How can we improve Azure SQL Database?

Please reconsider the new DB pricing tiers

Please reconsider the new DB pricing tiers. We have been using a 10 GB Business DB for almost 4 years and have been very happy with its performance. Last week we moved to the new Tiers since Web/Business will be deprecated in the future. We tried S1, S2 etc eventually we had to move to P2 to get the same level of performance.

That was over a 3X price increase for something we've been using for almost 4 years.

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    Anonymous shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    One more update here.

    A couple of folks reach out after my last post, and I’d encourage everyone else that’s concerned or adding comments to do the same here.

    For this update I did want to highlight a couple of 3rd part comments on Elastic Database Pools and their experience upgrading from Web/Business

    http://www.software-architects.com/devblog/2016/01/31/Hello-Database-Pools

    http://stackify.com/sql-azure-elastic-pool-product-review/

    It would be good to understand your scenario in more details. While we understand that a small subset of customers may be asked to pay more for their resource consumption, this isn’t the common use case.

    For those of you who are facing large increases in your monthly bill as a result of moving from Web/Business (where we charge on DB size) to Basic/Standard/Premium single or elastic DBs I am always willing to listen to the specifics.

    We do think the new service tiers, with their new features and predictable performance, offer great price performance for SQL databases in the cloud. We specifically made these changes as a result of customer feedback (that performance needed to be predictable)

    I’d be happy to engage offline with more details. guyhay@microsoft.com

    I would ask that you reach out to me rather than post here if you want a response.

    Thanks Guy

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      • Thomas B commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        You are right about the new possibilites offered by elastic pool, but if you want to really mark this suggestion as "completed", you should consider the fact that EP is still in Preview, so there is still no solution for all cases where EP could fit.

      • Gordon Jones commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Our experience mirrors many of the comments here. We have been running several applications for the last two years and were notified to move off the Web database. We received an email recommending we move to a P3 database from Web ($5/mo to ~ $1800/mo). This database is less than 500MB and just a handful of users. When we moved to an S2 we were getting extremely slow response from queries. We even tried a Select * on one table and it took >30 seconds compared to 0.1 second locally. Needless to say, it is clear to me that Microsoft realized it was undercharging and now has a completely different strategy with regard to small customers (make them go away). A small database that I could run quickly on a USB drive is basically non-functional on all but the highest tiers of Azure SQL. If this isn't the new Microsoft strategy - something is seriously wrong on the Azure SQL platform.

      • Dan Petitt commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @biju with specific test data like you have I would strongly recommend creating a support ticket you will get a response in 24 hours and they are very good

      • Biju commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Hello,

        I agree with most of the feedback here. We also had a lot of performance problems with Azure SQL Standard tier recently (Dec 2015, US East region). Some more details below. We are testing our application on Amazon now, may have to switch production servers to AWS if Azure SQL does not offer reliable SQL performance at the standard price tier.

        Our problem with SQL Azure:
        We recently started testing our new web and api application server (Azure Linux VM, Azure SQL database). Our test database is very small (6MB). We started by using Azure SQL Basic tier. We noticed that even some simple SQL queries take 30 seconds to execute at random intervals. The SQL is simple ( "select * from small_table where col1 = ? col2 = ?"). The table has just 8 rows and 10 columns, no joins. We tried changing database tier to Standard. It did not seem to get any better. Azure dashboard was showing DTU at 1.3%.

        Thanks!
        Biju

      • Tim Smith commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Like everyone else that has commented here, I don't believe that my customers represent a small subset of SQL users that have been very badly affected by this sudden hike in price. Almost none of them have a database that is bigger than 1Gb, yet to get the same level of performance that was available on the old Web database requires the top new P tier database which costs a hundred times as much.

        It would appear that we have all been very much played by good ol' Microsoft.

      • Adrien commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        We are experiencing the same issue. We are working towards migrating our live environment to the Azure PAAS platform. We just completed some performance testing against our application in Azure, and results were horrendous. We had to bump it up to a P11 to get the results we needed. Unfortunately, that SQL tier is cost prohibitive and deal killer or us. We had done the same tests about 6 months ago, against the old Azure SQL tiers with very different results.

        Very disappointing !

      • Dan commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I would try out elastic pools. I tried it and the performance was better than it was on a single database earlier on and you can share your db costs (if you have several dbs) into one bulk price. It should work great if you have sporadic throughout on your dbs throughout the day. Anyway give it a go and see. It's worth a try

      • Jonathan commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I agree with all the comments here, this move is very unfair. I'm going crazy to try to back on the situation before the upgrade. I'm thinking to merge all my databases to one, just to save some moneys. I thought the cloud was the solution to all my problems and instead I figure out that one day someone could be ask even the triple you used to pay for the same service.

        Very Very disappointed,

      • James commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Why is this marked as completed? Is the problem solved?

        I run a small non-profit company. We had the same problem as everyone else: we had to upgrade to S3 to get (near) acceptable performance, for a massive increase in costs.

        Please MS, give us some real news on this.

      • Steve H commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The 'completed' comment by the Microsoft representative is a denial of the actual facts. It is not a small subset of customers. The simple fact is, that at a similar price point, ALL customers will experience a many fold decrease in performance as compared to the web/business edition. This will necessitate a many fold increase in cost in order to avoid service timeouts.

