Moving SQL Azure Servers Between Subscriptions

Last week we added a new feature to the Windows Azure Management Portal to enable moving your SQL Azure servers between different subscriptions.

This feature has been requested by many customers and fulfills multiple scenarios.  For example, customers can now move their SQL Azure servers and databases in that server from a trial or introductory subscription to a different subscription that hosts their production services and resources.   Another example use case is when a monetary or resource usage cap has been reached for a subscription and the customer wants to move the SQL Azure server and database resources to another subscription. Yet another example is when customers want to consolidate different SQL Azure servers and databases under a single subscription. With this new feature, customers can now easily accomplish this task using the Windows Azure Management Portal.

Who can use the Move Server Feature?

To move SQL Azure servers between subscriptions you need to be an account administrator, service administrator or a co-Administrator for both the source and target subscriptions. Please refer to the MSDN documentation to understand more about subscription management in Windows Azure

How to Use the Move Server Feature

Once you login to the Windows Azure Management Portal and navigate to the “Database” section, you will see a new “Move Server” button in the Server Information pane. See Figure (1) below.  As you can see in the Figure (1) below, you can see the various subscriptions for which you are a service administrator in the top left pane where the subscriptions, SQL Azure servers and the databases are listed.

Figure (1) – The Move Server button in the Server Information pane

Clicking on the button brings up a dialog that has a drop down selector which enables you to select the target subscription from all of your available, active subscriptions for which you are a service administrator.  Select the subscription that you want the server moved to and click “OK”. See Figure (2).

Figure (2) – Move Server dialog

In a few seconds the portal will refresh and you will see the SQL Azure server you moved now listed under the target subscription. See Figure (3) where subscription “Azure Sandbox2 User 0389” has the SQL Azure server and the database that was moved.

Figure (3) – Server moved to new subscription

Moving a SQL Azure server does not involve a physical move of your SQL Azure server or databases (remember that a SQL Azure “server” is always a logical server which contains your databases that have multiple replicas for high availability). The SQL Azure server and the databases continue to be hosted within the same region/data center, and applications that use the databases on the moved server will continue to operate as normal since connection information remains the same.  The move only changes the association of the SQL Azure server from one subscription to another.  Please be aware of the impact to your bill as different subscriptions may be billed based on different offers that they are associated with.