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Microsoft’s pricing for SQL Server in the cloud, SQLAzure has been announced:

  • $9.99   per month for 0 – 1GB
  • $99.99 per month up to 10GB.

There’s currently a 10GB maximum size cap for SQLAzure. For larger data storage needs, you’ll need to break the databases into smaller sizes.

Scaling SQL Azure Applications

If you think you’re going to need 100GB in the near term, it probably makes sense to break your application up into multiple separate databases from the get-go (10 x $9.99 = $99.99 anyway) and just make really sure none of the individual databases exceed 10GB.

Beep Beep, Back That Database Up

The bandwidth costs for SQL Azure are $.15 per GB of outbound bandwidth.  Assuming that you don’t compress the data before you pull it out of the cloud, that means daily backups of a 1GB database will add another $4.50 per month, and a 10GB database will add another $45/month.  Daily backups will cost about half of what your monthly service charges cost.

It’s not completely clear from the press release, but if Microsoft follows Amazon’s pricing model, bandwidth between the Microsoft cloud services will not incur a cost.  That would mean it might make sense to spin up an Windows Azure computing application for $.12 per hour, use that application to compress your SQL Azure database, and then send the compressed data off to Azure storage for backup.  That would eliminate the data in/out costs, and minimize the Azure storage costs ($.15/GB).  Database administrators would back up their SQL Azure data to Azure Storage, keep a history of backups there, and restore them to SQL Azure faster when needed.

Of course, there’s no native backup support in SQL Azure, and it’s not clear whether Windows Azure will include tools like SQL Server Integration Services.

More details can be found at



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Posted on Sunday, March 21, 2010 5:27 PM | Back to top

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