My current company is looking to benefit from the cloud by hosting our different web apps and sql servers on Azure. We're not a tech company and I'm the sole developer here and I need some guidance on the topic.

We've got a Windows Server 2019 machine on-premises that hosts our MSSQL databases. What would be the best way to perform a migration to azure? Migrate the Windows Server 2019 to an Azure VM instance, or to migrate the MSSQL database to Azure SQL instead? As far as I'm aware, I don't see the need for a VM as the server only hosts our database and does nothing else, but I want to get more information.

2 Answers 2


From my inexperienced perspective, Azure SQL would be the go.

That is at least what Microsoft emphasised during the Certification I passed with them.

Database as a managed service would free your time of maintenance and further upgrade of the VM, mysql releases etc.

Maybe someone with more experience on cloud migrations could give a clearer answer.


I will concur with tintin. migrating from your on-prem sql server to an Azure SQL Server instance would be the way to go. Microsoft has outlined a tutorial to go through this exact thing here, though it is complete may be a bit overkill if you only wanted your data migrated: Overview Tutorial.

If you only wanted your data, you can do backup and restores of you data. you can use sql server management studio (SSMS) or Azure Data Studio to help manage the migration to/from your server. Some quick searches brings up Microsoft docs on many ways (including writing you own) to migrate between on-prem and Azure.

I would also like to point out that there is a hybrid between the two, Managed SQL instance. It is for a niche use case, so knowing your requirements is important, but it sounds like you just need an Azure SQL DB.

When spinning up your instance, know what performance you need what pricing scale you want. There is one that uses a SKU (basic, standard, premium) for size, and you pay for use using that SKU. There is another pricing model where you can scale your DB CPU and Memory independently of one another. It is a bit more expensive but allows for more flexibility.

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