Posted On: June 17, 2020

Modernizing Microsoft Workloads through Migration to AWS

FAQs Check: Moving SQL Workloads from On-Premise to AWS

Every organization has its own compelling reasons to shift from an on-premise data center to the cloud. Cost savings. Agility. High availability. Disaster recovery. Maybe you’re facing a hardware refresh or an upgrade and you want to modernize your entire platform.

Whatever your motivation, the idea of migrating your world, including SQL workloads, to Amazon Web Services (AWS) can seem a bit daunting. With hundreds of successful database migrations in some of the most complex ERP environments, we get asked a lot of questions. Let’s address a few here to help your organization move past some common roadblocks.

Q. Do I have to give up my current SQL license?

If cost savings and return-on-investment (ROI) are key drivers for moving SQL Workloads to AWS, then you’re probably wondering about the SQL licensing investment you’ve already made. The good news is that there are options. Determining the optimal EC2 or RDS AWS environment is part of the process, and you may very well be able to choose EC2 and stay with your current licensing agreement. For more on that decision tree, see our blog EC2 vs. RDS.

Q. We need to move from basic availability on-premise to high availability in AWS. How does that work?

SQL Server Always On enables redundant, high availability deployments via two options: Always on Failover Cluster Instances (FCI) and Always On Availability Groups (AG). For example, SQL servers can be re-hosted as a SQL Server Always On Availability Group and split between Availability Zones (AZ), improving the stability of the system and eliminating the single point of failure concern associated with an on-premise shared disk storage component. Recently introduced features on Amazon FSx for Windows File Server have simplified Always On deployments. As an HA alternative to EC2, RDS allows a Multi-AZ DB Instance, where RDS synchronously replicates the data to a standby instance in a different Availability Zone (AZ).

Q. What if our SQL Server Cluster is currently running on older on-premise hardware?

Migrating the SQL environment into AWS is not a problem, and you may very well be able to do it on a smaller instance size, delivering equal or better performance in terms of reporting and overall ERP responsiveness. Additionally, a heterogenous migration is a beneficial choice when upgrading your operating system (OS) or database versions to the latest offered by Microsoft.

Q. Our Microsoft SQL Servers are not running on the latest version. Is that a problem?

Not at all. Migrating workloads to AWS provides a perfect opportunity to upgrade all operating systems, databases, and middleware to the latest supported versions compatible with your platform.

As your SQL workload migration and managed services partner, Syntax knows that for everything to work together in your ERP ecosystem, including running complex workloads in the cloud, version compatibility is a must when considering available upgrades.

Q. We’re a 24×7 operation. How do we minimize downtime for maintenance?

Using the AWS Well-Architected design guidelines, Syntax can build a solution in which the environment is moved from one server to another automatically, so that users always have their production data available.

Q. But doesn’t this whole thing lock us in?

No one likes being pinned into a corner or locked into something when taking a leap of faith in a new direction. Make sure that you own the AWS account so that it’s fully portable, yet still allows a valued AWS partner like Syntax to manage it for you. Steer clear of AWS partners who have a partner account that you essentially sub-lease, thereby locking you into their services.

To learn more, contact us today.