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SQL Azure OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

SQL Azure is #1 ranked solution in top Database as a Service vendors. PeerSpot users give SQL Azure an average rating of 8.4 out of 10. SQL Azure is most commonly compared to Google Cloud SQL: SQL Azure vs Google Cloud SQL. SQL Azure is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 61% of users researching this solution on PeerSpot. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 16% of all views.
SQL Azure Buyer's Guide

Download the SQL Azure Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: September 2022

What is SQL Azure?
Microsoft Azure SQL Database is a relational database-as-a-service that delivers predictable performance, scalability, business continuity, data protection, and near-zero administration to cloud developers and solution architects. This is the deep technical library for Azure SQL Database.
SQL Azure Customers
adnymics GmbH, LG CNS, Centrebet, netfabb GmbH, MedPlast, Accelera Solutions, Sochi Organizing Committee, realzeit GmbH
SQL Azure Video

SQL Azure Pricing Advice

What users are saying about SQL Azure pricing:
  • "The pricing is actually complicated, and that is probably one downside of it. In some respects, although we can plan for the costs on a month-by-month basis, we are finding it hard to project our costings for it. Fundamentally, Microsoft is offering two pricing models, and it is challenging to understand the differences between the two. We're basically on the DTU model at the moment. That may change in the future as the size grows, but it is one of those things that we'll end up monitoring as we progress. At the moment, to get a reasonable response, generally, the price is a little high for us, but it is one of those things for which we know that we can do improvements on our code. So, it is not just the service that's the problem; it is some of the things that we need to do as well."
  • "I have an annual spend number, and it is in the hundred thousand dollar range. There are no additional costs to the standard licensing fees. Even though you have to look at the cost numbers of what you're going to be charged on a monthly basis, what you have to also remember is that your application may need a lot of rewriting and things like that. You get charged not just for the monthly costs but also for the transactions that occur. If your access to the data layer is not so efficient, your costs will go up because you're pulling far more data than you potentially need. These are hidden costs that nobody ever considers. If your application is not written very efficiently, you may actually increase your costs over on-prem versus cloud."
  • "It is beneficial in terms of cost because you are charged per data unit instead of licensing."
  • "In terms of the cost, SQL Azure is a pay-per-use solution, particularly because it's a cloud subscription, so you pay as much as you use it."
  • SQL Azure Reviews

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    Project Manager at a educational organization with 11-50 employees
    Real User
    Scalability is the biggest benefit, and it has been available when we needed it
    Pros and Cons
    • "We have come from hosting on-premise for customers, or they've done it themselves with SQL. We've now taken a cloud offering for the equivalent services of standard database management and the inbuilt backup and restore offerings. The scalability is probably the biggest feature that we are benefiting from by being in the cloud."
    • "We haven't had any major issues that have prevented us from doing stuff fundamentally. For its implementation, sometimes, it is complicated to understand what your needs are. It would be good to have a few use cases that provide different cloud variations that match on-premise installations and show how they can be moved to the cloud a bit better."

    What is our primary use case?

    It is basically hosting the backend of our application that we write as a software development company. We're moving our educational timetabling software, which was historically an on-premise installation, to a cloud-based service offering for customers.

    It is pretty much version-less in the sense that we are using whatever is presented to us and available. We are purely using the cloud-based services from Azure hosted in the cloud, which obviously and technically is version-less to some degree. We are using SQL Azure, app services, Application Gateway, key vaults, and storage solutions within Azure. It is relatively simple but sufficient for our needs at the moment.

    We predominantly don't use the GUI interface. We are using Terraform as our infrastructure and code provider to manage and maintain all of the Azure components that we are using. They're offering all the integration and providing it through the APIs.

    What is most valuable?

    We have come from hosting on-premise for customers, or they've done it themselves with SQL. We've now taken a cloud offering for the equivalent services of standard database management and the inbuilt backup and restore offerings. The scalability is probably the biggest feature that we are benefiting from by being in the cloud.

    What needs improvement?

