access by non-human operated devices, such as the Internet of Things.
Multiplexing: Reducing the number of devices or users that directly access or utilize the SQL Server product, pooling connections, rerouting information, or using hardware or software systems does not lower the number of CALs needed. Companies may get around CAL restrictions by accessing SQL Server through an intermediate solution. This is untrue.
External Users: Another myth is that people who aren’t workers or onsite contractors require CALs. Even external users require CALs unless the organization possesses an External Connector License.
The most common scenario is this:
A: Your web application makes a single connection to a SQL Server. The connection can be established via a service account (made in the local Windows Active Directory or on the local system) or by passing a SQL username and password.
B: Every program user, internal or external, uses a single SQL connection.
C: Users need to use a single service account to access the SQL Server; they do not need to log in physically.
Most people believe that just one SQL Server CAL is needed in this instance. You would also be in error.
All users must be included in a license as they are all “benefiting” from the SQL Server database.
This is another motivation to switch to SQL on Azure (the Infrastructure as a Service), which runs on an Azure Virtual Machine with a SQL-supplied image utilized, or Azure SQL (the Platform as a Service), even if the expense of this might genuinely put you in a bind. The licensing for the “server” AND the users/devices is provided by any method.
2. Flexible Pricing Models
Azure SQL offers a range of pricing choices to ensure that organizations only pay for the resources they use. These options include serverless compute tiers and provisioned tiers. This avoids paying for underutilized infrastructure maintenance.
Azure SQL price choices are flexible, but comprehending them takes work.
1. What your applications require
2: How quickly it must function (e.g., latency, memory needs)
3: The quantity of data it can store
4: The extent of modification needed
Developers frequently request a “SQL Server” and do whatever they like. On the other hand, a deeper comprehension of the purpose, nature, and dynamics of the interaction between the application and database is necessary when examining cost, risk, and performance. This will assist in selecting the optimal Azure SQL solution.
To design the optimal architecture to minimize risk and expenses, this has to be examined for the whole data landscape (high level) and each application/database (low level).
3. Reduced Infrastructure and Hardware Costs
Azure SQL’s cloud-based architecture eliminates the need for companies to buy, maintain, and swap out server hardware regularly. Furthermore, the expenses associated with electricity, cooling, and physical storage space are reduced.
Although it may seem apparent, this is often missed. Most businesses compare the price of the Azure SQL service alone and the price of the actual hardware and licensing. That is incorrect.
Include the following in addition to the price of the hardware and license from your present deployment:
Datacenter Footprint: Colo units sometimes require one or more charges to be housed in a cage. The area occupied by one or more local offices may also be this.
Power: The power bill, which solely shows the service prices connected to IT, may not be visible to you. But consider every piece of machinery that needs electricity.
1) Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) (together with the contract for maintenance)
2) Gas and generator services (together with the maintenance agreement)
3) Specialized firefighting apparatus (together with the maintenance agreement)
Networking: Putting all or a portion of your IT in the cloud won’t eliminate the necessity for networking; that much is certain. Most settings will buy hardware and support faster, redundant backplanes for the server infrastructure alone.
4. Dynamic Scalability
Because of Azure SQL’s scalability, organizations can plan for expansion without overinvesting. They may guarantee cost-effective usage by starting with what they need and scaling up or down in response to actual demand.
Many consider this a luxury and aren’t even using it now. Usually, this is due to the complexity of deployment and management and the danger of relying on it from a developer’s standpoint. On the other hand, this becomes simpler to comprehend and use on the cloud. It also broadens test and development settings, which might enhance your company.
Changes to databases and applications frequently take a while because of your present hardware cost constraints and separation complexity. This affects the capacity to adjust quickly to satisfy or surpass market needs. Imagine now that none of those limitations exist.
5. Automatic Backups
Azure SQL’s automated backup capability removes the need for additional backup solutions and related expenses. These cost-free backups guarantee data integrity.
Frequently, we consider backups to be standard practice and assumed. Though it shouldn’t be a given, things can be challenging. Understanding backups is OK with SQL Server. It’s the healing, more precisely, the amount of time and distance you wish to recuperate.
Here, organizing and testing your recovery service is a significant problem. This also indicates the location of its recovery and validation. As a result, to replace the restore, you should spin up a new instance of the application or SQL Server.
The worst risk for a CEO, CFO, or CISO is that this level of restoration is performed infrequently because of the high time and infrastructure costs involved. Yes, using Azure SQL for this still has a cost, but it’s doable and feasible.
6. Managed Updates and Patches
Managed services like Azure SQL exist. As a result, Microsoft handles patches and updates, lessening the strain on internal IT departments and the expenses and possible downtime of manual upgrades.
This becomes better when you utilize Azure for SQL’s Platform as a Service (PaaS) offerings. This is still better than not having Microsoft SQL Server installed on an Azure Virtual Machine (VM), even if you use an image that Microsoft provides (side note: Azure Arc can also give more of this capability for machines not in Azure).
Using an Azure Automation Account, you can centralize your scheduled SQL Administration operations (such as cleaning and compressing the temporary database) and manage updates and fixes.
7. Long-term Cost Predictability
Businesses may forecast their database expenses over time with Azure SQL. Budgeting is more straightforward since no unforeseen maintenance expenditures and a defined price structure exist.
Customers always find that their first database project is the most difficult. Often, it’s because the measures needed to scope the total cost differ from what they’ve previously examined. I suggest planning things out using Azure Migration.
However, when you start using Azure SQL, you’ll understand the prices and how changing the settings affects them. The vendors and development team enhance the efficiency of their code. Finally, you can better specify the needs for subsequent projects using that insight.
The best part is that you won’t need to consider your next hardware upgrade in three years. Recall that hardware prices always rise due to vendor changes, new support contracts, and other factors.
8. Integrated Tools Reduce Third-Party Expenses
The expense of utilizing third-party tools and services can be minimized by reducing the interaction of Azure SQL with other Azure services.
Azure now offers incredible, robust, and adaptable extra tools and services. Most third-party goods, services, and even specially made instruments often utilized in your setting may be readily replaced by this.
9. Streamlined IT Operations
IT teams can become leaner or reallocate their resources to other value-added duties, resulting in operational savings since there is less need for internal database maintenance and infrastructure administration.
10. Discounts and Cost Management Tools
Microsoft provides a range of discounts, particularly for extended agreements. Furthermore, Azure Billing and Cost Management solutions assist businesses in tracking, allocating, and optimizing expenses to make sure they receive the most value for their money.
In conclusion, switching to Azure SQL is a wise move that businesses of all sizes can use to increase productivity and cut expenses. It offers data protection, built-in security, and flexible scalability choices, among many other benefits. When moving to Azure SQL, businesses should carefully analyze their specific needs and obstacles to optimize these advantages. When appropriately used, Azure SQL Database may uncover unmatched potential for savings, efficiency, and risk reduction, speeding up a company’s digital transformation.