Microsoft continues hybrid push with stretchable SQL Server

A new feature lets enterprises keep hot data on-premises and move cold data to the cloud

Microsoft is keeping up its push to provide businesses with hybrid cloud tools by offering a new feature that lets companies stretch their database tables from on-premises infrastructure to its Azure storage service. 

Microsoft is launching its SQL Server Stretch Database Service Wednesday, along with the first release candidate beta of SQL Server 2016. The new feature allows database administrators to set up certain tables to stretch from their on-premises infrastructure to Microsoft's cloud, while still allowing applications to access all the data across both environments. 

When a table is set up to use SQL Stretch Database, administrators can specify a length of time after which data is automatically moved from their on-premises SQL Server instance to Azure. Applications querying that database table will be able to see both the data stored on-premises and the data stored in Azure.

That functionality is key because it means that application developers shouldn't have to modify their work in order to take advantage of the feature -- administrators just need to enable it. 

The feature is designed to take advantage of the flexibility of the cloud to save enterprises money and allow them to use more costly on-premises resources for data they want to keep there, while still being able to hold onto data for long periods of time. 

The feature would be useful for organizations like retailers that want to keep years of customer purchase data on hand, but don't want to store all of it on premises, Mark Jewett, Microsoft's director of enterprise cloud and integrated systems marketing, said in an interview.

In the future, businesses can expect to use parameters other than the age of data to have the service move it automatically to the cloud.

Enterprises can also take advantage of SQL Server's Always Encrypted feature to ensure that their data is encrypted with a key that remains on-premises before the data is sent up to the cloud. That should help alleviate some concerns that administrators may have around the security of their data as it moves back and forth between their data centers and Azure. 

The new service is part of Microsoft's continuing push to attract companies looking to move to the cloud without jumping all the way into the deep end. Last month, the company released its first technical preview of Azure Stack, a software package that will allow businesses to run an Azure environment inside their own data centers. 

Microsoft has emphasized its hybrid cloud capabilities in an effort to capture the business of organizations that are gradually moving to the cloud. That strategy makes sense for the company because Amazon and Google, its competitors in the hyperscale cloud market, don't have the same investments in providing on-premises server software. 

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Microsoft

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Blair Hanley Frank

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Mobile

Exec

Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?