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Azure Backup for SQL Server 2008 Available at Preview Stage

Microsoft added the option of using the Azure Backup service to provide recovery support for SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2 when those workloads are hosted on Azure virtual machines.

The Azure Backup support for those versions of SQL Server is currently available at the preview stage, according to a Thursday Microsoft announcement. Other Microsoft recovery options include the use of "log shipping" (creating a SQL Server replica in another Azure zone or region) and use of the Azure Site Recovery service to replicate virtual machines between regions and zones, according to this Microsoft document description.

Microsoft's announcement of the preview was apparently targeted toward organizations moving their SQL Server 2008 or SQL Server 2008 R2 instances to Microsoft's Azure datacenters.

SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2 will fall out of support on July 9, 2019. Losing support means that no more software patches will arrive, including security updates. However, Microsoft introduced an Extended Security Updates Program last year for those servers, as well as Windows Server 2008. The Extended Security Updates Program will extend patch support for those servers for three more years past the product end-of-life dates. The patch support is "free" if the servers are hosted in an Azure virtual machine, although organizations still need to pay monthly costs to use the virtual machine.

Microsoft's announcement was a reminder that there's no free backup support for organizations going the Extended Security Updates Program route.

"Of the available migration options, if you choose to lift and shift your on-premises SQL Server to an Azure virtual machine as-is, you will still need to manage backups," explained Swati Sachdeva, program manager II for Azure Backup, in the announcement. She added that Azure Backup can be used instead of having to move a legacy backup solution to the cloud.

The Azure Backup service for SQL Server reached "general availability" commercial status back in March. Apparently what's new now is that Microsoft has added support for the older SQL Server 2008/R2 products, even as they are now approaching the end of their product lifespans.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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