When moving your site to a cloud server or dedicated environment there are a few different options for hosting your SQL database and the right solution will depend upon a few factors. To understand what SQL option is best for your hosting environment, you want to know which version of SQL you currently use (MS SQL, MySQL, or SQL Express) and how many databases you have along with each of their sizes.
The three main options for SQL hosting include:
1. Shared SQL Databases – In this scenario, there is one physical dedicated server exclusively used to host SQL databases in a shared environment, meaning you purchase the number of databases and space you need. Databases are sold in space blocks of 100MB and you simply purchase the space your database currently requires. The benefits of shared SQL are that you don’t have to worry about licensing and administration, plus it is very cost-effective for those with small databases.
2. Hosting SQL on Your Cloud Web Server – Here you’ll license SQL and install it on the same server hosting your website. If you’re using MySQL or SQL Express, there is no licensing fee from Microsoft, so this is the most cost-effective solution. However, if you are using a licensed version you’ll need to purchase the monthly SPLA licensing. For larger databases or those worried about shared hosting security/availability, this solution is a simple cost-effective way to have unlimited databases in a dedicated environment. Licensing cost will depend on the SQL edition your database requires, but most sites perform extremely well with Microsoft’s SQL Web Edition, which is extraordinarily reasonable in terms of cost.
3. Hosting SQL on its Own Server – This is the ideal configuration for both performance and security. Hosting SQL on its own server allows for the segregation of services (web, mail, and database) each on their own machines. This lowers security threats and allows peak performance through dedicated resources and optimization. Again, you’ll simply need to licensing the edition of SQL your database requires through our monthly SPLA program.
Understanding which edition is right for you is really easy given this handy chart with SQL 2014 Editions, from Microsoft: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/products/sql-server-editions/overview.aspx
If you’d like to discuss moving to a Windows Cloud Server environment, our expert web hosting engineers will be happy to help you find the right solution for your need. You can contact us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org or 866-706-8691.