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Azure SQL Database: Continuous innovation and limitless scale at an unbeatable price

More companies are choosing Azure for their SQL workloads, and it is easy to see why.

More companies are choosing Azure for their SQL workloads, and it is easy to see why. Azure SQL Database is evergreen, meaning it does not need to be patched or upgraded, and it has a strong track record of innovation and reliability for mission-critical workloads. But, in addition to delivering unparalleled innovation, it is also important to provide customers with the best price-performance. Here, once again, SQL Database comes out on top.

SQL Database leads in price-performance for mission-critical workloads

GigaOm, an independent research firm, recently published a study where they tested throughput performance between Azure SQL Database and SQL Server on AWS RDS. SQL Database emerged as the price-performance leader for mission-critical workloads while costing up to 86 percent less than AWS RDS.1

Graph of price-performance comparison. The price-performance metric is price divided by throughput (transactions per second, tps).

The image above is a price-performance comparison from the GigaOm report. The price-performance metric is price divided by throughput (transactions per second, tps). Lower is better.

Customers like H&R Block found it easy to extend their on-premises experience to Azure, where they tapped into new levels of performance, scalability, and flexibility.

“SQL Database managed instance gives us a smooth migration path for moving existing workloads to Azure with minimal technical reengineering. All the applications have a target architecture in Azure SQL Database so they can take advantage of zone awareness and scale up or down to meet changing demands in a cost-optimized way for our seasonal business.”- Sameer Agarwal: Manager-Enterprise Data Analytics, H&R Block

As you adopt the cloud and migrate your data workloads, Azure SQL Database service is a cost-effective solution, yielding up to 212 percent return on investment and a payback period of as little as 6 months. According to The Total Economic Impact™ of Microsoft Azure SQL Database Managed Instance, when you add it up, customers pay less when they bring their SQL workloads to Azure.

Innovation powers limitless scale and performance for your mission-critical workloads

Our proven track record of innovation is built on the SQL Server engine that has evolved with market trends and perfected over 25 years. This has resulted in the most comprehensive and consistent surface area across on-premises, the cloud, and on the edge. Our most recent investments provide the highest SQL Server on-premises application compatibility, remove the limits to application growth, and unleash meaningful productivity gains with built-in intelligence.

SQL Database Hyperscale enables limitless scale that goes far beyond other cloud providers, breaking through the resource constraints of modern application development with limitless size and scale. Hyperscale eliminates the challenges often seen with very large workloads, with virtually instantaneous backups and the capability to restore databases in the hundreds of terabytes within minutes. Now customers can significantly expand the potential for application growth without being limited by storage size.

Built-in AI lets customers put their databases on auto-pilot, with features that are trained on millions of databases to optimize performance and security on their behalf. As the apps run, the database continuously learns their unique patterns, adaptively tuning performance and automatically improving reliability and data protection. Features like automatic tuning and advanced data security are on the job 24×7, so customers can focus more on driving their business than managing their databases.

“Azure SQL Database requires minimum management effort and it is scalable, a must for our type of applications. The ‘Intelligent Performance’ monitoring with its Recommendation engine and its Query Performance Insight is like having a DBA on staff, 24×7, looking at optimizing our database. We could not have it done better!” Cezar Nasui, Director – Operations and Special Projects, Centris

SQL Database provides enterprise-grade reliability with industry-leading availability guarantees, up to 99.995 percent. It also provides the only 100 percent business continuity SLA in the industry for a relational database service. With built-in high availability using Always On technology, these guarantees represent our commitment to ensuring customers’ data is safe and the applications and processes their businesses rely upon continue running in the face of a disruptive event.

Get started with SQL in Azure

SQL databases are simply best on Azure, making it the natural destination for customers to help secure and modernize their SQL Server databases. Learn more about why SQL Server is best on Azure or get started for free.

1Price-performance claim based on data from a study commissioned by Microsoft and conducted by GigaOm in August 2019. The study compared price performance between a single, 80 vCore, Gen 5 Azure SQL Database on the business-critical service tier and the db.r4.16xlarge offering for SQL Server on AWS RDS. Benchmark data is taken from a GigaOm Analytic Field Test derived from a recognized industry standard, TPC Benchmark™ E (TPC-E), and is based on a mixture of read-only and update intensive transactions that simulate activities found in complex OLTP application environments. Price-performance is calculated by GigaOm as the cost of running the cloud platform continuously for three years divided by transactions per second throughput. Prices are based on publicly available US pricing in East US for Azure SQL Database and US East (Ohio) for AWS RDS as of August 2019. Price-performance results are based upon the configurations detailed in the GigaOm Analytic Field Test. Actual results and prices may vary based on configuration and region.