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Azure SQL

Migrate, modernize, and innovate with the modern SQL family of cloud database services.

Enjoy a consistent experience across your entire cloud SQL portfolio

Access a full range of deployment options from edge to cloud. Intelligent and secure Azure SQL database services make it easy to: 

Migrate your SQL workloads with SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines.

Modernize your existing applications or enjoy hybrid flexibility with Azure SQL Managed Instance.

Support modern cloud applications with Azure SQL Database.

Extend your applications to IoT edge gateways and devices with Azure SQL Edge.

Run Azure SQL on premises and in multicloud environments with Azure Arc–enabled data services.

Learn more about saving time and money on your migration.

  • Azure SQL Managed Instance

    Modernize your existing SQL Server custom and vendor-provided applications at scale and at your own pace, with an intelligent, fully managed service.

  • Azure SQL Database

    Support modern SQL cloud applications on an intelligent, fully managed service that includes serverless compute and Hyperscale storage.

  • Azure SQL Edge

    Extend your applications to IoT edge gateways and devices for real-time insights in connected, disconnected, or hybrid environments.

Save with the lowest total cost of ownership

Get industry-leading pricing and maximize your existing on-premises investments when you migrate your SQL Server databases to Azure. Plus:

  • Save up to 85 percent1 on pay-as-you-go pricing when you bring your existing SQL Server licenses to Azure with Azure Hybrid Benefit.
  • Get more cloud for less when you combine Azure Hybrid Benefit with reservation pricing.
  • Qualify for discounted rates to support your ongoing development and testing on Azure.
  • Spend less time monitoring your workloads with a single portal that lets you view all of your Azure SQL cloud databases, virtual machines, pools, and instances in one place.

What is Azure SQL?

Compare Azure and AWS pricing

Compare Azure SQL Managed Instance price performance

Modernize your custom and vendor-provided apps on Azure SQL Managed Instance for better performance and price performance. SQL Managed Instance meets your mission-critical requirements, is up to five times faster, and costs up to 93 percent less than SQL Server on AWS RDS.2

Compare SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines price performance

Switch to cloud-based SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines for better performance and price performance. SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines meets your mission-critical requirements and is up to 42 percent faster and up to 31 percent less expensive than AWS EC2.3

Comprehensive security and compliance, built in

  • Microsoft invests more than USD$1 billion annually on cybersecurity research and development.

  • We employ more than 3,500 security experts who are dedicated to data security and privacy.

  • Azure has more certifications than any other cloud provider. View the comprehensive list.

Get started with an Azure free account


Start free. Get USD$200 credit to use within 30 days. While you have your credit, get free amounts of many of our most popular services, plus free amounts of 55+ other services that are always free.


After your credit, move to pay as you go to keep building with the same free services. Pay only if you use more than your free monthly amounts.


After 12 months, you'll keep getting 55+ always-free services—and still pay only for what you use beyond your free monthly amounts.

Customers are doing great things with Azure

"We determined [SQL Managed Instance] was the best choice for us in terms of scalability, cost, and performance... We've seen a 49 percent cost reduction and 25 to 30 percent performance gains."
Nipun Sharma, Analytics Architect, Business Technology and Systems, Komatsu
"By moving our acquired applications to Azure, we were able to get them up, running, and adding value to the business in three weeks versus the three months needed to requisition servers and storage."
Peter Tomlinson, Director of IS, Technology Operations, Allscripts


"Going forward, it doesn't make sense to be anywhere but in Azure because it makes us a more effective, efficient, and flexible development organization."
Rohit Mistry, Infrastructure Analyst, Manulife


"We are able to spin up resources in a few hours instead of months, and we've reduced the operational costs of disaster recovery by almost 65 percent. We essentially avoided a half-million-dollar capital purchase."
Jeff Olson, IS Technical Director, Legacy Health
Legacy Health


"Most of our databases run under the business-critical tier because we need that performance level. But we chose Azure SQL Database serverless for one of our databases so that we can use the auto-pause feature… That option delivers huge cost reductions."
Prince Bansal, Software Engineer, udaan


"Thanks to faster, more efficient processes at the edge, we're anticipating significant improvements and cost savings. That's with the overall algorithm savings. Once we scale some of these things, we could see even more substantial savings."