    We haven't had any major issues that have prevented us from doing stuff fundamentally. For its implementation, sometimes, it is complicated to understand what your needs are. It would be good to have a few use cases that provide different cloud variations that match on-premise installations and show how they can be moved to the cloud a bit better.

    Its pricing is complicated and can be improved. We need a better offering. Making it cheaper is always a good thing for us.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using this solution for two years.

    Buyer's Guide
    SQL Azure
    September 2022
    Learn what your peers think about SQL Azure. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: September 2022.
    633,184 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We haven't had any issues. It has been up and available and working when we needed it to. We haven't had any outages that we're aware of.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    There are not many users at the moment because we're still in pre-production. We're sort of in beta testing at the moment.

    It probably has 50 users currently. It is not a very large tool. We are planning to expand its usage as we build out our actual software ourselves, which we're still working on. We'll be making that available to customers, and we'll be offering that as a global opportunity for customers.

    How are customer service and support?

    I have not been in touch with their technical support.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We were just using Microsoft on-premise SQL, and we've migrated to Azure in the cloud. It basically is like for like, as far as we're concerned.

    How was the initial setup?

    It depends on which area you're coming from. If you're using the GUI, it's relatively simple. Understanding what your needs are sometimes is a bit more complicated. Understanding the availability of things like Elastic pools took us a little bit of time to get our heads around but, otherwise, it is pretty simple. They could provide some use cases for this.

    It is hard to provide the deployment duration because it wasn't just Azure on its own that we were having to deal with. We were taking our on-premise product and converting it. Preparing the infrastructure and doing it via the likes of Terraform took us probably about three months overall, but that was more about getting up to speed on the tools to do it, as opposed to individual components such as SQL.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    The pricing is actually complicated, and that is probably one downside of it. In some respects, although we can plan for the costs on a month-by-month basis, we are finding it hard to project our costings for it. 

    Fundamentally, Microsoft is offering two pricing models, and it is challenging to understand the differences between the two. We're basically on the DTU model at the moment. That may change in the future as the size grows, but it is one of those things that we'll end up monitoring as we progress. 

    At the moment, to get a reasonable response, generally, the price is a little high for us, but it is one of those things for which we know that we can do improvements on our code. So, it is not just the service that's the problem; it is some of the things that we need to do as well.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would recommend it depending upon the use case. If you need an on-premise service, then you would choose the on-premise SQL, and if you need a cloud-based one, then I'd suggest SQL on the cloud. The scalability of SQL in the cloud is far simpler than the scalability of SQL on-premise. This is one benefit that the cloud edition has over the on-premise version that people could consider.

    I would rate SQL Azure an eight out of 10.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Public Cloud

    If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

    Microsoft Azure
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    Samuel Lambrecht - PeerSpot reviewer
    Principal Industry Consultant at Intelligent Operations Solutions
    Consultant
    Top 20
    The response time was better than expected
    Pros and Cons
    • "The most valuable aspect of SQL Azure is the SQL language itself. It's open and everybody can use it at my company. Also, we thought in the beginning that the response time would be inadequate, but it's actually decent. It's much better than expected. Then again, I'm not a programmer, but that's what I hear from our development team."
    • "They should also simplify the security in Azure. We are using the cloud as a platform, so there is no physical infrastructure. We're using Azure components like databases and servers to create an application. Integrating those components in terms of permissions and security is challenging for us. Maybe there is a lack of knowledge on our side, but it's not straightforward."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use SQL Azure for what we call an inspection round. Inspection rounds are mainly used by an inspector in the field to check the compliance of the equipment, like if a given machine doesn't have enough instrumentation. 

    In any kind of plant, there is an inventory of assets. Most companies have an inspector who goes to the field to check the condition and record some indicators. The results of the inspection are recorded in our software. All the data from the inspection round is stored in our database in Azure. That is what we use the Azure database for.

    We created a custom PaaS. It's not a pre-built device in the cloud. Azure components like SQL Azure and a web server are combined to create this solution. Our SQL performs better in that space than a readymade device.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable aspect of SQL Azure is the SQL language itself. It's open and everybody can use it at my company. Also, we thought in the beginning that the response time would be inadequate, but it's actually decent. It's much better than expected. Then again, I'm not a programmer, but that's what I hear from our development team. 

