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Premium Preview for SQL Database Now Available

Microsoft on Tuesday announced the availability of a Premium preview for Windows Azure SQL Database with beefed-up features for cloud-based business-class applications.

Those features include reserved capacity for each database for better and more predictable performance. The Premium service "will help deliver greater performance for cloud applications by reserving a fixed amount of capacity for a database including its built-in secondary replicas," Microsoft said.

An e-mail alert said that current SQL Database customers--excluding free trials--can sign up to receive an invitation to the limited preview.

A SQL Server Blog on TechNet noted that the preview--first announced earlier this month at the Worldwide Partner Conference in Houston--is ideal for:
  • Apps that require a lot of resources such as CPU cycles, memory or input/output operations. An example is a database operation that consumes many CPU cores for a long time.
  • Apps that require more than the limit of 180 concurrent connections provided in the Web and Business editions.
  • Apps that require a guaranteed fast response, such as a stored procedure that needs to return quickly.
To satisfy these demanding apps, Microsoft is initially offering two levels of reservation size, called P1 and P2. The former offers one CPU core and 8GB of RAM at a preview price of $15 per day and an eventual general availability price of $30 per day (in addition to storage). The P2 service doubles all those numbers. Full pricing is available here.

There's already lots of detailed information about the Premium preview. Our sister site Redmond Channel Partner covered the announcement, and Microsoft has an extensive guidance page with all the nitty-gritty details you could ask for. Scott Guthrie also provides some information on the release, in addition to discussing new support for performing "recurring, fully automated, exports of a SQL Database to a Storage account."

Microsoft said it "will continue to add business-class functionality to Premium databases over time, to further support higher end application requirements."

What do you think of the Premium service? Comment here or drop me a line.

Posted by David Ramel on 07/25/2013 at 1:15 PM

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