Aaron Burstein, Data Systems Manager, 3M

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Frequently asked questions about Azure SQL

  • There are three primary considerations for selecting the right Azure SQL cloud service for your requirements: Your overall objective, the extent to which you require operating system (OS) access or control, and the version of SQL Server you prefer. If you require control of the underlying OS due to compliance or software dependencies and prefer to remain on your current version of SQL Server, then rehosting to SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines would be your best option. If, however, OS control is not a requirement and you prefer to be on the latest “versionless” SQL Server, then modernizing your existing applications or supporting modern cloud applications on fully managed solutions like Azure SQL Database or Azure SQL Managed Instance would be optimal.

  • We recommend visiting the Azure migration and modernization center, where you can get the tools, resources, and guidance to begin your move to the cloud.

  • Azure SQL is built upon the familiar SQL Server engine, so you can migrate applications with ease and continue to use the tools, languages, and resources you're familiar with.

    SQL Server on Azure VM falls into the industry category infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and allows you to run SQL Server inside a fully managed virtual machine (VM) in Azure cloud services.

  • Azure SQL is a family of managed, secure, and intelligent products that use the SQL Server database engine in the Azure cloud.

    • Azure SQL Database: Support modern cloud applications on an intelligent, managed database service, that includes serverless compute.
    • Azure SQL Managed Instance: Modernize your existing SQL Server applications at scale with an intelligent fully managed instance as a service, with almost 100 percent feature parity with the SQL Server database engine. Best for most migrations to the cloud.
    • SQL Server on Azure VMs: Lift-and-shift your SQL Server workloads with ease and maintain 100 percent SQL Server compatibility and operating system–level access.


    Learn more about Azure SQL.

Ready when you are—let’s set up your Azure free account

Try Azure for free

Azure SQL Managed Instance vs. SQL Server on AWS RDS

1. Calculations based on scenarios running 744 hours per month for 12 months. Prices as of July 2022, subject to change. Savings based on eight core D13 v2VM in East US 2 region. Savings are calculated from full price (license included) for SQL Server Enterprise Edition VM against the reduced rate (applying Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server and Windows Server), which excludes Software Assurance costs for SQL Server and Windows Server, which may vary based on Enterprise Agreement. Actual savings may vary based on region, instance size, and compute family. Contact your sales representative for details.

2. Benchmark data is taken from a Principled Technologies report using recognized standards, HammerDB TPROC-C, HammerDB TPROC-H and Microsoft MSOLTPE, a workload derived from TPC-E. The MSOLTPE is derived from the TPC-E benchmark and as such is not comparable to published TPC-E results, as MSOLTPE results do not comply with the TPC-E Specification. The results are based on a mixture of read-only and update intensive transactions that simulate activities found in complex OLTP and analytics application environments. Price-performance is calculated by Principled Technologies as the cost of running the cloud platform continuously divided by transactions per minute or per second throughput, based upon the standard. Prices are based on publicly available US pricing in South Central US for Azure SQL Managed Instance and US East for AWS RDS as of April 2022 and incorporates Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server, excluding Software Assurance and support costs. Performance and price-performance results are based upon the configurations detailed in the Principled Technologies report. Actual results and prices may vary based on configuration and region.

SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines vs. SQL Server on AWS EC2

3. Benchmark data is taken from two tests:

  • The GigaOm Transactional Field Test derived from a recognized industry standard, TPC Benchmark™ E (TPC-E). The Field Test does not implement the full TPC-E benchmark and as such is not comparable to any published TPC-E benchmarks.
  • The GigaOm Analytics Field test derived from the TPC-H Benchmark. The field test does not implement the full TPC-H benchmark and as such is not comparable to any published TPC_H benchmarks.

Prices are based on publicly available US pricing in North Central US for SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines and Oregon for AWS EC2 as of April 2022. The pricing incorporates three-year reservations for Azure and AWS compute pricing, and Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server and Windows Server, and License Mobility for SQL Server in AWS, excluding Software Assurance and support costs. Actual results and prices may vary based on configuration and region.