Migrate Your Microsoft SQL Server Workloads to Google Cloud


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A full 60% of Microsoft users still use SQL Server 2008, which reached its end of life in July 2019. Cloud SQL for SQL Server allows enterprises to easily move Microsoft SQL Server Workloads to Google Cloud. Here's how.

Enterprise database workloads are the backbone of many of your applications and ecosystems. Also, guaranteed availability is critical when choosing a cloud provider.

Many enterprises built their mission-critical applications on Microsoft SQL Server 2008, and it’s common still to run into older versions of SQL Server as you’re working toward modernizing your on-prem environments.

According to Business insider, 60% of Microsoft users still use SQL Server 2008, which reached its end of life in July 2019. This provides the opportunity for many of you to find a place to host your SQL Server 2008 instances on newer technology with less operational burden. 

We’re announcing that Cloud SQL for SQL Server is generally available globally. This means that Cloud SQL now helps you keep your SQL Server workloads running by providing a 99.95% uptime service-level agreement (SLA), which is consistent with the other Cloud SQL database engines.

Cloud SQL for SQL Server is fully managed and compatible with SQL Server 2017. Now you can migrate your critical production SQL Server workloads to Google Cloud and rely on the service’s stability and reliability. 

We hear from enterprise companies how important the ability to migrate to Cloud SQL for SQL Server is to their larger goals of infrastructure modernization and a multi-cloud strategy. On-premises applications like HR, finance, and payroll often depend on these legacy databases to keep running.

Customers often cite the challenge of wanting to maintain compatibility with these existing systems and datasets, while also streamlining deployments and scale-out at a fraction of the overhead. Migrating these instances to Cloud SQL for SQL Server can save costs and maintenance time and improve efficiency and speed. 

Getting started migrating SQL Server 2008

The migration for Microsoft SQL Server 2008 to Cloud SQL for SQL Server can be achieved in a simple five steps. For details, check out the full migration guide: SQL Server 2008 R2 server to Cloud SQL for SQL Server

1. Create a Cloud SQL for SQL Server instance

gcloud beta sql instances create target  \
    --database-version=SQLSERVER_2017_ENTERPRISE \
    --cpu=2 \
    --memory=5GB \
    --root-password=sqlserver12@ \

2. Create a Cloud Storage bucket

  gsutil mb -b off -l US "gs://bucket-name"

3. Back up your Microsoft SQL Server 2008 database

osql -E -Q “BACKUP DATABASE db-name TO DISK=’c:\backup\db-name.bak'”

4. Import the database into Cloud SQL for SQL Server

gcloud beta sql import bak target \
    gs://bucket-namedb-name.bak \
    --database db-name

5. Validate the imported data

/opt/mssql-tools/bin/sqlcmd -U sqlserver -S -Q “query-string”

If you’re working with newer versions of SQL Server, check out the SQL Server 2017 to Cloud SQL for SQL Server migration guide.

Since the launch of Cloud SQL for SQL Server, we’ve heard your feedback and have continued to improve the performance and durability of the service. We expect to continue our rapid pace of innovation and feature releases to meet our customers’ needs and address feedback. Cloud SQL for SQL Server has proven itself as a key component when migrating existing enterprise applications and infrastructure.

We’re continuing to rapidly improve Cloud SQL for SQL Server to meet all of your cloud database needs. Stay tuned for features in development that can help with Active Directory integration, online migrations, and more options for replicas and machine types. 

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