Cambridge firm Redgate Software has released a tool that can help firms migrate existing SQL Server databases to Microsoft's Azure SQL Data Warehouse as part of a process of moving some workloads to the cloud.
Currently available as a preview, Data Platform Studio provides a reliable and simple way to move to Microsoft's Azure SQL Data Warehouse cloud service, which hit general availability this week.
Azure SQL Data Warehouse was developed to deliver the promise of cloud elasticity to data warehousing, according to Microsoft, providing a scale-out database capable of processing huge volumes of data, but which can be can be provisioned in minutes.
More importantly, compute and storage resources are billed separately, so customers save costs by scaling out processing performance when required, then cutting back use during non-peak times.
However, migrating an existing SQL database to the cloud can be a daunting challenge even for an experienced database administrator, so Redgate has developed tools to help automate the process, based on its own engineers' experiences of migrating databases to Azure SQL Data Warehouse.
"We like to think of ourselves as experts in the SQL Server space, but even we hit a few roadblocks on the way. Data Platform Studio removes those blocks because it's engineered to make smart decisions and automate the migration process," said Redgate product portfolio lead David Bick.
"It encapsulates everything we encountered on our own journey, and includes a lot of subsequent learning from Microsoft."
Data Platform Studio has been developed to handle the upload automatically and apply the most appropriate compatibility fixes and optimisations, the firm said.
By making migrations fast and easy, the tool makes it possible for customers to speed up a proof-of-concept, evaluating how SQL Data Warehouse scales storage and compute and judging how appropriate it is for their requirements.
Data Platform Studio is free to use for one-off migrations, and Redgate said this will continue to be the case once the software hits full commercial release. The firm is looking at adding additional features that customers will have to pay to use.
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