• 4 min read

Azure SQL Database previews major updates for BUILD

Today marks another milestone in our journey to make Azure the best platform for your data and applications. In the past year, we’ve introduced a myriad of new features and technologies to make Azure SQL Database more secure and reliable, to meet the needs of today’s mission-critical cloud applications.

Azure SQL Database updates support SaaS and enterprise applications; customers see 406% return using Azure SQL Database. Today marks another milestone in our journey to make Azure the best platform for your data and applications. In the past year, we’ve introduced a myriad of new features and technologies to make Azure SQL Database more secure and reliable, to meet the needs of today’s mission-critical cloud applications. Recent investments include security, performance and productivity enhancements, and now new functionality to support SaaS application development.

All this investment has translated into more and more customers betting on Azure SQL Database – currently, we have more than one million databases running on Azure. One customer has nearly 90 terabytes of data across ~2,000 databases, processing ~380,000 logins per day while another customer is running an application with over 20 terabytes of data across ~225,000 databases, processing more than 2 million logins per day.

Our customers tell us they are using Azure SQL Database in two main ways: to build new cloud-based services or businesses on Azure and for migrating mission-critical SQL workloads to Azure. Customers are using Azure SQL Database every day to increase productivity and grow their cloud-based businesses and we continue to invest in these key focus areas.

Three new reasons why enterprises should adopt Azure SQL Database:

1) Azure SQL Database is the industry’s most robust and flexible database and supports workloads with predictable and unpredictable performance demands.

  • Today, we announced the preview of Azure SQL Database elastic database technology. Developers building software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications can leverage SQL Database to gain the flexibility to support both explosive growth and profitable business models. For workloads with unpredictable resources demands, our elastic database technology provides you with the ability to create a pool of database and allocate resources which can be shared across the database pool. Instead of overprovisioning to meet peak demand, you can use an elastic database pool to let hundreds or thousands of databases leverage resources within a budget that you control. You can then drive cost efficiencies with a purchase model that allows you to maintain control over price and performance across a group of elastic databases.
  • Simple management tasks become complicated when you scale to thousands of databases, and that’s the challenge of explosive growth. SaaS developers spend countless hours writing complex logic to handle schema or policy changes and other administrative operations as the business grows. With elastic databases, life becomes easier. You take a script, submit it as a job, and Azure SQL Database does the rest to perform the script across many databases. Learn more about elastic database jobs.
  • Elastic database tools also simplify building and managing applications that scale across lots of databases, so building applications against a single database or thousands of databases is just as easy using familiar T-SQL and ADO.NET programming models.
  • You can also run centralized query operations like reporting and data extractions spanning many databases, returning a single unified result set.

2) Now with near-complete SQL Server feature compatibility, customers can work with heavy workloads and have the full programmable surface area available for building robust mission-critical cloud applications or migrating existing on-premises SQL Server databases to Azure SQL Database.

  • Today we are announcing Transparent Data Encryption for Azure SQL Database is now available in preview at no additional cost. As previously announced in January, Transparent Data Encryption leverages the long-time trusted encryption technology found in SQL Server bringing it to the databases on the latest version of SQL Database (V12) for encrypting a customer’s database at rest to help further protect against the threat of malicious activity. Transparent Data Encryption performs real-time encryption and decryption of the database, associated backups, and transaction log files. Transparent Data Encryption joins our recent security investments in Row-level Security and Dynamic Data Masking in preview to give you greater confidence for managing data and applications in the cloud.
  • Search has become a natural way for users to interact with applications that manage large volumes of data. For applications that manage text data stored in Azure SQL Database, Full-Text Search, now available in preview at no additional cost, adds the capability of providing fast, robust search functionality integrated into the database platform. Now that full-text-search is available in SQL Database, it is easier than ever to migrate SQL Server applications to SQL Database.

3) With Azure SQL Database, business can be more productive and reduce overall cost.

  • An IDC Business Value study was recently published on SQL Database sponsored by Microsoft, found that Azure SQL Database delivers a 406 percent return on investment per database with an 8.6 months payback period when compared to running databases on-premises or in a hosted environment. Based on interviews with customers, Azure SQL Database was noted as being more than 53 percent less expensive than on-premises/hosted databases and driving almost a 47 percent increase in IT staff efficiencies.
  • In preview today, the Service Tier Advisor provides customers of the retired Web and Business service with an easier upgrade path. Service Tier Advisor looks at a customer’s historical database usage and recommends the appropriate service tier and performance level to meet their needs to accelerate and improve the experience for upgrades.

Microsoft data services

The value provided by Azure SQL Database multiplies when customers use it with the rest of our data services. These services make it easy for customers to work with data of any type and size – using the tools, languages and frameworks they want to — in a trusted cloud environment. From Microsoft products like Azure HDInsight and Azure DocumentDB to Azure Machine Learning and Power BI — we’re committed to supporting the broadest data platform so our customers get data benefits, on-premises or in the cloud, on their terms.