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RIP Stretch DB

Debbi Lyons calls it:

Ever since Microsoft introduced SQL Server Stretch Database in 2016, our guiding principles for such hybrid data storage solutions have always been affordability, security, and native Azure integration. Customers have indicated that they want to reduce maintenance and storage costs for on-premises data, with options to scale up or down as needed, greater peace of mind from advanced security features such as Always Encrypted and row-level security, and they seek to unlock value from warm and cold data stretched to the cloud using Microsoft Azure analytics services.     

During recent years, Azure has undergone significant evolution, marked by groundbreaking innovations like Microsoft Fabric and Azure Data Lake Storage. As we continue this journey, it remains imperative to keep evolving our approach on hybrid data storage, ensuring optimal empowerment for our SQL Server customers in leveraging the best from Azure.

This is not surprising at all, considering that the premise of Stretch DB was that you could off-load old and less-important data from your local SQL Server instances and expensive local disk into Azure, querying it when you need that data. The problem was, you couldn’t use cheap storage and pay a few cents per gigabyte of data per month. Instead, you were effectively spinning up Azure Synapse Analytics and paying a marked premium for your least important data. The price alone made this an untenable idea, but there were other holes in the plan as well that doomed it as a product.

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