WCF service on Windows Azure - connecting to on-premises SQL Server database

Is it possible to have a WCF service that is running on Windows Azure communicate with a local / on-premises SQL Server database?

Alternative options we're considering are:

  • Push the 4 SQL Server databases that the WCF service needs to gather and process data from up to a Azure VM
  • Create 4 SQL Azure "clones" of the local / on-prem SQL Server databases and use the data sync feature to keep the Azure clones in sync with the local data.

Ideally, we'd like to be able to expose the on-premises database (via the VPN) to the service and hit each of the databases directly.


Yes, you can make outbound connections from any Azure hosted service, whether running in web sites, cloud services or virtual machines. If you need traffic going through a VPN, you'll need to use cloud services or virtual machines, since web sites can't be added to a virtual network.

Actually, an easier solution would be to host your WCF service internally and expose the service via an Azure Service Bus Relay. The service bus relay supports multiple authentication types for securing the service and no VPN is required. There is a good walk-thru here - .NET On-Premises/Cloud Hybrid Application Using Service Bus Relay. We have successfully used this technique to expose several services to third-party vendors.

you can set up Site-to-site VPN as shown in this resource - Step-By-Step: Create a Site-to-Site VPN between your network and Azure

I would think of SQL Data Sync for scheduler times and that too for small amounts of data (at least not in millions)

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