    What needs improvement?

    There are some characteristics called "joins," like "inner join," "full join," "left join," "right join," etc. It's a little confusing for some coders. I think that could be simplified. 

    I'm in the analytic space, so I would introduce a higher level of coding using artificial intelligence. SQL is quite close to English. They could add a voice interface where you speak into it, and the machine writes the code for you. My weakness in coding requires something automated, so I can be more proactive. 

    They should also simplify the security in Azure. We are using the cloud as a platform, so there is no physical infrastructure. We're using Azure components like databases and servers to create an application. Integrating those components in terms of permissions and security is challenging for us. Maybe there is a lack of knowledge on our side, but it's not straightforward. 

    The data modeling is not good for me. There are better tools than SQL Azure when you need to create the abstract part of the database design. It's weak. It's not user-friendly, and the notation is specific to Microsoft. I believe we use a third-party tool for data modeling because it's easier to use. Communicating with that tool is easier than SQL Azure. The model is nicer.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using SQL Azure for about five or six years. We started using the solution for one of our clients, a mining company, more than five years ago. They were the first customers to use our solution.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We don't have any issues with stability. The primary issues in the cloud are privileges, security, and integration between applications. That is a total mess for us. When we need to get the application servers access to the Azure database. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    SQL Azure is scalable.

    How are customer service and support?

    I only contacted Azure support once, and it was decent. We asked some questions, and they replied. I cannot it say was great or awful. They met our expectations. 

    How was the initial setup?

    Setting up SQL Azure is easy. Even I can do it. 

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    We pay around $1,200 per year for one customer based on what they currently use. It's mainly processing and storage. SQL Azure is a bit more expensive than other solutions. There are free databases, but they don't have the scalability of the Azure cloud. It might not be affordable for some companies, but it's highly scalable.

    What other advice do I have?

    I rate SQL Azure eight out of 10. I would recommend it to others depending on their needs. It might be beyond the budget of some companies.

    Generally, what I like about Azure as a cloud is the analytics you can apply on top of that data. Azure provides a number of high-performing solutions for data science and analytics. The main issue is that you need to build the architecture to create a product that provides value for your customers.

    It's about imagination and creativity, and most of the tools are there. In my case, ease of use matters because I lack the knowledge to explore more, but our development team could do that easily. 

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Public Cloud
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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    PeerSpot user
    Buyer's Guide
    SQL Azure
    September 2022
    Learn what your peers think about SQL Azure. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: September 2022.
    633,184 professionals have used our research since 2012.
    PeerSpot user
    Senior Database Administrator at a government with 11-50 employees
    Real User
    Top 5
    A very stable and highly scalable solution that has cut down the size of our data center by 80%
    Pros and Cons
    • "Cost savings are the most valuable. The DR/high availability is also valuable. The failover group with the built-in DR/high availability features is probably one of the easiest things."
    • "Its automation can be improved. SQL Server Agent was a very big part of the on-prem tools. While moving from on-prem to the cloud, redoing some of such tools was very cumbersome in Azure. There was a whole new set of technologies and methodologies. It should have easier automation-type features to be able to implement such tools. It should have almost a SQL agent type of substance built into that."

    What is our primary use case?

    It is simply our relational database.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It has cut our costs. That's the big thing.

    What is most valuable?

    Cost savings are the most valuable. The DR/high availability is also valuable. The failover group with the built-in DR/high availability features is probably one of the easiest things.

    What needs improvement?

    Its automation can be improved. SQL Server Agent was a very big part of the on-prem tools. While moving from on-prem to the cloud, redoing some of such tools was very cumbersome in Azure. There was a whole new set of technologies and methodologies. It should have easier automation-type features to be able to implement such tools. It should have almost a SQL agent type of substance built into that.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using this solution for five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It is very stable. It has been in our production environment for three and a half years, and we have had only one significant outage.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Its scalability is pretty high. Its ability to scale is very good. We're actually in the process of migrating on-prem to Azure, and its scalability is very easy.

