• 2 min read

Azure SQL Database adds new features

Auditing, geo-restore and geo-replication help deliver added data protection for your database.

In April we previewed new Basic, Standard, and Premium service tiers for Microsoft Azure SQL Database to help customers more easily innovate with cloud-designed database workloads via predictable performance, larger database sizes and richer functionality. Today, we are excited to add more features to the preview.  

  • Auditing: The new auditing feature tracks and logs all events that occur on your database, such as updates and queries against data. Dashboard views and reports provide at-a-glance insight into database events. Use auditing to streamline compliance-related activities, gain knowledge about what is happening in your database, and identify trends, discrepancies and anomalies. These can serve to enhance business visibility, or potentially indicate business concerns or suspected security violations. Audit events are written to an audit log which is stored in an Azure storage account which you designate; Azure storage rates apply. Auditing is available in Basic, Standard, and Premium, and only available in the new Azure preview portal and via standard APIs.
  • Standard geo-replication: Opt-in to a Microsoft-managed geo-replication service with an asynchronously replicated secondary database ready to take over if disasters strikes. Azure regions are pre-paired, at least 500 miles apart, and within geo-political areas to help ensure data sovereignty. Standard geo-replication is available with Standard and Premium databases via the current Azure management portal and standard APIs. Standard geo-replication incurs a cost for the secondary database which is billed at 75 percent of the primary database.
  • Geo-restore: Designed for emergency data recovery when you need it most, geo-restore allows you to recover a database to any Azure region in the event of a catastrophic event. Geo-restore uses geo-redundant Azure blob storage for daily database backups and is available in Basic, Standard, and Premium via the current Azure management portal and standard API.


Updated service tier details

  Basic Standard Premium

Uptime SLA


Database size limit

2 GB

250 GB

500 GB


Auditing (NEW!)**

Point-in-time- restore

Any point within 7 days

Any point within  14 days

Any point within 35 days

Disaster recovery

Geo-restore (NEW!)

Standard geo-replication, standby   secondary (NEW!)

Active geo-replication, up to 4   readable replicas

Performance levels







*SLAs will take effect at time of GA, Azure previews are subject to different service terms, as set forth in preview supplemental terms.
**Available only in the new Azure preview portal.  

Additional resources
For more information on Azure SQL Database, please find the following resources:

We’re excited about delivering more awesome functionality to the new services tiers to support your continued innovation on Azure. If you haven’t tried Azure SQL Database yet, it’s a great time to start.  Start a free trial today!