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SQL Azure Gets Tune-Up

There were a few database-related goodies in Microsoft's announcement today about multiple Windows Azure updates, including a new Metro-like UI for the management portal, SQL Azure Federation, increased database size and lower cost-per-gigabyte for the biggest databases.

The Metro-style UI for the SQL Azure Management Portal includes new features such as "new workspaces with the ability to more easily monitor databases, drill-down into schemas, query plans, spatial data, indexes/keys, and query performance statistics," said an announcement in a Windows Azure blog post by Bob Kelly. The post explained that the updates were part of the new "SQL Azure Q4 2011 Service Release," the details of which were posted on another page, by Gregory Leake.

The size of the largest allowable increases to 150GB from 50GB, Leake said, while a new price cap will decrease the cost-per-gigabyte by 67 percent for the biggest databases. The cap is $499.95 per month.

SQL Azure Federation means "databases can be elastically scaled out using sharding based on database size and application workload," the post said. Federation will be supported in the new portal.

Other improvements include an updated CTP for the DAC Import/Export Service, which reportedly fixes several issues and allows easy import and export of databases between SQL Azure and BLOB storage.

Also, user-controlled collations are now supported, which means users can choose which type of collation to use when creating databases.

Microsoft said to stay tuned for more posts explaining SQL Azure Federation and the new management portal in more detail.

Posted by David Ramel on 12/12/2011 at 1:15 PM


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