The designers of modern SQL Server environments have many implementation models available to them. Based on the organization’s needs, computing resources can be concentrated in an on-premises data center or distributed among the offerings of multiple cloud providers. There is an infinite number of combinations of in-house and cloud resources that need to be considered when deciding on the type of infrastructure to use.
Options for Computing Infrastructures
There are three main routes that system architects can take when planning enterprise computing infrastructure. Within each choice, numerous variations can be employed to create the right environment to provide for the organization’s business requirements. Over time, some of the initial choices may need to be modified to meet changing demands.
On-premises computing had been the only choice for an IT environment before the introduction of cloud services. In this model, a private data center is used to host a company’s computing resources. It can be run by a third-party provider but offers a dedicated platform that segregates the infrastructure from other customers. This type of infrastructure is often favored by organizations that need total control over the computing environment like governmental agencies and financial institutions. On-premises computing can also be referred to as a private cloud.
Public cloud computing makes use of IT infrastructure that is owned, operated, and managed by a third-party provider. Many different entities can share the provider’s resources and each client manages and accesses their services via a web browser. Less control over configuration decisions can influence the choice of a public cloud solution for some organizations.
Hybrid cloud solutions combine on-premises and cloud resources to offer more flexibility and deployment options than the other models. With the hybrid model, organizations can segregate their mission-critical systems in a more secure on-premises data center while taking advantage of the benefits of the cloud for less sensitive aspects of their environment. Hybrid solutions can also be used to provide additional capacity that is only used when necessary.
Differentiating Factors of Computing Models
There are some significant differences in what on-premises and cloud computing environments offer their users. Each model has certain advantages and disadvantages that make them more or less appropriate for specific business requirements. Some of the main differences are in the following areas.
- Security is enhanced in a private cloud or on-premises implementations. Data and communication are restricted to a private network and hardware that is not accessible by other clients or the cloud providers. This is the main reason that banks and other organizations that consider security their top priority opt for this computing model.
- Flexibility is an area where the private cloud shines as the infrastructure can be tailored to perfectly fit the needs of an organization. Public cloud offerings may be limited in the configuration options from which customers can choose.
- Scalability issues can usually be addressed more easily with public cloud solutions. The immense resources at the disposal of public cloud vendors allow clients to easily scale up and down to deal with changing business requirements. An on-premises infrastructure does not lend itself to being easily scaled and organizations end up with equipment that remains dormant for much of the year until needed to handle usage spikes.
- Cost is often a major factor that influences business decisions. Public cloud solutions enable organizations to pay for just the resources they use without the associated costs of purchasing, powering, and maintaining hardware.
Hybrid cloud solutions allow the possibility of a stepwise migration path that proceeds gradually or only impacts certain infrastructure components. They combine some of the most attractive aspects of both on-premises and public cloud options and give customers more control over how critical systems are handled.
Maintaining Your SQL Server Environment
However you construct your SQL Server database environment, you need the ability to quickly and accurately take stock of your systems no matter where they are located. You need tools that can identify all of your resources from a centralized location and permit you to interrogate the systems to ensure they are operating efficiently.
IDERA’s SQL Inventory Manager enables your database team to keep an eye on all of your SQL Server instances no matter which type of computing model the organization adopts. The tool supports physical and virtual SQL Server instances located on-premises or with cloud providers. It provides insight into your entire SQL Server environment from a unified platform.
SQL Inventory Manager discovers new SQL Server instances to help address the problem of server sprawl. The ease at which new instances can be created in the cloud makes server sprawl a real issue with many organizations. Scans can be scheduled to run automatically to find any new servers that have popped up in your environment.
A graphical inventory explorer and the ability to define tags for SQL Servers allow granular management of your database instances. The information in inventory reports includes top databases by growth, space utilization, and lists of applications running on each instance. Health checks and alerts on a wide variety of database metrics keep you informed and able to address potential issues before they rise to the level of customer-impacting problems. SQL Inventory Manager provides an up to the minute snapshot of your SQL Servers wherever they are hosted.