imageMicrosoft is excited to announce a limited public preview of a new Windows Azure SQL Database business-class offer, Premium, which delivers reserved capacity for more powerful and predictable performance.

Windows Azure SQL Database, via the new Premium service, will help deliver greater performance for cloud applications by dedicating a fixed amount of reserved capacity for a database including its built-in secondary replicas.
Requesting an invitation to the reserved capacity preview requires two steps:

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

Initially, customers are limited to one Premium database per logical server. Because this is a limited public preview, you may wait up to five business days for access to a Premium database with dedicated reserved capacity. Longer wait times might indicate high demand and full capacity. Please check your server dashboard for status updates.

Premium databases are billed daily based on the reservation size, at 50 percent of the general availability price for the duration of the preview (see table below). The storage volume of the Premium database is billed separately at $0.0950 per gigabyte per month (prorated daily).
Initially, you can choose from two sizes: P1 and P2. P1 offers better performance predictability than the SQL Database Web and Business editions, and P2 offers twice the performance of P1 and is suitable for applications with greater peaks and sustained workload demands.

Initially, you can choose from two sizes: P1 and P2. P1 offers better performance predictability than the SQL Database Web and Business editions, and P2 offers twice the performance of P1 and is suitable for applications with greater peaks and sustained workload demands.

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* The general availability date has not yet been announced.

Visit the Windows Azure Management Portal to request access to the preview experience. For more details on the preview acceptance process, please visit the Premium Preview Customer Experience page. For more information on Windows Azure SQL Database, visit the Data Management page. For more information on pricing, visit the SQL Database Pricing Details page.