Which Azure database options do you have?
The 3 types of databases on Azure are:
- Azure SQL Database
- Azure SQL Managed Instance
- SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machine (please note that with this option you need to have a SQL Server licence, a Windows Server licence and take care of any Windows updates of the Virtual Machine)
How would the import of the data happen?
Presumably your organisation currently has an on-premises database with an existing process used to handle the import (trigger the refresh) of data. That process would need to change or be replaced to direct the data to the Azure database instead of importing it into the on-premises database. As a Microsoft Partner, we at Objective would typically do this using C# with Microsoft .NET Core (this can run on a Linux virtual machine). Alternatively, a change to the existing code could be made using the same language as that which was used to create the code in the first place (Java or other similar language).
What the data model of the Azure database should be?
In case you are happy with the current on-premises database data model and relations, we recommend sticking with the same data model structure. That way you won’t need too many changes to your reporting (e.g., existing PowerBI dashboards).
However, we strongly advise you to ensure there is a unique identifier to each record you import into the Azure database so that the data update/refresh process can be developed to only import new/updated records. This will have a significant impact on pricing and significantly increase the availability of the database for querying purposes whilst any data import is in progress.
What are the cost implications to using Azure?
If you know the size (bytes) of data that would go into the Azure database per hour and have an estimate how that would increase over time, you could use the Azure Pricing calculator to estimate the cost.
The cost is related to the amount of data that goes into and out of Azure.
Are there any implications to the reporting?
No. Azure SQL database is a standard data source in reporting tools such as PowerBI.
Other considerations you need to keep in mind.
Any SQL Server solution will need a team familiar with it and you need to consider this as a factor. We, at Objective, have been a top-tier Microsoft Partner since 1992 and our highly experienced experts create SQL database development solutions for clients across all industries.