    In terms of the number of users, there are probably a hundred technical people who are leveraging the technologies. They are developers, administrators, and the BI group.

    How was the initial setup?

    The setup was pretty straightforward. The networking aspect was non-intuitive, and it was probably the biggest stumbling block when we initially set it up.

    What about the implementation team?

    We have our DevOps processes that we follow in our deployment, so we establish those initially, and there was a significant amount of testing done prior to putting it into production. On a scale of one to five, it was probably a three in terms of time and effort to get it all implemented.

    For its maintenance, there are probably five or six of us, but one person can also maintain it if required. 

    What was our ROI?

    I don't have specific numbers, but we were able to cut down the size of our data center by 80%.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    I have an annual spend number, and it is in the hundred thousand dollar range. There are no additional costs to the standard licensing fees.

    Even though you have to look at the cost numbers of what you're going to be charged on a monthly basis, what you have to also remember is that your application may need a lot of rewriting and things like that. You get charged not just for the monthly costs but also for the transactions that occur. If your access to the data layer is not so efficient, your costs will go up because you're pulling far more data than you potentially need. These are hidden costs that nobody ever considers. If your application is not written very efficiently, you may actually increase your costs over on-prem versus cloud.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We are a Microsoft shop. The biggest thing that we probably looked at was AWS. We also looked at some of the Oracle cloud solutions, but we went with Azure only because it just integrates with all of our stuff, and it cuts our costs.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would rate SQL Azure an eight out of ten.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Public Cloud
    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
    PeerSpot user
    Cloud Solution Engineer at a financial services firm with 5,001-10,000 employees
    Real User
    Top 5
    Cost-effective, very scalable and reliable, and lets you easily migrate your on-premise SQL instance
    Pros and Cons
    • "Its cost benefit is most valuable because you are charged per data unit instead of licensing. You can easily migrate your on-premise SQL to the cloud with a managed instance. That's what it is designed to do. It is easy to take your on-premise or older SQL instance and move it to the cloud. It makes it easy to get off your on-premise SQL and start utilizing the cost benefit of the cloud."
    • "I'm not really a SQL DBA, so I can't go into the depths of the areas that need to be improved. They can maybe make it a bit easier to educate people on how to develop SQL Server in Azure. They can provide some free seminars and webinars and more training in general for easier migration. I know there is some stuff on Microsoft learning, but it would be helpful and useful to have more up-to-date content."

    What is our primary use case?

    We're slowly progressing through the delivery of our production system or landing zone in the cloud. Nothing is in production yet.

    What is most valuable?

    Its cost benefit is most valuable because you are charged per data unit instead of licensing. You can easily migrate your on-premise SQL to the cloud with a managed instance. That's what it is designed to do. It is easy to take your on-premise or older SQL instance and move it to the cloud. It makes it easy to get off your on-premise SQL and start utilizing the cost benefit of the cloud.

    What needs improvement?

    I'm not really a SQL DBA, so I can't go into the depths of the areas that need to be improved. They can maybe make it a bit easier to educate people on how to develop SQL Server in Azure. They can provide some free seminars and webinars and more training in general for easier migration. I know there is some stuff on Microsoft learning, but it would be helpful and useful to have more up-to-date content.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We've been dabbling with it for the last couple of years. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Based on our experience, it is very stable and very reliable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It has got Microsoft's backbone on it. It is very scalable. At this stage, we don't have many users because we're still busy migrating over to Azure cloud. In the next year, we'll probably have close to a million customers because that's what we've got on our books.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I have interacted with them. They are very good for out-of-the-book solutions, but when we get to integrations with non-Microsoft applications, it can be a little bit more tricky. You also have to involve the vendor of that specific product to deal with problems related to integration, but, in general, Microsoft's support is pretty good. I've never found it to be poor in any way.

    What about the implementation team?

