MS SQL Server Data Platform Modernisation – Why Bother?

Jon Cowling 05-Feb-2016 17:33:06

MS SQL Server Data Platform Modernisation – Why Bother?

Our Technology Practice has been busy with a number of MS SQL Modernisation Programmes.

A Data Platform Modernisation Project basically consists of

- UPGRADING the database technology,
- CONSOLIDATING the environment; and
- OPTIMISING it to suit business need (performance, recovery, provisioning, cost)

So why do it? Why would an organisation that has grown to have around 20 to 50++ SQL Servers want to modernise, transform and effectively rock the boat with such an initiative?

The answer is almost always around cost savings. Either to save on direct infrastructure, licensing and support costs – or costs savings through making IT more responsive to the business.

Firstly, let’s look at an example estate that is prime for (data platform) modernisation.

• I have various versions of Micosoft SQL Server within my estate that have grown over a long period
• I have hundreds, if not thousands of databases across my infrastructure
• I have multiple SQL Servers – some are dedicated to specific line of business applications

The above organisation, if not they do not proactively modernise, will suffer from the following issues

• I cannot get support for my database from the vendor or any 3rd parties. My user community puts up with bugs, slow performance and downtime because of it
• Cannot recover applications and therefore ensure uptime in the event of a disaster or failure
• I’ve just got a MASSIVE licensing bill
• I’ve just got a MASSIVE Infrastructure bill

A modernisation project will provide an organisation the following benefits

1. Reduced number of SQL Servers – up to 80% less using MS SQL 2014 technology. There is no need to have dedicated servers for specific applications
2. Instant recovery with near minutes RPO/RTO’s – optimised and fully testable recovery for individual databases (and therefore line of business services)
3. Reduced Licensing Spend – by Consolidating, you don’t buy as many SQL Servers as you previously did
4. Reduced Infrastructure Spend – You will use less rack space, fewer servers and storage and fewer Virtualisation/Network/Datacentre costs
5. Lower Support / DBA costs – with a standardised environment and tech, you’ll need fewer DBA’s with more automated and optimised processes for maintenance
6. Faster Provisioning – Deploy databases in a quicker and more manageable way
7. Visibility – Understand what the current and future state of your data platform requires. Predict OPEX and CAPEX costs