I am currently sitting in a seminar on BI in the Cloud by John Welch at the PASS Summit 2009. SQL Server Azure looks promising for a variety of applications. Currently it only supports SQL Server relational database services but future plans to include the BI stack of SQL Server.
I have yet to see how loading of data is handled and security is handled but it seems to have a lot of potential for small data sets (< 10 GB).
Couple of points:
- Apparently data manipulation is slower than normal SQL Server.
- Queries are limited to 5 minutes
- Max database size is 10GB
- Bulk Insert not available yet but available in an upcoming CTP
- No control over physical database implementation (files,filegroups,partitions, etc…)
- No Windows auth supported