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Denis Gobo

A couple of reasons I won't be moving my databases to the cloud anytime soon

Let's beat this horse to death once again shall we, Paul Nielsen wrote about SQL in the cloud already here: where he made the following prediction:

In five years time, hosting your own SQL data on your own servers will seem as obsolete as running your own dial-up BBS.

I am not so sure about that! 

I attended the Microsoft Enterprise Developer Conference in New York City on Tuesday and Wednesday. Last year it was all about High Performance Computing, this time it was all about the cloud(I know, big surprise right?)

 I am going to focus this post on SQL Server Data Services. The SSDS session was presented by David Robinson who is a senior program manager on the SQL team. As you can imagine David is the perfect person to ask all kind of questions about what you can and can't do in SSDS. If you would like to watch this session yourself then visit this link:

Oh, and that annoying person sitting in the front row asking all those questions......yeah that's me


Here are the reasons I think some customers won’t be able to move to the cloud just yet


1) 10GB limit

This is a biggie for me since I have almost no databases that are smaller than the size limit. You can create many databases and implement some kind of sharding but you need to do this yourself. There is no support for distributed/federated views across databases. You also cannot use USE syntax. Remember all that dynamic SQL that you wrote that started with USE DatabaseName..probably not a good idea.


2) No execution plan

Okay so how do you check if your query will perform well?You can’t do a SET SHOWPLAN command either


3) Costly queries will be terminated

I might have a query at the end of the month that calculates correlations for 90000 indexes and the query runs for 5 minutes, a query like this could be terminated


4)No CLR

So you have that superfast split function coded in CLR,that won't fly in the cloud mister, you are out of luck. Spatial data is another thing that is not supported


5) No analysis or reporting services

Probably not as big of a deal but it would still mean that you now need a separate license to run SSAS or SSRS on campus


6) No DMVs,

If you use DMVs or catalog views to build logic to do certain things in SQL you will need to rethink that


I didn’t hear (and forgot to ask) about scheduling jobs or if you have access to msdb/sql agent in any form. I also don’t know if you can run SSIS packages in the cloud.

 Below is a picture that shows you what is and what is not available for V1

SQL Server Data Services Compatibility


So what do you think? Will you move to the cloud anytime soon?

Published Thursday, May 7, 2009 1:04 PM by Denis Gobo
Filed under: ,



suhail ali said:

I don't think all database will be in the cloud in 5 years but I do think that SQL Server Data Services will be a good solution for certain problems today.  SSDS would be a good fit for as a data hub that allows a company to share a portion of their data publicly.

May 7, 2009 2:56 PM

Denis Gobo said:

For departmental database it will probably be a good solution since nobody has to manage all those desktops under people's desk running a database

only time will tell

May 7, 2009 3:03 PM

Jason said:

I would be surprised if costly queries and the size limit made it into RTM. The pricing will based on usage so the more the merrier for MS. The others will probably be implemented based on demand. So I doubt all db's will be in the cloud in 5 years but the cloud may be ready for all but the largest db's in 5 years.

However, it also depends on pricing. There may be a cutoff point where it makes $ to keep it in house.

May 7, 2009 3:35 PM

Simon Munro said:

Conceptually having large amounts of data in the cloud in five years' time is likely and an exciting space - I just don't think that the RDBMS will get on the cloud easily.  I have been going on a bit lately about the size and scalability limitations of SDS v1 and my frustrations at the lack of feedback comes through in my blogs.

May 8, 2009 5:24 AM

Rich said:

While I don't really disagree that most people in five years will still host their own databases your reasoning in this post is flawed to the point of ridiculousness.

If you wanted to focus on SSDS your article title shouldn't have referenced "the cloud" but instead specified SSDS. Numbers 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6 are all limitations specific to SSDS. Number 4 is not just specific to SSDS but specific to MS SQL Server.

Here's a fact you appear to have forgotten. Not all databases are MS SQL Server and "the cloud" does not end at SSDS.

May 8, 2009 10:00 AM

Denis Gobo said:


Since this is a SQL Server blog and SSDS is SQL Server in the cloud I put cloud in the title

May 8, 2009 10:07 AM

Glenn Berry said:

There sure are a lot of useful items that won't be included in v.1. Still, I can see a lot of smaller departmental databases living there in v.1.

May 8, 2009 12:04 PM

Richard said:

Denis, You might be very technical, but you don't have any appreciation of what businesses/customers want. You need to be more customer-focused than simply "geek"-focused.

As a business owner /customer I don't particularly care about DMVs or execution plans. Hardly anyone is using CLR objects, as Microsoft showed at Tech Ed this year with stats on customers who are using Enterprise Edition with databases over 10GB.

You might be very "elitist" and work only with 10GB databases, but the rest of the world doesn't, and that's exactly top whom the cloud is targeted. And we will probably see those limits change with time, as we have seen with Hotmail and GMail...

As a business, if I can host my database solutions in the cloud and do not have to worry about availability, storage, hiring "geeks" to monitor capacity, backups, etc that represents potentially an enormous saving and enables me to get on with what what I sould be focused on - the business, and not managing the IT infrastructure.

October 26, 2009 10:47 PM

mike said:

If your database is located at a hosting company, then its already in "the cloud"..    The "cloud" is a stupid marketing term that the marketing department has gone bonkers over.  The "cloud" has existed since the day the first networked computer existed.  ITS NOTHING NEW but these marketing people bank on stupidity being the more abundant quality of mankind and therefore, its "new".   And we see just how ABSURD those Microsoft "to the cloud" commercials are.  I have to turn them off when I see them coming.

Cloud <> New    PERIOD.

December 27, 2010 7:50 AM

mike said:

@Richard: Please understand that there is no such thing as "the cloud".  Its called hosting and its been around a LOT longer than the marketing puke we all hear about called the "cloud"...  Secondly, you NEED geeks or your business will fail.  Period.  End of discussion.

December 27, 2010 7:52 AM
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About Denis Gobo

I was born in Croatia in 1970, when I was one I moved to Amsterdam (and yes Ajax is THE team in Holland) and finally in 1993 I came to the US. I have lived in New York City for a bunch of years and currently live in Princeton, New Jersey with my wife and 3 kids. I work for Dow Jones as a Database architect in the indexes department, one drawback: since our data goes back all the way to May 1896 I cannot use smalldates ;-( I have been working with SQL server since version 6.5 and compared to all the other bloggers here I am a n00b. Some of you might know me from or even from some of the newsgroups where I go by the name Denis the SQL Menace If you are a Tek-Tips user then you might know me by the name SQLDenis, I am one of the guys answering SQL Questions in the SQL Programming forum.

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