        Get real. If this were an rental apartment and not a web service you would be on the 6 o'clock news and vilified as a slum-lord. But Microsoft's actions are the same. You set expectations. Your customers move their valuable personal belongings in. They make themselves a home. They spend huge amounts of resources in training, engineering, and documenting operational procedures. A move out is not something that you can do easily - and you took advantage.

        The lack of a reasonable response by Microsoft to the comments on this forum shows contempt for your customers.

        Trust violated. I will not wait for Microsoft to pull a stunt like this on one or your other products. Voting with my feet and taking my organization with me - off of all of your products.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Just switched from Web to Basic and the performance is terrible. I will probably have to update to one of the Standard Tiers. I agree with Daniel, what a scam! I have never seen a forced upgrade with such a terrible performance hit. Compare it with Linode, the Linux VPS Provider, where I get free hardware upgrades twice a year.

        I just don´t see the point on using Azure for small / medium websites. I aways thought PAAS / IAAS were a trap. Now, I´m sure.

      • Daniel Z commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        SQL and Web apps become more and more expensive each update. It should be the other way around.

        5€/Month for the smallest database? That's inacceptable.

        The switch to new pricing tiers is in my opinion is a scam. Time to switch to other providers!

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        We are having a similar experience. Using Federated DBs on the old business tier, and moved to the new tiers as required on utilization. Our costs have exploded to an unsustainable 20000 fold increase.

      • Rick Johnston commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Sadly we're finding all the same headaches that everyone else is. Here's some quick stats on a stored procedure we run throughout the day:

        WEB CPU time = 438 ms, elapsed time = 621 ms.
        S0 CPU time = 406 ms, elapsed time = 5173 ms.
        S1 CPU time = 343 ms, elapsed time = 2097 ms.

        To me this reeks of old-school used car dealer bait and switch. I'm extremely dissapointed that someone at MS thought this was a good idea. We're actively working to develop against a PostgreSQL environment so that we never need to deal with this again. Terrible play MS, just terrible.

      • Aderjaan commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        We have indeed the same issue. Our dbs were doing great for most of what they needed to do. Now i would have to moge to Standard S2 or even Premium to have an acceptable performance which is very expensive.
        The main reason is that we do have some peaks when importing data from a 3rd party provider and running some more heavy reports. Even with Premium i can't do the same bulk-importing.
        I do understand i have to pay for those peaks, but wasn't cloud computing meant for not having the need to buy a lot of hardware to support peaks?

      • Mark commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I'll join in on this one. Just moved to Azure SQL hosted locally in Australia after moving of a shared godaddy SQL server for our website. The godaddy service cost about 120 per year..with Azure the SQL performance is terrible and I'd be paying around 44 per month just for the db... Now looking for an alternative again

      • Thomas Bilby commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        In performance testing for a small SQL database query, using the average of 10 tests, from…

        Web to Basic .675 seconds to 11.103 seconds.
        Web to S0 .675 seconds to 5.779 seconds.
        Web to S1 .675 seconds to 2.71 seconds.

        Which means I would need to change to S2 for anywhere near the same performance.

        So, from $5/mo to $75/mo for similar performance.
        • This is an outrageous price increase for those of us with many small databases.
        • For similar pricing, our customers will bear the brunt of significantly degraded performance.

        Yes I know about elastic, but with a basic elastic DTU max per database at 5 DTU’s, the same problem exists.

        Please keep the Web edition available to us with many small databases or at the very least, increase the DTU max per database for Basic Elastic to equal the pool max of 100.

      • Jim Hagans commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        No Way Dude!!!

        Just upgraded from the Web/Business before the Sep 12 forced Migration. So SLOW!!! Had to upgrade to S2! My costs went from $9.99/month to $75/month and with that upgrade I am only getting 25% of the previous performance! Microsoft, please make this right. From the test I have seen at https://cbailiss.wordpress.com/2014/07/06/microsoft-azure-sql-database-performance-tests-summary/ even P1 at $465/month doesn't get the same speed on select statements.

      • Simon Poulton commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I feel I have to add my support to these comments. I have been happily running a couple of tiny production databases (c.30 tables, only thousands of records, <50MB) on the old Web edition. They were giving good (not great) performance, executing stored procedures in <=2 secs, even for quite complex reports. Needless to say these were taking 10 - 100 ms on my local machine.

        Then with the retirement of the Web and Business editions I migrated to S0. I couldn't believe that some of these queries were timing out at 60 sec!!! I spent days investigating this and eventually found that the main problem was the use of the (fantastic) geography data type - attempting to parse polygons for plotting on Bing maps. So this is definately a CPU problem caused by the DTU throttling. I tried S1 and S2 editions which were better, but the only practical solution was to refactor the geography fields - ridiculous!

        Like all the other comments here - I don't think this situation is in any way resolved. Mr Haycock - if you are still in post - please address the DTU problem in the lower tiers, or will have to move elsewhere.

      • Jordi Serres commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I was currently servicing my customers with four 'web' databases for approximately 32€/month.
        With the new and mandatory tier model, I amb obligued to purchase S1 or S2 tier models, which increases the montly payment from 32€ to 140€/month (3s1 + 1S2) to obtain the same performance.

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