Azure – Intra Subscription Azure SQL Database Migration Tip


First blog for the year! It’s been extremely busy but it means that I’ve got lots of things to share.

In this blog post, I will be sharing efficient way of migrating (copying) a Azure database from one subscription to another.

Let’s get started!

Traditional Way

Previous to ARM model, and even ARM was introduced, I believe lots of you would still be using the following method:

  • Make a copy from a production database
  • Export the copied database to a blob storage
  • Import the .bacpac to the destination SQL server
  • Delete the database copy
  • Delete the .bacpac file

This method is completely fine, but there are some cons around this:

  • Export & import process takes long time which ends up incurring extra operational cost
  • Possibility of leaving the .bacpac file back in the blob storage (if not an automated way)
  • You need to know the administrator login details for both source and destination SQL servers

New Way

From the new ARM portal, it allows you to migrate a resource to a resource group in different subscription.
Using this functionality, the following approach could be made:

  • Create a temporary SQL server in the resource group where a production SQL server is running
  • Make a copy of the production database to the temporary SQL server
  • Move the temporary SQL server to another subscription
  • Make a copy of the copied database to the destination SQL server
  • Delete the temporary SQL server

What are the benefits?

Pretty much reverse to what’s mentioned above, cons for traditional way.
One of the main benefits is “reduced operational cost” – it doesn’t require a copied database to stand up for export & import processes.

Also, no additional space required in blob storage to hold the .bacpac file.

Hope this helps and feel free to leave a comment for any questions or clarifications 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s