How To Become A SQL Server Cloud Architect on AWS

Moving Your SQL Server to The Cloud
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  • Lectures 39
  • Length 1.5 hours
  • Skill Level Intermediate Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 5/2015 English

Course Description

This course focuses on moving SQL Server Databases to Amazon's Cloud. Amazon's cloud is called AWS which stands for Amazon Web Services and their database offering is called RDS or Relational Database Service.

This course is NOT for any of the current AWS certifications. Currently, there are NO database specific certifications for Amazon's RDS platform.

This course WILL give you the skills necessary to move SQL Server Database to Amazon's cloud. The course will provide YOU with REAL WORLD examples on how to MOVE your existing database to the cloud.

Amazon's control 58% of the cloud market and is spending approximately a BILLION a year on cementing that lead over it's closest competition, which is Microsoft Azure. Currently, Azure comes in second at 12%.

As a SQL Server Consultant I can tell you that many of my customers are MOVING to Amazon's various cloud offerings.

There are still many LIMITATIONS and nuances to moving SQL Server Databases to the cloud. We will discuss many of these in the course.

The code, applications, and TOOLS (like Management Studio) you already use today with your existing databases can be used with Amazon RDS. Amazon RDS AUTOMATICALLY patches the database software and backs up your database, storing the backups for a user-defined retention period and enabling point-in-time recovery.

Amazon RDS makes it easy to use replication to enhance availability and reliability for production workloads. Using the Multi-AZ deployment option you can run MISSION CRITICAL workloads with high availability and built-in automated fail-over from your primary database to a synchronously replicated secondary database in case of a failure.

Availability zone replication is very much like having a built in SQL Server Cluster with the click of a button. This course will set up SQL Server Availability Zones for our HIGH AVAILABILITY needs.

ENROLL NOW!!. Let's Get Started

What are the requirements?

  • You'll need a FREE tier account on AWS but don't create one now. We cover this in great detail before we start the course.
  • You should have SQL Server 2012 installed on your computer. The version is important because currently RDS only supports SQL Server 2008R2 and SQL Server 2012.
  • Fast access to the internet will be very important. The cloud is a metaphor for internet based computing.
  • You Will Need a Cell Phone. All AWS Accounts use multi-factor authentication. We Will Cover Why At the Start of This Course.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • This Course was Designed for SQL Server DBAs moving their Databases to Amazon's Cloud
  • You will be Architecting SQL Server Instances Using RDS.
  • As an Amazon SQL Server Cloud Architect You'll be Learning the vernacular of Amazon's Cloud.

Who is the target audience?

  • You will need to have a solid understanding of SQL Server fundamentals.
  • This is not a course for beginners.
  • This course was created for SQL Server DBAs preparing to move SQL Server Databases to RDS

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Getting Our Heads in the Cloud. It Will Soon Be The New Normal.
Course Introduction. What Will We Be Doing and Is It Right For You?

This course covers the basics of cloud computing and more specifically Amazon's cloud offering known as AWS. AWS stands for Amazon Web Services because everything in their cloud is presented to the customer as a service.

We will talk about two ways to move SQL Server Databases to Amazon's cloud:

  1. EC2
  2. RDS

The course will focus primarily on RDS which stands for Relational Database Service. This service has been tailored for SQL Server.


This course is specific to Amazon's cloud offering but cloud computing has a general definition. We take a look at how we define the cloud.


This lecture is specific to Amazon's cloud offering. Each cloud service provider has their own unique nuances and we talk about Amazon's here.


AWS stands for Amazon Web Services. It's a vast offering of services you can mix and match to suit your needs. This course will focus mostly on RDS or the "Relational Database Service."


Let's go over the high points on starting our cloud journey. We have lots of new terms and concepts to cover.


I'v made every attempt to ensure the course is up to date, however, the documentation for AWS and the many service offerings are living and will change over time.

Section 1 Quiz
10 questions
Section 2: Cloud Preparation. Let's Create Our AWS Account.
Download Course Material Here.

Creating a account involves two steps:

  1. Creating an account on the AWS platform.
  2. Downloading two applications to your phone.

AWS uses multi-factor authentication, which is a fancy way to say you need more than one login to access your services.


Amazon recently upgraded the ability to see our bill more granularly . We can even set up alerts and can be notified if our daily threshold has been breached.


Let's go over what we've learned about creating our account.

Section 3: Amazon AWS Services We Need to Know Before We Begin With RDS

There are two ways to "spin up" a SQL Server inside AWS.

  1. Using EC2 or virtual servers
  2. Using RDS or Relational Database Service.

Since RDS currently only supports two versions there may arise a need to "spin up" an older or newer SQL Server version. In order to do that we will need to use EC2 to create a virtual server.


