Can we downgrade from enterprise to standard SQL Server edition and from premium storage account to standard storage account in Azure?

I think you all know that in every organization one of the main objective towards the journey to public cloud is to cut down the capex cost. And we all need to come across this cost cutting exercise in time to time. Today I am going to write about a recent project where I have got a scope for cost cutting and saved few green dollars for the company.

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Downgrade the SQL server edition, is it possible?

In one of our recent project we have got a task to migrate the SQL server VM’s to Azure. We have chosen Azure Site Recovery for the migration of the SQL server VM’s. In addition to the migration of the SQL VM’s to Azure with the help of ASR we also came across a requirement where we need to cut down the cost of our SQL server environment. During the discovery phase we have identified three SQL servers which was running on premises where they were using the enterprise edition of the SQL server but the requirement is to run only SSIS, SSRS and the database engine so there is a scope of downgrading the license to save the cost. Which can be achieved only by installing a new SQL server standard edition in an Azure IaaS VM. Now you may have asked the question why we can’t directly move the server to Azure with the help of ASR the answer of this question lies on the fact that we can’t downgrade the license of the SQL server from enterprise edition license to standard edition license, we can only able to upgrade a SQL server license because Microsoft doesn’t allow to downgrade the SQL Server License. So we have left out with one choice which is build the three servers and install the SQL server standard edition.

Now let’s see the 2nd cost cutting oppurtunity where we got a requirement to downgrade the premium storage account to standard storage account. Let’s see how we can achieve this.

Downgrade the premium storage account to standard storage account.

This is very much possible. You can always do that but in a different way. You can create a standard storage account. (Or you can use an existing standard storage account in your subscription.)

You have to create the destination storage account, copy data from the source account to the destination account, and then delete the source account. You can use a tool such as AzCopy to copy the data.

If you have virtual machines, you must take additional steps before you migrate the storage account data.

Download AzCopy. (To know more about AzCopy you can visit my old post here.)

Next is to run one of the following AzCopy commands.

To copy whole disks in the storage account:

AzCopy /Source: /Dest: /SourceKey:key1 /DestKey:key2 /S

You can also copy only one disk as you can see here in this example where I have copied one disk (You can see the name of the disk I have mentioned in pattern)

AzCopy /Source: /Dest: /SourceKey:key1 /DestKey:key2 /Pattern:abc.vhd

The operation may take several hours to complete. To make sure that the transfer finished successfully, examine the destination storage account container in the Azure portal. After the disks are copied to the standard storage account, you can attach them to the virtual machine as an existing disk. Please note this is applicable only for unmanaged disks.

I hope you will like this small post. This may help your team to take decisions before the on premises to azure migration.