New Azure SQL Data Service Tiers Announced

SQL-Azure copyMicrosoft announced this week that new Basic, Standard and Premium SQL Database service tiers are now available. They’ve raised the bar on what users can expect from a database-as-a-service via business-grade functionality, allowing database administrators to manage a greater number of databases.

Originally introduced in April as a preview, the new tiers provide additional capabilities:
Higher uptime SLA: Uptime is now 99.99% (one of the highest in the database-as-a-service industry!)
Point-in-time-restore: Built-in backups and up to 35 days of data retention.
Active geo-replication and standard geo-replication: Options for continuous data replication to geographically dispersed secondaries.
Larger database sizes: Was 150 GB, now max size database is 500 GB!
Auditing: For added security confidence (remains in preview)

Other key changes:

  • New SO performance level: An SO performance level was added within the Standard service tier to ease the transition from Basic to Standard.
  • Premium and Standard price reductions:  Final pricing reflects up to 50% savings from previously-published GA pricing. (GA pricing will take effect on November 1, 2014.)
  • Hourly billing:  Starting immediately, Azure SQL Database move to hourly billing in the new service tiers.

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