Web and Business
- If my database was deployed only for a few days in a month, is the cost prorated?
Yes. We prorate the database cost on a daily basis. For example, if you used a 1GB database for 1 day and it grew to 10 GB the next day, and by the end of second day, you deleted the database, you will be charged ($9.99 + $45.954) / 31 = $1.8
- If my database exists for less than a day, how will it be prorated?
The minimum billing time unit in Azure SQL Database is a day. If you create and drop a database during the day, you will be billed for one day even if you drop the database before the end of the day. This covers setup costs associated with creating a database in the system. Similarly, Automated Export creates a copy of your database before exporting, so it will be charged as a second DB for that day.
- If my database is 1.4 GB, will I be charged for 1 GB or 2 GB?
We round up the size of your database to the next whole GB. In this example, you will be charged for a 2 GB database.
- How do database charges appear on my bill?
We bill each database in multiples of database unit (DU) and each billing unit is equivalent to $9.99 per month. Learn more
- What does Azure SQL database manage on my behalf?
As a relational database service, Azure SQL Database removes the cost and complexity of managing relational databases and hardware on-premises. As part of the service, we procure, provision, and manage the physical hardware, install the necessary software and patches, and maintain a level of high availability through 2 local replicas at no additional cost.
- When should I use Azure SQL database vs SQL Server in a Virtual Machine?
If you have existing applications or workloads you simply want to grab and move to the cloud, SQL Server in a Virtual Machine is the easiest path to realize the benefits of the cloud. If you are looking to innovate and build new relational applications running in the cloud or extend parts of on-premises applications into the cloud, SQL Database is the best long-term solution.
- Can I import or migrate existing data to Azure SQL Database?
Yes. With common tools and development frameworks, we are committed to making it easy to migrate existing SQL Server applications’ data-tier and database data into Azure SQL Database. The following article provides a variety of options with additional information on migrating data to Azure SQL Database.
- Will there be maintenance windows and will my DB instances be available during Microsoft planned software maintenance?
Through the built-in high availability technology with SQL Database, customers should not experience downtime due to regular software maintenance. Should service maintenance cause planned downtime for your databases, we will publish alerts to the Azure Dashboard and we are committed to sending customer service notification 5 days prior to the planned event.
- Do I enable backups or is it done automatically?
Depending on your specific backup needs or policies, you might consider doing your own backups to meet these requirements since backups and restoring data is different in Azure SQL Database than with SQL Server on-premises. Azure SQL Database has built-in fault tolerance to protect your data from individual server, network, and device failures. However, to protect your data against user/application errors or a total loss of a region, you must create your own backup of the data.
- Are there time limitations for maintaining a SQL Database server that has not hosted a user-created database?
We automatically delete all SQL Database servers which have not hosted a user-created database at any time during the last 90 days. Any user-created logins stored in the removed server will be lost. While there is no charge for creating and maintaining a server, each server has a system database associated with it which takes up unnecessary space in the environment. By removing empty servers Microsoft can better maintain a more efficient and organized environment.
Basic, Standard, and Premium
- How does the usage of Basic, Standard or Premium databases show up on my bill?
With Basic, Standard and Premium, you are billed on a flat, predictable daily rate based on the edition and performance level. Additionally, performance levels (eg. Basic, S1, and P2) are broken out in the bill to make it easier to see the number of database days you incurred in a single month for each performance level.
- What if my database is active for less than a day?
You are billed the flat rate for each day the database exists, regardless of usage or if the database is active for less than a day. For example, if you create a database and delete it 5 minutes later your bill will reflect a charge for 1 database day. If you delete a database and then create another with the same name, your bill will reflect a charge for two separate databases on that day.
- How do I provision a Basic, Standard or, Premium Database?
Basic, Standard, and Premium databases can be created on any server. You can upgrade or downgrade a database between any two editions, including Web and Business, without taking the database offline.
Premium databases are limited by a quota of 2 per server. If you need additional quota please call customer support.
- How long does it take to change the edition or performance level of a database?
Changing the edition of a database may require the database to be copied internally. This may happen when changing to or from Standard or Premium service tier, or when changing the performance level of a Standard or Premium database. If this happens it may take from a few minutes to several hours depending on the size of the database. Changing the edition or performance level of a database immediately after creating it will be faster than upgrading the database later once populated with data.
- What is a Database Throughput Unit (DTU)?
