SQL Azure Overview

SQL Azure is the #1 ranked solution in our list of top Database as a Service vendors. It is most often compared to Google Cloud SQL: SQL Azure vs Google Cloud SQL

What is SQL Azure?
Microsoft Azure SQL Database is a relational database-as-a-service that delivers predictable performance, scalability, business continuity, data protection, and near-zero administration to cloud developers and solution architects. This is the deep technical library for Azure SQL Database.
SQL Azure Buyer's Guide

Download the SQL Azure Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: February 2021

SQL Azure Customers
adnymics GmbH, LG CNS, Centrebet, netfabb GmbH, MedPlast, Accelera Solutions, Sochi Organizing Committee, realzeit GmbH
SQL Azure Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about SQL Azure pricing:
  • "I have an annual spend number, and it is in the hundred thousand dollar range. There are no additional costs to the standard licensing fees. Even though you have to look at the cost numbers of what you're going to be charged on a monthly basis, what you have to also remember is that your application may need a lot of rewriting and things like that. You get charged not just for the monthly costs but also for the transactions that occur. If your access to the data layer is not so efficient, your costs will go up because you're pulling far more data than you potentially need. These are hidden costs that nobody ever considers. If your application is not written very efficiently, you may actually increase your costs over on-prem versus cloud."
  • "We pay less than $1000 monthly in licensing fees. There are no additional costs."
  • "We have a three-year contract. The cost was somewhere around $70-80,000 for the original deployment, which was about two years ago"

SQL Azure Reviews

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Slawomir Zablocki
Tech Clinical Engineer at APN Promise
Real User
Jul 23, 2019
When we have a problem with a query we can trade information about what indexes we should create on tables

Pros and Cons

  • "What is really helpful about the Azure SQL is that when we have a problem with our sound queries, we can trade information about what indexes we should create on tables. It's really helpful for me and also for developers."
  • "I need something which is in one place so I can automate the Azure data factory, but it's a different tool. It's not easy and in one place, so I can't switch to the other tool and do something there, automate everything there in the on-prem infrastructure, and then have everything in the agent. I can just pick one packet and use it. However, I want to be able to click it and run it."

What other advice do I have?

We use a few different versions. It depends on the project. We use the S-1, 2, and 3, depending on the customer's requirements. If we compare, for example, the cloud infrastructure and on-prem infrastructure, there are lots of good things about cloud infrastructure because we can scale the product so that every single time when we need more performance, more computing, more storage we can just reach to the higher plan, and we can use it. There is obviously cost reduction because although we still need an on-prem trader for SQL parts, it's not hard like it was in SQL brand because we also had…
Michael John
Senior Database Administrator at a recruiting/HR firm with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 10
Feb 27, 2021
A very stable and highly scalable solution that has cut down the size of our data center by 80%

What is our primary use case?

It is simply our relational database.

Pros and Cons

  • "Cost savings are the most valuable. The DR/high availability is also valuable. The failover group with the built-in DR/high availability features is probably one of the easiest things."
  • "Its automation can be improved. SQL Server Agent was a very big part of the on-prem tools. While moving from on-prem to the cloud, redoing some of such tools was very cumbersome in Azure. There was a whole new set of technologies and methodologies. It should have easier automation-type features to be able to implement such tools. It should have almost a SQL agent type of substance built into that."

What other advice do I have?

I would rate SQL Azure an eight out of ten.
Learn what your peers think about SQL Azure. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: February 2021.
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reviewer1294518
Solution Principal at a computer software company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Top 5
Sep 29, 2020
A very mature product with good documentation and good stability

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for its Data Lake and Data Warehouse, in both cases for our customers.

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution is a fairly mature product. It provides good stability."
  • "From a security perspective, although their features are decent, they can always be improved upon, updated, and refined to help protect clients better."

What other advice do I have?

We're Microsoft partners. The solution is constantly being updated. We're on whatever the latest version/update is at any given time. We're a consultancy, so we work with a variety of clients and adjust solutions based on their needs. I'd advise new users to take advantage of the documentation on offer from Microsoft. It will really help them understand the solution. Overall, I'd rate the solution nine out of ten.
reviewer1352925
Senior Information Technology Manager at a aerospace/defense firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Oct 28, 2020
Easy to provision, scale up, and scale down

What is our primary use case?