    For the number of customers we have, we probably only need three or four people, which is not a lot. If you look at it that way, it is actually quite cost-effective.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    It is beneficial in terms of cost because you are charged per data unit instead of licensing.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would absolutely recommend this solution to others. If they are going for Azure, they probably don't have a choice. I would advise others to get used to all the options and ideas of SQL PaaS, SQL managed instances, and SQL on VMs. They should get their head around which one is best for their company. They should make sure that it fits their company's vision of where they want to go with their databases because it may or may not be the best solution for everybody. That's why there are a couple of options, so just make sure to select the right one.

    I would rate SQL Azure an eight out of ten. It is best in many ways. There is nothing better than this from Microsoft from the database aspect.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Public Cloud

    If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

    Microsoft Azure
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    Ariful Mondal - PeerSpot reviewer
    Consulting Practice Partner - Data, Analytics & AI at FH
    Real User
    ExpertModerator
    Offers ease of use, easy integration, and good technical support; its pay-per-use model makes cost control easier
    Pros and Cons
    • "What I like about SQL Azure is that it's similar to your on-premises SQL databases. It's not much different, so it's easy to start quickly on the solution if you know Microsoft SQL. I find its ease of use most valuable, and I also like that SQL Azure is also easily integrated with the Azure Cloud platform."
    • "What would make SQL Azure better is users having the capability of managing the database solution from the cloud, instead of having to do it from an actual machine because currently, database management via SQL Azure is done on a virtual machine or a PC. The solution should have the data functionality of managing SQL databases inside the cloud."

    What is our primary use case?

    I'm using SQL Azure mostly for database purposes, including data modeling, data architecture for business applications, and also for Data Lake.

    What is most valuable?

    What I like about SQL Azure is that it's similar to your on-premises SQL databases. It's not much different, so it's easy to start quickly on the solution if you know Microsoft SQL. I find its ease of use most valuable, and I also like that SQL Azure is also easily integrated with the Azure Cloud platform.

    What needs improvement?

    What would make SQL Azure better is users having the capability of managing the database solution from the cloud, instead of having to do it from an actual machine because currently, database management via SQL Azure is done on a virtual machine or a PC. The solution should have the data functionality of managing SQL databases inside the cloud.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using SQL Azure for almost six years now.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    SQL Azure is a stable solution.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    SQL Azure is a scalable solution.

    How are customer service and support?

    The technical support for SQL Azure is pretty good because it's from Microsoft. Based on the subscription you have, support would be included, and if you have a premium subscription with Microsoft, you can get all the support you need.

    How was the initial setup?

    SQL Azure is easy to set up because it's already part of your cloud infrastructure. You don't need to do any installation.

    What was our ROI?

    Your return on investment from SQL Azure would depend on your business applications. The solution will give you more scalability, and more functionality, and would reduce costs from on-premises to cloud databases, so there are a lot of cost reductions. As SQL Azure is pay-per-use, you can control your cost, so in terms of the return on investment, it's more centrally managed in the cloud, which means you don't need so many data warehouses to be managed separately in the infrastructure. You can reduce your infrastructure costs through SQL Azure as Microsoft has taken care of the infrastructure costs.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    In terms of the cost, SQL Azure is a pay-per-use solution, particularly because it's a cloud subscription, so you pay as much as you use it, but I cannot give a number because I don't manage the cost or the price for this solution.

    What other advice do I have?

    My company is using the cloud version of SQL Azure, so it's always the latest version.

    There are thousands of people using the solution for business applications. My client is a big company with at least one thousand users of SQL Azure.

    In terms of maintaining the solution, it's already managed as a Microsoft-managed product, so in that sense, you don't need people to maintain SQL Azure, but for the application database, you need one person for maintenance.

    My advice to others looking into implementing the product is that if you are building a solution on Microsoft Cloud, you should choose SQL Azure for your data warehouse, database for your application, and your enterprise Data Lake needs.

    My rating for SQL Azure is nine out of ten.

    My company is a service company, so it's a partner, a customer, and a reseller.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Public Cloud
    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
    Flag as inappropriate
    PeerSpot user
    Solution Principal at a computer software company with 5,001-10,000 employees
    Real User
    Top 10
    A very mature product with good documentation and good stability
    Pros and Cons
    • "The solution is a fairly mature product. It provides good stability."
    • "From a security perspective, although their features are decent, they can always be improved upon, updated, and refined to help protect clients better."

