Microsoft’s Azure SQL Database service gets a three tier system, along with performance improvements

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Microsoft Azure SQL

Microsoft has announced three new tiers for their SQL Database-as-a-service: Basic, Standard, and Premium. This new tier system allows you to significantly increase the databases managed from a single administrator.

These tiers provide predictable performance from light, to heavy weight transactional applications. They also ensure that performance isn’t hindered by the workload of other customers.

Further, they provide an upgrade of uptime SLA from 99.9% to 99.99%, point-in-time-restore, active geo-replication, standard geo-replication, increase of database sizes from 150 GB to 500 GB, and auditing. Microsoft also changed policies such as hourly billing for the new tiers. You can read the full details here.

These tiers, generally available now, are a mere part of a larger expanding portfolio that includes DocumentDB — a non-relational database service, Azure Search, Azure Machine Learning and more.

The database market, relational and non-relational, is a competitive place with rival offerings from companies like Amazon and Oracle. What are your experiences and preferences with SQL Databases, and what do you think of Microsoft’s service?