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What is Azure SQL Database?

Updated: Mar 23, 2023


Azure SQL Database is a fully managed platform as a service (PaaS) database engine that handles most of the database management functions such as upgrading, patching, backups, and monitoring without user involvement. Azure SQL Database is always running on the latest stable version of the SQL Server database engine and patched OS with 99.99% availability. PaaS capabilities built into Azure SQL Database enable you to focus on the domain-specific database administration and optimization activities that are critical for your business.

With Azure SQL Database, you can create a highly available and high-performance data storage layer for the applications and solutions in Azure. SQL Database can be the right choice for a variety of modern cloud applications because it enables you to process both relational data and non-relational structures, such as graphs, JSON, spatial, and XML.

Microsoft Azure offers four SQL Server:

  1. SQL Server on Azure VM

  2. Azure SQL Managed Instance

  3. Azure SQL Database

  4. Azure SQL Edge

In this article, let's understand what is Azure SQL Database and why and when to choose Azure SQL over other SQL Server offerings.

Azure SQL Database is a fully managed relational database software as a service (SaaS) service. It is better suited for cloud-based solutions. If you’re building a cloud-native serverless solution, then Azure SQL Database is probably the best choice for you.

The advantages of using Azure SQL

The key advantages of Azure SQL database are as follows:

  • Azure SQL is easy to add to your solution with no manual maintenance. Just a few clicks and Azure SQL is up and running in minutes.

  • Azure SQL never goes down unless the entire Azure cloud is down.

  • Azure SQL is fully managed and always up to date with the latest releases and fixes. You don’t need to do anything.

  • Serverless computation and Hyperscale storage options automatically scale resources on demand, so you can focus on building new applications without worrying about storage size or resource management.

When to choose between SQL Server on Azure VM, Azure SQL Managed Instance, and Azure SQL?

Azure offers three SQL Server database-related options, SQL Server on Azure VM, Azure SQL Managed Instance, and SQL Azure.

Watch Microsoft’s Anna Hoffman discuss the different options for your SQL deployments in Azure and learn the difference between SQL Server in an Azure VM, SQL Managed Instance, and Azure SQL, what you should choose, and when.

Calculate Azure SQL pricing

Azure SQL has no upfront cost and no termination fee. You pay for what you use. However, you must be careful with pricing and the use of Azure SQL. If you don’t estimate your resources carefully, it might become very costly.

Watch this video to learn about how to estimate your Azure SQL Database cost.

Configure Azure SQL Database

In this video, learn about the various configuration options that are (and aren't) available in Azure SQL. We'll also dive into space management and connectivity in Azure SQL Database and Azure SQL Managed Instance.

Performance Tuning for Azure SQL

Performance tuning is one of the most important tasks when dealing with databases. Watch here to learn about various ways in Azure SQL Database and Azure SQL Managed Instance that you can tune and increase performance.


In this article, we learned what an Azure SQL Database is, its benefits, pricing, and how to configure it.




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