As part of providing a more predictable performance experience for customers, SQL Database is introducing the Database Throughput Unit (DTU). A DTU represents the power of the database engine as a blended measure of CPU, memory, and read and write rates. This measure helps a customer assess the relative power of the six SQL Database performance levels available across Basic, Standard and Premium (Basic, S1, S2, P1, P2, and P3). Please visit the performance guide on MSDN for more information.
- When does the billing rate change after I change the edition or performance level of a database?
All databases are charged on a daily basis based on the highest edition and performance level that applied during the day. When changing editions or performance levels the new rate applies once the change has completed. For example, if you upgrade a database from Web or Business to Premium at 10:00pm and upgrade completes at 1:00 am on the following day, you will only be charged at the Premium rate on the day it completes. If you downgrade a database from Premium to Standard or Basic at 11:00 am and it completes at 5:00 pm, then the database will be charged at the Premium rate throughout that day and will be charged at the Standard or Basic rates from the following day.
- How do I change the performance level of a Standard or Premium database?
In Azure Management Portal, you use the database Scale tab to set the performance level at the time you modify your Standard or Premium database performance needs.
- How often can I change the edition or performance level of a database?
Changing the edition or performance level of a database should be done as a considered and deliberate action. You are allowed up to 4 changes in a 24 hour period that alter the edition or performance level of a database. Changes between Web and Business are excluded from this limit.
- What does transaction rate per hour, per minute and per second mean for the performance objectives?
Each of the performance levels is designed to deliver increasingly higher performance from the previous. The per hour, minute, and second rate defines a level of precision required by the customer’s application and throughput needs. Basic, for example is designed for an application that requires transactions per hour. Standard is designed for a higher performing application where transactions per minutes would be appropriate. Premium is designed for the most mission-critical throughput, where support for many concurrent transactions per second is required. By using hour, minute, and second, a customer can quickly understand which tier, such as Basic, may best meet their throughput demands. Learn more about SQL Database performance objectives.
- What is the cost of standard geo-replication?
Standard geo-replication is an opt-in geo-replication feature which is Microsoft managed. Once a database is opted in a secondary database is created in a pre-paired Azure region within the same geographic area that is at least 500 miles away. Opting into standard geo-replication creates a standby secondary database at the same performance level as the primary database, which is charged at 75% of the primary; for example, if your primary is an S2 and is $100 per month, your S2 standby secondary will be $75 per month for a total of $175 per month.
- What is the cost of active geo-replication?
Active geo-replication is an opt-in geo-replication feature which is customer managed. You can choose to create up to 4 readable secondaries in any Azure region. You will be charged for each active geo-replication secondary database created at the same rate as the primary database; for example, if your primary is a P1 and is $465 a month, your P1 readable secondary will be $465 per month for a total of $930 per month.
- How does the use of the auditing feature impact my bill?
The core auditing capability is built into the SQL Database service at no extra cost and is available across Basic, Standard, and Premium. However, to store the audit logs, the auditing feature makes use of an Azure Storage account which you designate. Azure Storage rates will apply based on the size of your audit log.
SQL Database is available in the following regions:
|Geo ||Regions |
| United States || US Central , US East , US East 2 , US North Central , US South Central , US West |
| Europe || Europe North , Europe West |
| Asia Pacific || Asia Pacific East , Asia Pacific Southeast |
| Japan || Japan East , Japan West |
| Brazil || Brazil South |
Support and SLA
We provide technical support for all Azure services released to General Availability, as well as SQL Database Basic, Standard, and Premium previews, through Azure Support, starting at $--/month. SQL Database Basic, Standard, and Premium tiers are also supported through community forums. Billing and subscription management support is provided at no cost.
For SQL Database Web and Business Editions which are general availability and have an established uptime SLA, we guarantee at least 99.9% of the time customers will have connectivity between SQL Database and our Internet gateway. SLA calculations are based on an average over a monthly billing cycle, with 5-minute time intervals. An interval is marked as unavailable if the customer’s attempts to connect to a database are rejected by the SQL Database gateway. To learn more about our SLA on Web and Business, please visit the SLA page.
For Basic, Standard, and Premium, which are currently in preview, we do not provide an SLA during the preview period per the preview supplemental terms. Per the new service tier details above, Microsoft will guarantee at least a 99.95% uptime SLA for Basic, Standard and Premium at time of general availability for each of these service tiers.