Announcing New Lower Price Tier for Cloud Native Applications on Azure SQL

Asad Khan

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Today we are announcing a new pricing tier for Azure SQL Database targeted at developers building cloud native applications. It is based on Azure SQL Database Hyperscale tier, which offers awesome cloud scalability with one of the lowest TCO in the industry. Azure SQL Database Hyperscale delivers outstanding performance and scalability through adaptive, cloud native resource management, optimized for the workload patterns of each database application. Hyperscale storage scales automatically, providing consistent performance at all scales. Azure SQL Database Hyperscale provides the best database capabilities to build cloud native applications, including abilities to create APIs for your database using Data API builder, calling external endpoints, integrating with Azure functions, and more.

Market Leading Database Capabilities

Azure SQL Database Hyperscale brings three decades of SQL innovation to developers, along with the cloud scale and the latest AI capabilities. Some salient features that differentiate SQL Hyperscale database layer from the competition include:

  • Storage snapshot capability in Hyperscale provides fast backup and restore, that meets the aggressive requirements of cloud native workloads. Support for 30 Named Replicas allowing different compute sizes than the primary for each replica is not offered in any other cloud database service. This is a huge advantage for highly transactional and read-scalable workloads both in terms of performance as well as cost.
  • Named replicas in conjunction with the support for three types of secondary replicas i.e. Read Scale-Out, HA and Geo Replication make Hyperscale even more unique and differentiated.
  • Rapid & predictable scale up/down capability – Uniquely helps developers meet aggressive operations and sustain SLA requirements for highly scalable very large database (VLDB) systems.
  • Independent of database size, the Premium & Memory Optimized SKUs of Hyperscale uniquely positions it to better handle higher throughput & lower latency (using RBPEX caching) transactional workloads i.e., Hyperscale database can handle 300K+ IOPS with 128 vCores.
  • Growing trend of ISVs wanting to leverage SQL Database Hyperscale elastic pool capability that allows them to package many databases into an elastic pool, enabling them to optimize price-performance and database operations.


Image eOnLogo “The wonderful thing about scaling on Hyperscale is that it’s easy. I don’t have to care about scaling up, it just handles it, and so I can focus on important data.”

Enrico Lapel: Data & Analytics manager

E.ON Italy

Beyond RDBMS

Modern application development has several challenges. From selecting a “stack” of front-end through data storage and processing from several competing standards, through ensuring the highest levels of security and performance, developers are required to ensure the application scales and performs well and is supportable on multiple platforms. Using Azure SQL Database Hyperscale together with your favorite combination of .NET, Python and Node, all running in a Kubernetes cluster, it is easy to create a highly scalable solution with the Microsoft Azure platform. Using Kubernetes means developers have the flexibility of using local environments for a seamless and consistent deployment of your application. Azure SQL Database Hyperscale provides a scalable, highly resilient, and secure environment for data storage and processing.

With data API builder, database objects can be securely exposed via REST or GraphQL endpoints so that your data can be accessed using modern techniques on any platform, any language, any device. With an integrated and flexible policy engine, granular security is assured; integrated with Azure SQL it gives developers an efficiency boost like never seen before.

RAG (Retrieval Augmentation Generation) is a technique that enhances the LLM’s ability to produce relevant and informative responses by retrieving additional data from external sources. SQL Database Hyperscale integration with Azure Cognitive Search allows developers to create an Azure OpenAI Service model. Applications built on SQL can ask questions about their data using the trained Azure OpenAI Service model. It also provides the database platform for building AI ready applications through close integration with Open AI , Azure Open AI, and Azure AI Search services. Building cloud native database applications has never been easier.


Azure SQL Performance and Reliability at Open-source Prices

Azure SQL will continue to provide database tiers that offer the best TCO for customers migrating and modernizing. In addition to the existing SQL tiers, today we are announcing a new pricing tier for Azure SQL Database Hyperscale. We are reducing the price of compute by up to 35%. Now, with Azure SQL Database Hyperscale, anyone can avail the same rich functionality of Azure SQL, at much lower compute price, giving customers the best of both worlds – highest grade database capabilities of Azure SQL at a cost commonly associated with open-source databases, enabling customers to do more with less. Azure SQL Database Hyperscale comes with high performance, auto-scalable and multi-cache database storage, at a very competitive price. Customers have indicated to us that they love the predictable pricing model of Azure SQL Database. Azure SQL Database does not charge for database IO in any tier, including Azure SQL Database Hyperscale. You only pay for your database vCores and the storage usage, making it easy to predict your database spend up front. This accompanying blog post has more details on the new pricing.

For workloads with intermittent, unpredictable or bursty usage patterns, Azure SQL Database Hyperscale also supports serverless capability that automatically scales compute based on workload demand and bills for usage. For building multi-tenant SaaS applications, Azure SQL Database Hyperscale enables the elastic pools capability.

In summary, whether you are building a database application with 10 GB of data or 100 TB of data, for one user or millions of users, Azure SQL Database Hyperscale provides the database with industry’s best price-performance, scalability, security, and extensibility.


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  • Antony P 3

    Seems Microsoft is only targeting large enterprises for cloud SQL. Small clients cannot afford those costs. Azure SQL database pricing (incl Sql Managed service) are far too expensive compared to competitors. A big chunk of the market is left out because of the high prices. We were considering using SQL Server for our OLAP solution but costs are extremely high. Lots of stable and much more affordable options that are cheaper out there. Hope MS changes their strategy in the future to include SME and not just large enterprises
    The above reduced prices target larger enterprises. Those reductions should have been done on General Purpose as well not just HyperScale. Azure SQL is the most expensive option out there. Open-source Prices subtitle in the article is not reflecting reality. Open source prices are much more cheaper. Check SkySql for example. Prices are much more reduced than the open source prices you are advertising

    • Arvind ShyamsundarMicrosoft employee 0

      Thanks for sharing your perspective. Firstly, our Azure SQL Database free offer is a great starting point for smaller workloads.

      Do review the actual pricing for Azure SQL Database General Purpose and Azure SQL Database Hyperscale service tiers at the pricing page – I’m sure you will be pleasantly surprised!

      Azure SQL Database also provides reservations, serverless compute and elastic pools to help you optimize price-performance in various scenarios.

      We are confident that Azure SQL Database Hyperscale provides the best performance and scalability at a very competitive price. If you have specific questions about Hyperscale, feel free to contact us via. email us at sqlhsfeedback AT microsoft DOT com.

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