Five Ways Rackspace is Making Adopting MSSQL 2014 and In-Memory Effortless

Rackspace and Microsoft have a long-standing partnership hosting enterprise applications. A four-time Microsoft Hosting Partner of the year, Rackspace already provides Fanatical Support for over 10,000 compute instances running Microsoft SQL Server. The symbiotic nature of infrastructure expertise and mature technology products is a focal reason customers choose hosted Microsoft solutions at Rackspace.

The database industry has seen significant change over the last 5 years, from the introduction of new technologies like clustering, big data, and in-memory data platforms to the recent variants of popular open source SQL alternatives like Percona Server and MariaDB making their way into popular technology stacks. Even with these new technologies becoming increasingly common, many enterprises still trust their mission critical database operation to Microsoft SQL Server. Recently, Microsoft released its latest iteration of the technology, Microsoft SQL Server 2014, with notable advancements in performance including in-memory functionality and added security with high availability.

Rackspace is pleased to announce our support of Microsoft SQL Server 2014 and the popular in-memory OLTP and AlwaysOn functionality. Coupled with our expert DBA services team, SQL Server 2014 at Rackspace means that businesses can save time by not upgrading, maintaining, and optimizing their critical database assets and focus on building new applications and functionality. Here are some reasons why users should consider migrating to Microsoft SQL Server 2014 hosted at Rackspace.

In-Memory OLTP

As one of the first to market with support for this new functionality, Rackspace is focused on increasing database performance by allowing some data to be queried and processed in RAM instead of on constrained disk resources. Previous technology forced users to load ALL information into RAM, making large data sets problematic. Now, database administrators can choose which data tables to process in-memory, allowing those operations to achieve maximum priority to valuable processing resources. By speeding up the overall performance of query operation across a database environment, users can effectively do more with less resources, which eliminates the need to scale into expensive hardware solutions. Rackspace teams are already helping users plan for their migration to SQL Server 2014 by evaluating target data sets to load into memory.

High Availability

While replication and failover have long been part of any core strategy for business continuity, achieving true high availability for a database environment has been problematic. Organizations often must decide what level of inconsistency between database environments is acceptable – hours or days? However, with a new functionality called AlwaysOn, and strong connections between multi-cloud datacenters including ones belonging to Rackspace and Microsoft Azure, users can now implement nearly 100 percent resilient database environments that protect from both database operational failure and datacenter availability. Even though Rackspace has an industry leading record in uptime and a 100 percent uptime SLA, we want our users to meet their unique availability requirements, which may include a highly available database environment. We can help you meet those requirements with a team of DBA’s that have successfully implemented high availability for many customers. Check out this report on our support of AlwaysOn for more information.

DBA Services

Recently, we shared with you the economic benefits of our DBA services offering, including a full time DBA available 24×7 at a fraction of the cost of an in-house resource. We have seen growing interest in our DBA coverage and released a tiered offering to accommodate a variety of supplemental DBA needs. We have also witnessed some organizations relying solely on our DBA services to ensure database functionality, while others have formed close partnerships with their core database team and our DBA service. This allows our customers to focus on important development and optimization efforts without the burden of maintaining and monitoring the health of the existing database. Moving between any database iteration requires some thought and planning. Our DBA team is helping customers understand the scope of work and code change required to not only migrate, but also utilize new functionality. Our partnership with Microsoft ensures that our DBA Services team is ready to address even the more challenging scenarios when switching.

Flexible Licensing

At Rackspace, customers can consume fully managed SQL application licensing along with support at a low monthly cost. This allows users to move in-between SQL versions and hardware profiles without needing to address their software license agreement. We want to make sure you always have the best combination of optimized hardware and SQL versioning to meet your objectives.

Hybrid Potential

Lastly, while many web applications are moving to the cloud, many database users still require the performance consistency and controls of a dedicated server. Often, users partnering with a single cloud or managed hosting provider will be forced to make sacrifices by either not moving applications and web assets to the cloud because of database restrictions or sacrificing database performance and reliability by trying to operate it in a utility cloud service. With a Managed Private Cloud powered by Microsoft Cloud Platform, and the built in Database-as-a-Service capability, customers can take advantage of a fully managed, physically isolated, private cloud environment that allows customers to programmatically spin up SQL Server 2014 databases on demand. Customers can also strengthen their high availability and disaster recovery capabilities by choosing from a number of available destinations, including Microsoft Azure, as a designated disaster recovery location.

RackConnect by Rackspace can bridge public and private clouds running SQL Server over a strong network connection. It allows users to leverage both cloud and dedicated server resources in a single environment. Dominoes UK spoke about their use of hybrid to serve web content via the cloud while still having a reliable dedicated database in dedicated hosting. You can read more about that here.

Rackspace DBA services professionals are ready to help you wrap your brain around the cool new features in Microsoft SQL Server 2014. If you want to know more, please download our whitepaper and visit go.rackspace.com/SQL2014.

Rack Blogger is our catchall blog byline, subbed in when a Racker author moves on, or used when we publish a guest post. You can email Rack Blogger at blog@rackspace.com.

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