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December 2011, Vol. 8

For SQL Server shops testing Azure cloud, it’s all about integrating data

Despite all the hoopla around cloud computing, Microsoft's SQL Azure cloud platform will likely co-exist with on-premises SQL Server installations for some time. The hybrid deployment scenario means integrating data will present challenges to developers, especially since much of the technology is still in flux. Rather than flip the switch on a wholesale conversion to the cloud, most companies will move applications over to SQL Azure at a more measured pace, initially spinning up applications best positioned to reap the benefits of the cloud's scalability and lower costs. Companies may choose to work through some of their cloud security and performance concerns by using SQL Azure to experiment with new applications or by adding features and data sets that live in the cloud to existing SQL Server systems. Both approaches demand a robust level of integration between the platforms. "Larger companies and ISVs [independent software vendors] already have SQL Server, so they're looking at SQL Azure as an extension for their existing set...

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