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New Microsoft Azure SQL Database Tiers Hit General Availability

After nearly four months in preview, the new service tiers for Microsoft's relational Database as a Service offering became live on Wednesday.

The new Microsoft Azure SQL Database tiers are Basic, Standard and Premium. The Basic tier, designed for lighter transactional workloads, has a database size limit of 2GB. Standard is designed for mid-level workloads and has a limit of 250GB. The highest tier, Premium, has a 500GB limit and is meant for mission-critical databases.

"These tiers address the needs of today's demanding cloud applications by providing predictable performance for your light- to heavy-weight transactional applications while also ensuring the performance of your apps are no longer affected by other customer workloads," said T.K. Ranga Rengarajan, corporate vice president of Data Platform, Cloud & Enterprise at Microsoft, in Wednesday's announcement.

With these new tiers in place, Microsoft will begin to phase out the older Business and Web tiers, which will be officially retired in September 2015.

All three tiers include 99.99 percent uptime SLAs, point-in-time restore capabilities for any point up to 35 days, and active and standard geo-replication. A new auditing feature, currently in preview, is also available.

Microsoft first announced the new service tiers in April. In late August, the company announced several changes it had made since then, including the introduction of a new S0 performance level for the Standard tier. It also announced that the new tiers will switch to hourly billing upon general availability.

In addition, Microsoft said in August that it is halving the pricing for the Standard and Premium tiers. The new pricing will not take effect until Nov. 1, however. This Microsoft information page details the current pricing for the different performance levels and tiers, and what the rates will be when the new pricing scheme kicks in.

About the Author

Gladys Rama is the senior site producer for Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com and MCPmag.com.