Manage, govern, and secure all your SQL Servers with new hybrid capabilities enabled by Azure Arc 

Part of the SQL Server 2022 blog series.

This blog has been updated to reflect the new billing options now available for versions of SQL Server 2014 and above.

In the face of changing market conditions and pressure to accelerate growth, the ability for customers to do more with less is critical. And while the cloud has long been the north star for realizing efficiencies and accelerating innovation, at Microsoft, we understand that these benefits also need to happen outside of the cloud. In 2021 we announced the general availability of Azure Arc-enabled SQL Managed Instance. Previously only available in Azure, Azure Arc-enabled SQL Managed Instance allows customers to build new cloud native applications on any infrastructure, in their on-premises environments and across other public clouds. Now, we are offering a way for customers to make the most of their legacy applications, with Azure Arc-enabled SQL Server.

Yesterday, we announced the general availability of SQL Server 2022, the latest milestone in the 30 year history of SQL Server. This newest edition of SQL Server delivers continued innovation with new hybrid and multicloud capabilities that allow customers to manage and protect their SQL environments in more ways than ever before, no migration required. Together with these innovations, we are also introducing a consumption-based cloud billing model to purchase SQL Server enabled by Azure Arc.

Bring Azure Innovation to SQL Servers Anywhere

Azure Arc is a bridge that extends the Azure platform to help customers build applications and services with the flexibility to run on-premises, at the edge, and in multicloud environments. With Azure Arc, customers can manage their entire SQL estate through a single pane of glass and delivers multilayered security and improved data governance through a single integrated solution.

When customers enable Azure Arc on SQL servers, they can unlock more robust functionalities:


Manage their entire SQL estate in the Azure portal and get a single, unified view into their entire SQL Server estate to better manage inventory and licenses. Leverage SQL Best Practice Analyzer to automatically evaluate SQL Server environments for performance, scalability, and business continuity, all with no additional cost.​


Microsoft Purview is a family of data governance, risk, and compliance solutions that can help organizations govern, protect, and manage their environments. With Azure Arc, SQL Server customers will have Purview access policies readily available for those on-premises environments to centralize insights and governance across their entire data estate.


We also enabled Microsoft Defender for Cloud for SQL Server. Microsoft Defender enhances the security posture of a customer’s SQL Server environments, no matter where they reside. Microsoft Defender continuously scans and proactively identifies any vulnerabilities or attacks that are happening within SQL Server environments. This multi-layered security is made possible through Azure Arc, so data is protected both at the powerful database engine level and by Azure security capabilities from the cloud. 

SQL Server 2022 customers will also be able to benefit from Single Sign-On with Azure Active Directory to secure identities. These are security capabilities that customers have asked for in their on-premises environments for a long time and we are excited to be able to bring them to our SQL server customers.​

Cloud billing model for all SQL workloads*

We are excited to provide customers with a new consumption-based, cloud billing model that provides flexibility to innovate quickly and save on costs. With Pay-as-you-go billing on SQL Server, customers can benefit from:

Azure Arc icon sharing a platform with SQL Server icon extending Azure capabilities to across three different environments: multicloud, edge and on-premises. Multicloud environment shows multiple clouds icons. On premises platform has a datacenter icon with databases. The edge platform shows a satellite, a piece of manufacturing equipment, and a delivery truck.
  • Flexibility to choose between consumption-based licensing or the perpetual SQL Server licenses.
  • Improved cost efficiencies for both Standard Edition and Enterprise Edition. Eliminate the need to pay full upfront licenses and pay for only what is used, by the hour, which is ideal for spike workloads or ad-hoc usage.
  • Support for multicloud and hybrid deployments with consistent billing for all a customer’s entire SQL environment, no matter where they reside.

The PAYG model is enabled by Azure Arc, so connection of the SQL Server to Azure via Azure Arc is required. For SQL Server 2022 customers, the Azure Arc connection is a default part of the SQL Server 2022 setup process and the PAYG billing is available. For customers with prior versions of SQL Server (2014 editions and above), this billing model is available in the Azure Portal once an Azure Arc connection is established. Pricing for the new pay-as-you-go options can be found here.

Innovate anywhere with Azure Arc today​

Azure Arc was built to bring Azure innovation anywhere. With this week’s announcements, our SQL Server customers can unlock cloud-native features on-premises, while benefiting from a more secure and streamlined management experience for their SQL Server environments, no matter where they reside. For SQL Server 2022 customers, these benefits will come already integrated with SQL Server. But customers with SQL Server 2014 and above can unlock many of the same innovations with the help of Azure Arc.

With Azure Arc, SQL Server customers will be able to maximize the value of their investments with technology that allows them to do more with less.

Learn more

Learn about the general availability for SQL Server 2022: general availability for SQL Server 2022.