    What is our primary use case?

    We primarily use the solution for its Data Lake and Data Warehouse, in both cases for our customers.

    What is most valuable?

    The solution is easily integrated into other SQL solutions. It's flexible in that sense.

    The solution is a fairly mature product. It provides good stability.

    The initial setup isn't too difficult.

    There is very good documentation. It's unbelievable, the amount of documentation on offer through Microsoft's site.

    The security features are quite good.

    What needs improvement?

    In terms of management, you can't really pause things. It doesn't allow for that kind of capability.

    From a security perspective, although their features are decent, they can always be improved upon, updated, and refined to help protect clients better.

    I would love it if that had dynamic data masking and features of that nature.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using the solution for two years at least at this point.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability of the solution is pretty good. It's a mature product, so you don't get bugs or glitches, and they update it regularly. It doesn't crash. It's reliable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The solution can scale well. That's not a problem at all. If a company needs to scale, they can do so easily.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Microsoft's technical support is great. We're satisfied with their service. They have a pretty extensive online database and an online community that is quite helpful. It's all very helpful.

    If you need to reach them in person, you need to have a licensing agreement in place. If you purchase that, you can get more personalized assistance.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We previously used SQL on-premises servers. It's very easy to migrate over to the cloud if you have that setup. It's basically one-to-one.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup isn't complex. It's pretty straightforward. However, it does take a long time to provision and manage everything. It can take a couple of hours typically to deploy the solution.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    You do have to pay for technical support. If you have it in your licensing agreement, you will gain access to a team you can call if you run into issues.

    I'm not sure of the exact licensing costs. From a cloud perspective, a client would be charged based on consumption, so the pricing would depend on elements such as how many users or how many queries (and how complex), et cetera. 

    I do know that it's competitive pricing, however. Most solutions of this caliber are around the same price. They compete with each other.

    What other advice do I have?

    We're Microsoft partners.

    The solution is constantly being updated. We're on whatever the latest version/update is at any given time.

    We're a consultancy, so we work with a variety of clients and adjust solutions based on their needs.

    I'd advise new users to take advantage of the documentation on offer from Microsoft. It will really help them understand the solution.

    Overall, I'd rate the solution nine out of ten.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Public Cloud

    If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

    Microsoft Azure
    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
    PeerSpot user
    Senior Information Technology Manager at a aerospace/defense firm with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Top 10
    Easy to provision, scale up, and scale down
    Pros and Cons
    • "We primarily and generally use it only for DB purposes. When it comes to the Azure part, we can easily provision, scale up, and scale down the generator machine. This kind of flexibility is the USP of SQL Azure. Its interface and ease of use are also valuable. It is very easy to use and integrate with multiple databases. If I need to pull in or import some data from my on-premises database, the ease with which you can connect and pull the data, not only from SQL Server but also from other flavors of MySQL or even Oracle, is very good."
    • "The way it has been designed, in the on-premises deployments, the underlying Windows OS is highly scalable but has a very large resource requirement. A lot of power-related and memory-related things are there, which I have not seen in the RHEL and Oracle. I have not tried SQL on RHEL EXEC. On Windows, infrastructure-wise, a very large workload is running on the SQL. This issue is related to Windows, not SQL."

    What is our primary use case?

    We are using it for an application in two different models, the PaaS model and the SaaS model. One is the product, so we are using it as a SaaS model. We are using the other one simply as a PaaS model.

    For its deployment, we are sort of using the highest model in which one instance has only VM and the SQL installer on it. Another instance is simply using SQL Azure.

    What is most valuable?

    We primarily and generally use it only for DB purposes. When it comes to the Azure part, we can easily provision, scale up, and scale down the generator machine. This kind of flexibility is the USP of SQL Azure.

    Its interface and ease of use are also valuable. It is very easy to use and integrate with multiple databases. If I need to pull in or import some data from my on-premises database, the ease with which you can connect and pull the data, not only from SQL Server but also from other flavors of MySQL or even Oracle, is very good. 

