- There are two ways you can run SQL Server in the Amazon cloud. The first choice is to run it in Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2 for short). Each EC2 instance is basically a blank VM without SQL Server. Now you install Windows Server and SQL Server. Here, you have to take care of the licensing costs, which can be high. You also pay per hour of service. Or else, you can rent a VM with Windows and SQL Server pre-installed. Here, you are again paying per hour, but the cost includes the SQL Server licensing. Its good as a disaster recovery option, by log shipping/mirroring your db to Amazon Cloud.
- The second option is to use the Relational Database Service (RDS) in AWS. Here, Amazon builds a Windows VM and installs and manages SQL Server for you. You cant mstsc into this VM, or access the hard disks. For backup & recovery, Amazon gives you snapshots which you can use to retrieve data. You cant upload your own db backup and then restore it.
- Then we have SQL Azure. This is hosted by Microsoft in the cloud. Microsoft will install and manage any software. Again, there’s no log shipping/mirroring to this system.
- There is also an Azure DocumentDB, which is the Microsoft version of NoSQL.