Pricing for the New Large SQL Azure Databases Explained

SQL Azure updated the pricing model in Feb 2012. With the recent update, this article no longer applies. Please refer to my new post for updated information;

Announcement at TechEd 2010

With TechEd 2010 in New Orleans this week, we announced the pricing structure for the large SQL Azure databases. The informational is available online here.

There are a few key improvements to point out;

- Larger Database Sizes for SQL Azure: SQL Azure today offers 2 editions with a ceiling of 1GB for web edition and 10GB for business edition. With our next service release, ceiling sizes for both web and business editions will increase 5x.

- Web edition will supports a 5GB ceiling. With the added billing increment, web edition databases will be billed at the 1GB rate for databases below 1GB of total data or at 5GB rate for databases between 1GB and 5GB size.

- Business edition will support a 50GB ceiling and will be billed at 10GB increments (10GB, 20, 30, 40 and 50GB).

- Usage Based Billing: Even though both editions can now support larger ceiling sizes (web up to 5GB and business up to 50GB), you will be billed based on the peak db size in a day rolled up to the next billing increment.

- Web edition will support 1GB and 5GB as billing increments.

- Business edition will support 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50GB as billing increment.

Lets look at a few examples; Assume we have a a web edition database that has a MAXSIZE=5GB. If the database size is 800MB, the daily charge for the database will be at the 1GB rate for web edition. if the next day, the database size grows to 3GBs, the daily charge will be based on the next billing increment for web edition which is 5GB for that day. If the next day, after some data deletion, the size drops back to 900MB, the daily charge will be based on 1GB back again.

The same example applies to a business edition edition database. Assume we have a business edition database with MAXSIZE=50GB. If the total database size is 8GB, the daily charge for the database will be at the 10GB rate. If the next day, the database size grows to 25GB, the daily charge will be based on the next billing increment for the business edition which is 30GB and so on.

- Cost Predictability Enhancements: Even though both editions can grow to larger ceiling sizes (such as 50GB), you can cap the data size per database and control your bill at the billing increments. MAXSIZE option for CREATE/ALTER DATABASE will help set the cap on the size of the database. If the size of your database reaches to the cap set by MAXSIZE, you will receive an error code 40544. You will only be billed for the MAXSIZE amount for the day. When database reaches the MAXSIZE limit, you cannot insert or update data, or create new objects, such as tables, stored procedures, views, and functions. However, you can still read and delete data, truncate tables, drop tables and indexes, and rebuild indexes.


With the new database size options, SQL Azure CREATE and ALTER DATABASE statements will have the following options;

(<edition_options> [,..n])
 MOFIDY NAME new_dbname |
 MODIFY (<edition_options> [,..n])
<edition_options> ::=

{[MAXSIZE = maxsize GB] | [EDITION = ‘edition_name’]}