What is Microsoft SQL Server on Amazon EC2? - Microsoft SQL Server on Amazon EC2
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What is Microsoft SQL Server on Amazon EC2?

You can run Microsoft SQL Server on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2). Microsoft SQL Server is a relational database management system (RDBMS) whose primary purpose is to store and retrieve data. SQL Server includes additional services, such as Analysis Services (SSAS), Reporting Services (SSRS), Integration Services (SSIS), and Machine Learning (ML). Amazon provides a comprehensive set of services and tools to deploy Microsoft SQL Server on the reliable and secure Amazon Cloud infrastructure. The benefits of running SQL Server on Amazon include cost savings, scalability, high availability and disaster recovery, improved performance, and ease of management. For more information, see Learn why Amazon is the best cloud to run Microsoft Windows Server and SQL Server workloads on the Amazon Compute blog.

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) supports a self-managed SQL Server. That is, it gives you full control over the setup of the infrastructure and the database environment. Running SQL Server on Amazon EC2 is very similar to running SQL Server on your own server. You have full control of the database and operating system-level access, so you can use your choice of tools to manage the operating system, database software, patches, data replication, backup, and restoration. You are responsible for data replication and recovery across your instances in the same or different Amazon Regions. For more information, refer to the Amazon Shared Responsibility Model.

Microsoft SQL Server on Amazon EC2 features

SQL Server on Amazon EC2 provides the following features:

  • Flexible licensing options — When you use Amazon EC2 instances with the license included, you are using instances with fully-compliant Windows Server and SQL Server that are licensed through Amazon. Flexible BYOL options include default tenant EC2 for products that are eligible for Microsoft License Mobility through Software Assurance, as well as Amazon EC2 Dedicated Hosts and Amazon EC2 Dedicated Instances. You can use Amazon License Manager to track the usage of software licenses and reduce the risk of non-compliance. For more information, see Licensing in the Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Frequently Asked Questions.

  • High performance block storageAmazon Elastic Block Store provides multiple options for high-performance block storage for Microsoft SQL Server. EC2 Instances using io2 Block Express give you the highest block storage performance with a single storage volume. Other SSD-backed Amazon EBS options include io2 volumes for business-critical applications and gp3 volumes for general purpose applications. Amazon EBS also offers crash-consistent snapshots, and enables application-consistent snapshots through Windows VSS (Volume Shadow Copy Services) to help protect your SQL Server deployments.

  • Fully-managed shared storageAmazon FSx for Windows File Server and Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP offer fully-managed shared storage for high-availability SQL Server failover cluster instances (FCI) workloads.

  • Windows-based servicesAmazon Directory Service offers managed Microsoft Active Directory with identity and access management.

  • Scalable processorsIntel Xeon Scalable Processors on Amazon provide you with better data protection, faster processing of more data volumes, and increased service flexibility for Amazon EC2.

  • Migration programs — Amazon offers programs for migration for customers looking to migrate SQL Server workloads to Amazon. Amazon Migration Acceleration Program (MAP) for Windows provides services, best practices, and tools to help you save costs and accelerate your migration on Amazon.

  • Windows workload optimization — After you move your SQL Server workloads to Amazon, you can continue to optimize costs, usage, and licenses to suit your business requirements. With Cost Explorer Service, you can visualize, understand, and manage your Amazon costs and usage over time. Amazon Compute Optimizer recommends optimal Amazon compute resources for your workloads so that you can reduce costs up to 25% by analyzing historical utilization data. Amazon Trusted Advisor can check that your EC2 instances have the required amount of SQL Server licenses and that the EC2 instance vCPU count doesn’t exceed what is permitted for the SQL Server edition. Amazon Managed Services can help operate your cloud environment post-migration by analyzing alerts and responding to incidents, reducing operational overhead and risk. You can use Amazon Systems Manager to automate operational tasks across your Amazon resources and better manage your infrastructure at scale.

    Amazon can help you to modernize you Windows-based applications with Amazon open source services if you want to reduce the high cost of commercial licensing. Options include running SQL Server database applications on Linux, moving workloads to Amazon Aurora, containerizing your Windows applications with Amazon EKS, going serverless with Amazon Lambda, or taking advantage of micro-services based architecture.

For more features specific to Amazon EC2, see Features of Amazon EC2.

Microsoft SQL Server on Amazon EC2 pricing

For information about pricing for Amazon EC2, see the Amazon EC2 pricing page.

For information about creating a price estimate for Microsoft Windows Server and Microsoft SQL Server, see Tutorial: Using Windows Server and SQL Server on Amazon EC2 calculator in the Amazon Pricing Calculator User Guide.