    What needs improvement?

    The way it has been designed, in the on-premises deployments, the underlying Windows OS is highly scalable but has a very large resource requirement. A lot of power-related and memory-related things are there, which I have not seen in the RHEL and Oracle. I have not tried SQL on RHEL EXEC. On Windows, infrastructure-wise, a very large workload is running on the SQL. This issue is related to Windows, not SQL.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using SQL Azure for two years. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    As of now, we have less production workload on Azure, but whatever is there, it is pretty stable. So, from a very large workload perspective, I can't comment, but till now, I have not found any issue. I will consider it quite stable as of now.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It is highly scalable.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    My team initiates the service request. We have unified support from Microsoft. The service request is through the service hub. This is, in fact, a very good change from the point of view of the overall approach towards support. We can open multiple or unlimited numbers of service requests on the service hub, and their response is also quite good.

    How was the initial setup?

    We started with just a simple client-server kind of application. Right now, we are basically in the full-phased data lake solution of Azure. So, it is in the design and architecture stages. When it is finalized, then we will implement a full-blown solution on Azure.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would, of course, highly recommend this solution. You cannot avoid SQL Server or SQL Azure if you are primarily working in the database domain. There are a lot of other databases available in the market, but the ease with which you can do the development and the overall support that you get cannot be compared with any other database. 

    I would rate SQL Azure a nine out of ten.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Public Cloud

    If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

    Microsoft Azure
    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
    PeerSpot user
    Nhan-Nguyen - PeerSpot reviewer
    Development Manager at Incepta
    Real User
    Top 10
    Very reliable, versatile, simple to use and reasonably priced
    Pros and Cons
    • "The solution has become easier to use over time and it's also reasonably priced."
    • "Some issues with scalability."

    What is our primary use case?

    As consultants, we deploy this solution to our customers both on cloud and on-prem. Most of our clients buy the solution as an application package which requires a database. If they are a "Microsoft shop," I recommend they use SQL Server. I'm the development manager and we are customers of Azure.

    What is most valuable?

    I like the reliability of SQL Server and the solution has become easier to use over time, and I believe it will become more popular in the future. It's also reasonably priced. As a competitor, Oracle may have 10% of the features that SQL Server cannot offer but those features are for high-end database and high-end applications. Most clients don't need those extras and shouldn't have to pay for high-end features like the redundancy.

    SQL has become more versatile because of features they continue to add. Every new version has new features and it pretty much covers everything in terms of memory, database, the caching, the redundancy, and high availability. I would say MS SQL server fully meets the requirement of 95% of my clients out there.

    What needs improvement?

    If you use the solution in the Microsoft environment, it's fine. But if you're using Java then it seems to be out of place. AWS has a new product called Aurora, it's a new database that can deal with both types of workloads: transactional and analytical. That's a big challenge for all the other databases including SQL, because most of the databases out there are designed for either type of workload but the Amazon AWS Aurora does both. With SQL, if they do the BI normally, you then have to replicate the production database to another database which is no longer necessary with Aurora. It's something SQL could include. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using this solution for several years. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    This is a stable solution. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    I think they still have issues with scalability. For applications requiring scalability, I'd recommend using the database on the cloud and not on-premises. We have up to 200 users for this solution, mainly office workers and generally working in small to medium sized companies. 

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Microsoft doesn't provide technical support, the support structure is not good. If you need something, you have to call them and the cost is $499 per incident ticket which is very expensive. The good thing about the SQL Server is that there is a lot of information out there in the community.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    I also used Oracle and I think it's a good solution for companies that already use Oracle. It makes sense for them to go with that solution as the database for their application. For a company that has no attachment, I recommend SQL.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was quite straightforward.

    What other advice do I have?

    If our clients are non-Microsoft clients and they have the money, then I recommend Oracle. But for ease of use, scalability, and value for money, I like SQL.

    I would rate this solution an eight out of 10. 

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
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    Updated: September 2022
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    Buyer's Guide
    Download our free SQL Azure Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.