Azure Cosmos DB – for startups too

Michal Toiba

Developer manager collaborates with developer in work space.
Developer manager collaborates with developer in work space.


Azure Cosmos DB is a fully-managed, distributed database known for its automatic and instant scalability, guaranteed business continuity with SLA-backed availability, and security for applications of any size or scale. While these are enterprise-level capabilities – ensuring that the most business-critical apps have the guaranteed performance and uptime they need – they are not reserved only for enterprises. Startups too are tapping into Azure Cosmos DB capabilities to help them grow and innovate while keeping costs low.  

That’s the topic of a new white paper by Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), which looks at how growing businesses are using Azure Cosmos DB to scale and drive business outcomes. In “Accelerating Cost-effective Start-up Growth: How Digital-native Startups Leverage Enterprise-grade Capabilities of Azure Cosmos DB to Scale Up,” ESG interviews three Microsoft Azure customers, Rx.Health, The Postage, and Zero Friction, on what their considerations were when choosing to work with Azure Cosmos DB to prepare for long-term success.  

Among the considerations, ESG found that: 

  • Growing businesses rely on consumption-based pricing: Cost-conscious organizations consider consumption-based pricing models as a key requirement for their growth. Offers like the Azure Cosmos DB free tier, serverless and autoscale pricing options, and reserved capacity allow startups to save on database operations while scaling as required to meet demand. Rx.Health for example, used Azure Cosmos DB autoscale to scale and cost-manage a 23x increase in database interactions in the past year. Startups are also using serverless to run low-traffic, bursty workloads at a minimal cost. With a serverless model, organizations pay only for consumed resources, with no minimum. 
  • Enterprise-grade technology is key for building trust with customers: Startups discussed the importance of using the same technology as large enterprises to gain credibility with customers and partners, especially those who also trust Microsoft and Azure for their cloud infrastructure. Capabilities such as cost-effective scale, security, global services, guaranteed performance, and availability are putting startups on equal footing with enterprises in terms of cloud capabilities. According to ESG research shows, 68% of large organizations would consider purchasing technology from a startup vendor over the next 12-18 months; in this context, working on Azure and leveraging Azure Cosmos DB enterprise-level features may create a competitive edge for startups. 

ESG graph showing that startups are still favored in uncertain times

  • Azure Cosmos DB built-in security features are used to effectively prevent database breaches: With ensuring data security and privacy a critical need of many, if not most, organizations today, Azure Cosmos DB offers easy to configure features to meet security standards, including network security, data encryption, and data redundancy.
  • Companies can achieve faster time to market with simplified app development: With support for familiar database engines such as open source PostgreSQL, MongoDB, Apache Cassandra, and more, Azure Cosmos DB enables developers to build new apps quickly and easily, and take advantage of all the features and SLAs of a fully-managed, serverless distributed database. Zero Friction, for example, found Azure Cosmos DB fast to set up and easy to use, reducing the time to market for their initial prototype and ongoing management. Zero Friction also found it simple to set up new infrastructure and add new geographies.

Startups and growing businesses can utilize Azure Cosmos DB to achieve guaranteed performance, pivot fast, and scale while keeping costs in check. This makes Azure Cosmos DB a great choice for applications of any size and scale today. 

To get more insights on how startups are using Azure Cosmos DB to grow, access the ESG white paper. 

To learn more about Azure Cosmos DB visit our website or check out our documentation. If you’re ready to start building, try Azure Cosmos DB for free. 


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