One more way to run SQL Server on cloud: SQL server on AWS RDS


Up until April 2012, the only way to run SQL server on cloud was “SQL Azure”. But recently AWS announced SQL Server on Cloud. Good news? Probably. it’s always good to have more than one option. So for those who are new to world of AWS, here are few tips before you get hands-on:

1) The way RDS works is that you spin up “db instances”. So here you specify the machine size that would “power” your database. And remember that the type of instance you choose would directly affect your bill.

2) Spend some time understanding the billing structure. Since AWS gives you lot of options – their billing structure is not simple. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that lot of options in AWS is bad. it’s just that the billing is not simple and it’s not one-dimensional (there are various dimensions that shapes your billing structure). And why should you invest time? because in the “pay – as – you – go ” model it would directly affect your Bill.

3) understand costs like: cost to back-up database PLUS data-transfer cost.

4) Understand the difference between “Bring your OWN license” and “license included” (Express, Standard and web only. Currently enterprise edition not included here) model in RDS SQL Server

5) and unlike SQL Azure, RDS SQL Server charges on a “per hour” basis.

Note the date of this post: 15th may 2012. Things change very fast, so readers-from-the-future please refer to official documents.

BTW, here are the few blog posts from the web-o-sphere:

1. Expanding the Cloud for Windows Developers

2. First Look – SQL Server on Amazon Web Services RDS

3. Official resource: AWS RDS SQL Server

That’s about it for this post.

Great to see neck to neck price competition between Azure and AWS


[I am referring to price reduction announcements by Azure and AWS in Early March 2012]

This week, Microsoft announced price reduction for Windows Azure compute and storage. Read more here – And even AWS announced price reduction too. Read more here. So it’s great to see neck to neck competition between Azure and AWS. And this is what is great about an economy that is not “monopolized”. To sustain, both Azure and AWS need to compete PLUS they compete with other cloud vendors that are out there too. Hopefully, other cloud vendors would also come up with an aggressive pricing strategy. Also, such competition among vendors would spur innovation and we would see “more features” coming out their factories more often than before (Yay!). And guess what, Who’s the winner? WE the CUSTOMERS!

Also, I noticed a pattern in both announcements that said “We are glad to pass along the savings to customer”. This seems to pointing to the fact that since cloud computing adoption has increased and cloud vendors benefit from Economies at scale – They pass the savings to the customers. And this acts as a catalyst for more adoption!

This seems like an awesome circle:

cycle of cloud vendor price reduction and adoption

I understand that CLOUD ADOPTION is just not triggered by “price reduction”. That’s not what i mean here. But price reduction can sure act as catalyst. Hopefully, in not so distant future, the cloud prices would be so lucrative that setting up private data-centers would be a “thing of past” (unless you are governed by laws to have your own data-center or some other policy that restricts you from cloud adoption).

And I am also not comparing the price reduction “directly” because it would be like comparing Apples and Oranges. But what I hoped to point out was that we as customers would see more price reduction, more features, better experience because of the neck to neck competition among cloud vendors.

And That’s about it for this post. Your feedback is welcome!

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[cloud 101] Is cloud secure?


I got this question recently and I thought of converting them into a “cloud 101” blog posts. So here they are:

Q: “Banking – with its high security needs and strict regulations – was always considered to be one of the last industries to accept cloud-computing”. So is cloud computing insecure?”

A: I would say – Cloud is secure. At least companies like Amazon (AWS), Microsoft, Google have advanced security mechanisms in place – In most cases, Cloud is more secure than private data-centers. And some banks do not move to Cloud (or cannot move to cloud) because of other reasons. And most of them fall on the legal side of things. Strict regulations (government regulations) as you mentioned.

And later at one point, we discussed about banks keeping parts of the data/app on-premise and moving other parts to cloud. That’s called hybrid cloud. What they do is that since they cannot move “sensitive” data to cloud because of government regulation and/or business policies – they move things that are permissible by law/business policies to cloud.

And we also discussed about what are the disadvantages of moving to cloud? I realized: Most of the perceived “disadvantages” are actually MYTHS. so at one point I felt the need to clear myths and then talk about other topics. It was fun though!


Cloud Security Alliance