We are using it for an application in two different models, the PaaS model and the SaaS model. One is the product, so we are using it as a SaaS model. We are using the other one simply as a PaaS model. For its deployment, we are sort of using the highest model in which one instance has only VM and the SQL installer on it. Another instance is simply using SQL Azure.

Pros and Cons

  • "We primarily and generally use it only for DB purposes. When it comes to the Azure part, we can easily provision, scale up, and scale down the generator machine. This kind of flexibility is the USP of SQL Azure. Its interface and ease of use are also valuable. It is very easy to use and integrate with multiple databases. If I need to pull in or import some data from my on-premises database, the ease with which you can connect and pull the data, not only from SQL Server but also from other flavors of MySQL or even Oracle, is very good."
  • "The way it has been designed, in the on-premises deployments, the underlying Windows OS is highly scalable but has a very large resource requirement. A lot of power-related and memory-related things are there, which I have not seen in the RHEL and Oracle. I have not tried SQL on RHEL EXEC. On Windows, infrastructure-wise, a very large workload is running on the SQL. This issue is related to Windows, not SQL."

What other advice do I have?

I would, of course, highly recommend this solution. You cannot avoid SQL Server or SQL Azure if you are primarily working in the database domain. There are a lot of other databases available in the market, but the ease with which you can do the development and the overall support that you get cannot be compared with any other database. I would rate SQL Azure a nine out of ten.
Nhan-Nguyen
Development Manager at Incepta
Real User
Top 20
Oct 7, 2020
Very reliable, versatile, simple to use and reasonably priced

What is our primary use case?

As consultants, we deploy this solution to our customers both on cloud and on-prem. Most of our clients buy the solution as an application package which requires a database. If they are a "Microsoft shop," I recommend they use SQL Server. I'm the development manager and we are customers of Azure.

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution has become easier to use over time and it's also reasonably priced."
  • "Some issues with scalability."

What other advice do I have?

If our clients are non-Microsoft clients and they have the money, then I recommend Oracle. But for ease of use, scalability, and value for money, I like SQL. I would rate this solution an eight out of 10.
IbrahimMuhanna
IT Manager at a pharma/biotech company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Aug 11, 2019
Since moving to the cloud I have less troubleshooting and the database has become more stable

What is our primary use case?

I primarily use it for accounting and ERP solutions.

Pros and Cons

  • "The initial setup was straightforward. It took less than one day for deployment."
  • "The solution could be less expensive. They need to work on their pricing model."

What other advice do I have?

I'm currently moving my system onto the cloud. I'm using a hybrid version of the solution. My advice to anyone looking to switch to the cloud is to stabilize the technology and to consider Amazon, Azure, and Google. If you don't have experience in the cloud, you have to consider all solutions and pick the best one for your company. I decided to go with Microsoft Azure because of my past experience. So if you don't have the experience to fall back on, consider all technologies as well as their cost, money, and features. I would rate the solution eight out of ten because of the cost. I'd like it…
reviewer1369602
Lead Consultant at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Consultant
Jun 24, 2020
A very good UI and no hard coding; lacking in technical documentation

What is our primary use case?

I work for a consulting firm which uses the technology marketing projects from Microsoft and other IT vendors, re-routing the product, and creating a technical and architectural guide; basically I work on the consulting assignments. I am a lead consultant in one of the leading IT companies in India and I've been implementing bridges and consulting in an architectural support role. I've been using Azure as a stack and that's where my proficiency is. We're partners with Azure.

Pros and Cons

  • "Coding does not require much effort."
  • "Lacking in technical documentation."

What other advice do I have?

If you're looking for many features in one product with easy usability and UI, then this product is good. You can readily add on features and exploration and all those things. They are adding features all the time so they are creating one large solution, which is like a repository for things like big data and sensors. The SQL Server encapsulates all the requirements. I would rate this solution a seven out of 10.
Haytham Mohamed
Enterprise End User Operations at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Aug 6, 2019
A stable solution that offers good stability and excellent content management

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is for content management and publishing offsite for external users. We also use it as the intranet to get the largest professional view of the SharePoint version.

Pros and Cons

  • "The stability is good and the performance is fantastic. Even when we try to do an inquiry into issues we can do it easily."
  • "The initial setup is complex."

What other advice do I have?

We use the private cloud version of the solution. I would rate the solution nine out of ten. I would recommend it.
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