Recently at the Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC), Satya Nadella announced a new Premium service for Windows Azure SQL Database that delivers more predictable performance for business-critical applications. This limited preview has now been expanded. SQL Database customers with account administrator rights can immediately request an invitation to this preview by visiting the Windows Azure Preview page.

 

Overview

The Premium preview for Windows Azure SQL Database will help deliver more powerful and predictable performance for cloud applications by dedicating a fixed amount of reserved capacity for a database including its built-in secondary replicas. This capability will help customers raise the bar on the types of modern business applications they bring to the cloud. Reserved capacity is ideal for cloud-based applications with the following requirements:

  • High Peak Load
  • Many Concurrent Requests
  • Predictable Latency

Pricing

Initially, there are two reservation sizes: P1 and P2. P1 offers better performance predictability than SQL Database Web and Business editions, and P2 offers roughly twice the performance of P1 and is suitable for applications with greater peaks and sustained workload demands. Premium databases are billed based on the reservation size and storage volume of the database. During preview, Premium databases are billed at 50 percent of the general availability price (see table below).

Premium Database

Premium DB size

Preview price

GA price

P1

(1 core, 8GB RAM)

$15/day

  (~$465/month)

$30/day

(~930/month)

P2

(2 cores, 16GB RAM)

$30/day

  (~$930/month)

$60/day

(~1860/month)

Storage

$0.095 per GB per month (prorated daily)  

Signup

Signing up for the Premium preview requires two steps:

  1. Visit the Preview Features page to request access to the Premium preview program. Initial acceptance requires customers have active, paid Windows Azure subscriptions and account administrator responsibility.
  2. Once the subscription has been activated for the preview program, customers need to request a Premium database quota from either the server dashboard or server quickstart in the SQL Databases extension of the Windows Azure Management Portal.

For a closer look at how to sign up for the Premium preview, refer to the short tutorial page: Sign up for Premium preview for Windows Azure SQL Database.