In this video we create an EC2 instance and ensure SQL Server is functioning. Both approaches are much simpler and faster than creating an on-premise server.


VPC stands for Virtual Private Cloud. It's like a fence around your virtual network. We high level it here but this should be left in the hands of a qualified solutions architect.


There are a ton of services offered by Amazon in AWS. We spend our time in only one or two but we should have an understanding of a few others that are core to grasping AWS.

Section 3 Quiz.
10 questions
Section 4: Stepping Through Every Database Option For An RDS Instance.

Before we start creating RDS instances all over our cloud it's a good idea that we know what options we have available to us.


Our first three options are very straightforward. We will need to decide if we want to use Amazon's licenses (and pay for them) or bring our own.


This is a big one. What we select here will have an immediate impact on how SQL Server performs. However, it's not as imperative as it is with an on-premise box because we can easily vertically scale an RDS instance.


High Availability is a costly and often a complicated endeavor when we are taking about our on-premise servers. One of the greatest features of RDS is the ability to create a HA solution with the click of a button.


There are only three options and to be honest only two are useful for real world production applications.


We lose a lot of control as AWS Cloud DBAs. We no longer have the all powerful SA account. In AWS we have a "master account" that is a SQL Server authenticated login we use to manage our RDS instance.


There is overhead but it's nice to know that if we need SSL we have that option. In some circles, financial arenas come to mind, this isn't an option.


Some options we control and some we can't. In most on-premise boxes these setting are generally left alone but we need to know which ones we can alter in RDS and which ones we can't.


A snapshot is a backup. There are two kinds kinds of snapshots. Automated and manual. We'll cover them in this video.


These are in a constant state of flux. Amazon is doing a good job of responding to customer needs so many of these options are "upgraded" frequently.


While this is certainly not a scientific method for vetting your cloud IO subsystems it can give you insight into problems before they arise.

If your on-premise numbers aren't slower then you'll probably need dedicated IOPS.

Summary. Let's Wrap Up What We've Learned About RDS.
Section 4 Quiz
25 questions
Section 5: Creating Various RDS Instances. It's Time To Get Our Hands Dirty.
Create A Highly Available RDS Instance and Fail it Over
Using Snapshots. Creating, Restoring and Renaming. A Snapshot is a Backup.
Vertically Scale An Instance With the Click of A Button
Monitoring Our Instances With ClouldWatch. This is Amazon's Perfmon.
Summary. Let's Wrap Up Creating A RDS Instance.
Section 5 Quiz
10 questions
Section 6: Moving AdventureWorks to the Cloud

Amazon documents a way to move SQL Server databases to the cloud. Their approach will certainly work but it's not the easy way. I'll walk through it in this video.


Theres'a great tool for moving on premise databases to the cloud for SQL Server Azure. The tool works even better for moving databases to AWS.

I highly recommend this approach and walk through it during this video. The tool is free.


Logins aren't moved as part of the migration process so it's up to us to move them. The good news is moving logins to RDS is identical to moving them to anther instance and we've been doing that for years. This video will walk through that process.

Summary. Let's Wrap Up What Our Schema and Data Migration Tools.
Section 6 Quiz
10 questions
Section 7: Conclusion

In this audio segment I cover some question that might come up during an interview for positions dealing with AWS and RDS. This isn't a comprehensive list but it's a solid start.


You did it!!! Congrats. Cloud based computing is growing faster than any other segment of IT. Amazon has 58% of the market and as long as their offerings continue to impress I believe their lead will be unchallenged by Microsoft. Azure is a distant second place with 12%. I believe, for SQL Server DBAs, having cloud experience will be mandatory in the very near future.

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Instructor Biography

Mike West, SQL Server Evangelist

I've been a production SQL Server DBA most of my career.

I've worked with databases for over two decades. I've worked for or consulted with over 50 different companies as a full time employee or consultant. Fortune 500 as well as several small to mid-size companies. Some include: Georgia Pacific, SunTrust, Reed Construction Data, Building Systems Design, NetCertainty, The Home Shopping Network, SwingVote, Atlanta Gas and Light and Northrup Grumman.

Experience, education and passion

I learn something almost every day. I work with insanely smart people. I'm a voracious learner of all things SQL Server and I'm passionate about sharing what I've learned. My area of concentration is performance tuning. SQL Server is like an exotic sports car, it will run just fine in anyone's hands but put it in the hands of skilled tuner and it will perform like a race car.


Certifications are like college degrees, they are a great starting points to begin learning. I'm a Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA), Microsoft Certified System Engineer (MCSE) and Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT).


Born in Ohio, raised and educated in Pennsylvania, I currently reside in Atlanta with my wife and two children.

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