When the IP driver came out, I had the IP driver server running on a windows box at some data centre in the US and then the UK when I got forced to move it to the UK. General experience was the further away you are the worse the lag was, so those in Australia saw pretty noticeable lag, those close to the UK didnt notice much lag, but that was mid 00’s internet infrastructure. There’s more fibre cables now, Google run their own fibre cables from the UK to the US as one of many companies laying their internet cables in different parts of the world.
You cant synchronise multiple instances around the world of the IP driver server out of the box, you’d have to write your own functions to do this unless a 3rd party addon exists and I think capesoft might do one called Replicate and I dont know if it works with the IP Driver server. This approach would reduce the lag by directing users to the nearest instance using Anycast domain name system - How can I send visitors to the closest server using DNS? - Server Fault , but your backend ip driver server synchronisation is more complicated than just record locking one database, its record locking across databases.
There isnt any reason why you couldnt have an sql server in a datacentre somewhere where the the MS Sql port(s) are open to the public, but you’d want to have an IDS/IPS running on the port and the sql server logging everything so you can trap new threats. If your users are coming from fixed ip’s you can put address blocks on your server firewall to further restrict who can connect.
This is handy tool to see whats connected to the web Facet Analysis (shodan.io)
Port 1434 Shodan Search Engine
nettalk - Shodan Search
Most people would hide their sql server behind a vpn though, some even tunnel a vpn inside another vpn. UDP is way faster than TCP connections which is why UDP VPN are the norm. The networking hardware today drops very few packets to something a decade or two ago, other than the design flaws built into the way switches handle packets to individual ports and network topology, ie bottlenecks in the internet connections between places and regions like undersea continental cabling.
The SQL server can synchronise with other instances of your databases around the world, and like the IP driver, you can use Anycast to direct users to their nearest instance, but your have to set up the Replicate rules yourself.
Replication Security Best Practices - SQL Server | Microsoft Learn
Securing Replication Over the Internet - SQL Server | Microsoft Learn
I dont know if you have seen this post, its mainly focused on Postrgres and using it online, Databases in 2022: A Year in Review - ClarionHub
There is also the Clarion LINQ which is tied to this Language-Integrated Query (LINQ) (C#) | Microsoft Learn
technology and the Clarion Amazon S3 technology.
I dont know what version S3 was introduced in, but in the C11 help page, if you search for S3 there is a bit of info in there which you might find useful.
I havent used Linq or S3 in the cloud, but I would hope what they bring to the table is the replication handled for me.
Querying data without servers or databases using Amazon S3 Select | AWS Storage Blog
Billing and security has been my main concerns, but if 2FA is setup, then it should be harder to hack your cloud instance, but be mindful of airgapping and mobile phones, the array of sensors on a mobile phone make them ideal data capture units for innovative forms of hacking especially when placed on a desk next to the desktop, like sensing the desk vibrations from the keyboard keys being pressed in order to work out passwords.
Did you know you can load malware on to a simcard which has an ARM processor that will work independently of your mobile phone OS? An over view of the technology can been seen here media.ccc.de - SIM card technology from A-Z Thats why I say dont under estimate mobile phones as attack vectors.
Back in the mid 00’s 2FA was not common place for servers in datacentres and the security products werent as robust as they are today and I found it too much effort to maintain and keep an eye on, but I dont see why it shouldnt be possible and fairly hassle free now a days but I havent used Linq or S3 yet.
Azure SQL which is MS’s online SQL server engine might handle the replicate automatically for you as well, I’ve not used Azure, but imo the replication and security took up a lot of time, which might be handled for you now. I’d certainly be keen to know.