Azure SQL Managed Instance provides a PaaS offering with features and management options similar to SQL Server on-premises.
SQL Server remains Microsoft’s preferred structured data technology; however, several open-source Azure services now compete with SQL Server, and one is available on-premises.
The chart compares Microsoft’s on-premises and hosted database management offerings, their query languages, and the data types they support.
Sidebar explains the various data types and technologies used in Microsoft database management offerings.
Microsoft's database management landscape includes on-premises and cloud solutions with proprietary and open-source products that are designed for all enterprise data types and workloads.
Managed Instance link, a feature that replicates SQL Server database to Azure SQL Managed Instance, can place data closer to users and assist migration, but has size and compatibility limits.
Sidebar provides a technical discussion of how Azure Arc enabled data services work.
Azure Arc enabled data services offers a method to deploy select Azure PaaS database services on-premises, in third-party clouds, and in Azure Kubernetes Services.
Azure SQL Managed Instance continues to receive new capabilities that make it more like SQL Server on-premises, providing a destination for migration
Azure SQL Managed Instance expands enterprise management and security controls, removing more barriers to migration.
SQL Server 2012 leaves Extended support in July 2022; organizations need to migrate databases and applications or pay for Extended Support Updates to minimize risks.