SQL Azure is a highly available and scalable cloud database service built on SQL Server technologies. With SQL Azure, developers do not have to install, setup or manage any database. High availability and fault tolerance is built-in and no physical administration is required. SQL Azure is a managed service that is operated by Microsoft and has a 99.9% monthly SLA.
SQL Azure provides a full featured relational database and enables many different types of applications. Some common scenarios include:
SQL Azure is an ideal database for transactional query-based business applications such as transaction processing, departmental or line of business solutions.
SQL Azure can be accessed from Windows Azure applications, as well as on-premises applications hosted in customer’s data centers. SQL Azure includes features that enable easy migration, export and ongoing synchronization of on-premises databases with Windows Azure databases. This makes it easier for you to extend solutions to the cloud without having to migrate all of their data or existing enterprise datacenter applications at once.
SQL Azure empowers business users through the familiar tools they already know how to use today, such as Microsoft Excel. End users can create their own reports and analysis and easily share and collaborate with their colleagues. Developers can rely on feature-rich, powerful, and easy-to-use online analytical processing (OLAP) and data-mining capabilities. SQL Azure is also designed with IT manageability and cost effectiveness in mind, allowing for better management of critical data assets across diverse systems to ensure the integrity of information, spanning the desktop, datacenter, and cloud.
Capabilities and Benefits of SQL Azure
No physical administration required
- SQL Azure is a managed service – you do not have to install, patch or manage hardware or software.
- There is no need for you to create virtual machines or manually manage high availability. Every SQL Azure database has built-in high-availability, failover, and redundancy.
- SQL Azure Federation makes scaling out multiple databases across 100s of nodes dramatically easier, while giving customers the flexibility to pay for only what they use. Federation enables you to easily scale out through horizontal partitioning, or sharding, for maximum scalability in the application, great economics and simplified multi-tenancy for modern cloud applications. For more technical information, click here.
- Database size of 150GB for more room to grow.
- You can rely on business-ready SLAs and global datacenters to offer highly available services to users.
- SQL Azure does not require new skillsets, programming models or tools – it works with the same SQL Server tools and APIs you use today.
- Use an existing ecosystem of developer and management tools.
- Enable new scenarios with services like Data Sync and Reporting to connect to mobile devices, HTML5 web applications, and location-aware services.
- Consume or monetize premium datasets from commercial data providers and government sources with Windows Azure Marketplace.
Pricing and Metering for SQL Azure Database
SQL Azure supports a flexible subscription-based pricing model and supports both a pay-as-you-go and 6 month commitment offer. SQL Azure can be purchased independently or with other Windows Azure platform products. You can provision multiple SQL Azure databases for your application(s) and can use either the Web or Business Edition offering. The Web Edition supports up to a 5 GB maximum T-SQL based relational database. The Business Edition supports up to a 150 GB maximum size T-SQL-based relational database.
|Database Size||Price Per Database Per Month|
|0 to 100 MB||Flat $4.995|
|Greater than 100 MB to 1 GB||Flat $9.99|
|Greater than 1 GB to 10 GB||$9.99 for first GB, $3.996 for each additional GB|
|Greater than 10 GB to 50 GB||$45.954 for first 10 GB, $1.998 for each additional GB|
|Greater than 50 GB to 150 GB||$125.874 for first 50 GB, $0.999 for each additional GB|
Customers are billed based on the peak database size in a day. SQL Azure Database is charged as a monthly fee for each database, but that database fee is amortized over the month and charged on a daily basis. For databases greater than 1 GB, you will be billed in the next whole gigabyte increment.
For example, if you utilized two Business Edition databases, one that was 4.4 GB and one that was 14.4 GB for 1 day during a billing month, you would be charged for a 5 GB and 15 GB database for that day, which would total $2.643. Below are the calculations:
- 5 GB: ($9.99 for the first GB + $3.996 per GB for the next 4 GB) / 31 days = $0.838
- 15 GB: ($45.954 for the first 10 GB + $1.998 per GB for the next 5 GB) / 31 days = $1.805
SQL Azure Data Sync
Microsoft SQL Azure Data Sync is a cloud-based data synchronization service which provides uni-directional and bi-directional data sync. Data Sync allows data to be easily shared between SQL Azure and on-premises SQL Server databases, as well as between multiple SQL Azure databases.
Capabilities and Benefits of SQL Azure Data Sync
- There is no need to write complex database logic to synchronize and transfer data between databases.
- Use the point-and-click portal to quickly configure and schedule synchronization.
- Specify exactly what tables and columns to synchronize, setup filters to sync only a subset of rows, set the conflict resolution policy for two-way sync, and specify how frequently data should be synchronized.
On-premises and cloud
- Enables multiple synchronization scenarios spanning both cloud and on-premises databases.
- Enable one-way as well as bi-directional data movement across SQL Azure and on-premises SQL Server databases.
- Data can be shared between multiple databases, irrespective of whether the databases are in the same data center or span multiple geographic regions.