Microsoft Reduces Pricing for SQL Azure, Offers New 100MB Database Option

Microsoft announced a reduction in pricing for its SQL Azure cloud database services, also introducing a new 100MB database option.

Microsoft announced a reduction in pricing for its SQL Azure cloud database service.

In a Feb. 14 post on the Windows Azure team blog, Steven Martin, general manager of Windows Azure business planning, said that to meet evolving customer needs €œacross both ends of the database size spectrum,€ Microsoft has lowered the price of SQL Azure and introduced a 100MB database option.

Customers will realize 48 percent to 75 percent savings for databases larger than 1GB, Martin said. €œToday€™s announcement is another step in our ongoing journey to help customers with a variety of scenarios embrace cloud computing,€ he said. Martin noted that Microsoft has seen two primary usage patterns emerge in the last 18 months€”projects that start small and then need to quickly scale, and other users who have a smaller workload and want an inexpensive option.

€œJust as we made a 150GB option available for customers with large database needs, we are providing the same level of choice at the other end of the spectrum with the 100MB option for smaller database needs,€ Martin said, adding that for customers that want to scale: €œAs your database grows, the price per GB will decline significantly.€

The new 100MB database option enables customers to get started using SQL Azure at half of the previous price, while still providing the full range of features, including high availability, fault tolerance, self-management, elastic scale-out, on-premises connectivity and full service level agreement. Full details on the new pricing can be found here.

The chart below provides a side-by-side comparison of the cost savings as cloud deployments grow and database sizes increase.


Previous Pricing

New Pricing

New Price/GB

Total % Decrease






















$499.95 *









*Previous prices 50GB and larger reflect price cap of $499.95 announced December 12, 2011.

Microsoft€™s SQL Azure price reduction follows Amazon Web Services€™ (AWS) announcement of a reduction in price for its Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), effective Feb. 1.

In a Feb. 6 blog post, Amazon Web Service evangelist Jeff Barr announced a new series of price reductions for the S3 service, noting that AWS continues to innovate on its customers€™ behalf to drive down storage costs and pass the savings back to the customer base

€œWith this price change, all Amazon S3 standard storage customers will see a significant reduction in their storage costs,€ Barr said in his post. €œFor instance, if you store 50TB of data on average, you will see a 12 percent reduction in your storage costs, and if you store 500TB of data on average, you will see a 13.5 reduction in your storage costs.€