Azure SQL Vs SQL Server

November 10, 2022

Is Azure SQL the same as SQL Server?  

The short answer is no. If they were the same, we probably wouldn’t blog about it. Ready for the long answer? Let’s dive in.  



Both databases have different sizing options, based on how much storage your business needs. Azure supports up to 100 Terabytes of data, or TB. SQL Server can support up to 256 TB.  



SQL Server and Azure generally provide the same services. Just as different brands and models of phones target different consumer needs, different databases service different business demands.  

Azure is great at automatic upgrading, patching, backups, restoring, and monitoring. There’s automatic tuning and an emphasis on long-term retention – up to ten years. The key word here is automatic.  

SQL Server’s database engine maintains and organizes databases. Its engine creates and executes procedures, triggers, views, etc. The operating system, SQLOS, takes care of job scheduling, memory, and data security.  



Azure uses TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol). TCP is a transport layer protocol that establishes a connection before any communication happens. A DBA would need an internet connection to use the communication application, Azure Gateway.  

SQL Server uses TDS Protocol (Tabular Data Stream) over a LAN (Local Area Network). TDS is an application layer protocol that transfers data. It can communicate on any port and doesn’t need extra security.  


Buying Options 

In Azure, your business pays for use. There are two main packages available for purchase: a vCore-based purchasing model and a DTU-based purchasing model.  

In SQL Server, your business pays for whatever add-ons it needs.  



As a Cloud service, Azure is far more readily available. Data can be stored in SQL Database, SQL Managed Instance, or RA-GRS.  

SQL Server has the potential for high availability, but your business should be financially prepared for it. This might be the better option if your business does not need constant access to its data. 



While both SQL Server and Azure speak the SQL language, they service different aspects of a business’s database. Does your business want on-site hardware or installed software, or might they prefer Cloud access? What functions are they looking for? How hands-on would they like their DBAs to be, and are they looking for easy automation or detailed involvement? While neither of these databases is better than the other, Solvaria’s DBAs can help you determine which solution is best for your business: Resources – SolvariaSolvaria |