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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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

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.

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

Thanks Guy


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  • Mikael Linder commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    We have them same issue. The pricing on the database skyrocketed after the change, we now pay almost 15 x as much as before!
    This is a ridiculous price change and feels like a money grab knowing full well the work it takes to migrate a live service to another platform.
    Microsoft have done a lot in the late years trying to better their image. Is this really how the want to portray themselves once again, as the company who charge you an arm and a leg after they have looked you in to their platform?

  • tony commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    we had 2 apps and their relative beta version, to have similar performance we would have to pass from 4 web to 4 p2
    From 40 to 1600 bucks months.
    I'm looking for amazon or ibm solution, azure is no more acceptable.

  • John R. commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Microsoft does not care. That's the truth. They don't understand that customers very content with $10/month 'web' performance will not pay $200/month (or more) for the same thing. Plus everything I have read states that even the higher options do not give the performance as the 'web' editions.

    Microsoft doesn't care about the thousands of customers with legacy code that's not optimized. They don't care about pushing their clients over this technological cliff.

    We too are looking at alternatives. It's inconceivable how Microsoft has missed the mark on this one.

  • Devin D commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    We're heavily considering other options for our cloud service platform. This decision has completely crippled us, and we now only have a few weeks to make the change.

  • Dan Petitt commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I would suggest looking at a lowish spec VM with SQL server and stripe lots of data disks for much improved IOPS and see if you can get a workable solution. I couldnt get a workable solution on even a P3 which costs a fortune. The costs do not match the performance whether it's predictable or not.

  • Jelte commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    After switching our test environment to the new database tiers our app has become unworkable.
    Only when i switch to S3 the app becomes workable, but still extremely slow.
    We used to work with the web edition which is great and has, for us, a super experience seeing our database is just under 100MB.

    Right now i don't know what to do. Switching to the S3 or a P1/P2 tier will break our business model.
    Microsoft needs to address this right now, upgrade all the tiers or let us keep the old database versions!

  • franklin yamamoto commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    We spent a year developing a cloud based performance monitoring platform for sql with the warehouse designed to run in the old pricing model. When I switched to the new pricing model I found the throttling to make azure sql database an unusable option. We wasted a lot of time reworking our design to leverage SQL VM's instead.

    I understand how the new model was supposed to guarantee SLA's, but the amount of throttling that occurs makes the platform cost prohibitive when trying to do any real workload.

  • Will Anderson commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Agreed with everyone here. Our site fell over in P1 so took it back to a dedicated server.

    I really want to move to PaaS, but cost it is inhibitive. MS need to make sure performance and prices are at least in line with alternatives otherwise what is the point?

  • Lajos Marton commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Agreed with Nathan. We migrated back our systems to Data Center hosted physical hardware. It is much more better in price / performance than Azure.

  • Nathan commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Don't bother contacting MS on this issue. You'll get two things for your time: 1) marketing fluff about how great the platform is and, 2) if you need more performance, just pay for more performance (duh!). Can't wait to see the backlash from the forced migrations. MS has their head sand on this one, and will have no one to blame but themselves for ignoring the user community. If it costs $150/month to run a 300MB DB there's a problem with platform. That's $.5/MB. What year is it? 1995?

  • Jason commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    We have moved to the new tiers as the deadline for Web and Business is looming. As per the other comments here - the performance is atrocious for queries over large data sets with filtering, e.g. basic real time reports. Something that used to run in seconds on the old tiers now takes 6 minutes on an S3 DB.

    For a comparison, we exported the same Azure SQL database to a bacpac file and imported it locally. Running the same query on the locally imported database takes 4 seconds! 6 minutes versus 4 seconds - that is beyond ridiculous.

    Performance seems fine with smaller queries where there is less CPU and IO but anything even moderately complex over large data sets is *totally* unusable.

    Something is terribly broken here and, like the other comments, this needs to be addressed or the community will move away from Azure SQL.

  • Rory commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    We're also totally disappointed in SQL Azure price/performance. Basic and the lower Standard tiers are a joke and Premium is way way too expensive for most use cases. Adding (even more expensive) elastic database does help somewhat when you've got a bunch of databases, but it's still just insanely expensive.

    Perhaps this could be improved, without MS adding more resources, by changing the throttling model so databases get a high burst capacity. This would mean even a Basic database would be allowed one query every now and again that would respond sub-second (like normal SQL), but if you run queries every second then you get throttled.

    @Guy you recently said "those with small and mostly inactive DBs who will see no change in
    price, and no change in performance. This is the largest group of customers." - but I fail to see how anyone moving from Web will not notice a change in performance. They might not be running queries very often, but I'd contend most people moving a small database from Web to Basic will have all their queries time out unless they change their connections to increase timeout. Have you ever tried using MS SSDT to publish against a Basic or S0 database? Not possible ... until you find the magic incantation to increase timeouts to minutes instead of seconds.

  • Nathan commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I am so disappointed in SQL Azure performance.
    Even with a 300MB DB it is completely unusable for anything until hitting the $150/month S3 tier, and even that is 10 times slower than my desktop.
    I can't believe the lower tiers are even offered, and MS expects people to pay for them?
    What a joke!
    It's all due to the DTU throttling.
    Needs about a 10 times boost across the board.

  • Thierry commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I really think a fair bit of user concerns would be solved if the CPU allocation of Premium tier database would be set in accordance with its intended use case (high volume transactional DB) and its price. The current 1 CPU allocation is complete non-sense.

    We've been told Microsoft is aware of the issue but we need a fix NOW. Not in 6 months...

    The fact that nobody from MS is monitoring this topic is not very encouraging either.

  • Rob commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This is madness!

    As a Microsoft ISV providing mission critical business management solutions to both SME's and enterprises we have invested in the SQL and SQL Azure platform but we are now simply going to have to switch to a different backend solution, it's as simple as that.

    Changes to SQL licensing models in 2012 made that a less cost effective solution for 'on premise' solutions and now the new model for SQL Azure is basically ensuring that development houses like us that have embraced the performance gains available by making use of stored procedures need to ask their customers to pay several times more a year in SQL licensing costs than they pay for our solutions! We have tiny data throughput and relatively small databases as a result of using the features of SQL in our architecture and this new model is penalising us for that to the point that it is nowhere near a viable platform.

    To be blunt, SQL Azure has been made massively more complex and either ridiculously over priced or practically useless in terms of performance in one fell swoop. Just looking at the feedback here from those of us who found this page despite it being rapidly swept aside tells the story. In a market where Microsofts former dominance is either under threat or gone in several key markets this just feels like suicide in one an area that was on the right track. Please rethink this, and fast!

    Partners like us that are now seeing our solutions priced out of even remote contention have no choice but to ditch and look elsewhere and will already be taking the pain of doing so!

  • Thierry commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Same conclusion here. We are moving our DB away from SQL Database to a VM instead. It's a real shame that premium database tiers are so underpowered in terms of CPU... Especially at the pricing level they are at...
    We could have shorter query time running the DB on a A2 instance than with our current P1!

    Like many here, this situation has left a bitter taste in our mouth in regards to how we now perceive Azure...

    You've got a great product in your hands Microsoft, don't tarnish it by some short-term greedy decisions and please return to the drawing board for the specs of SQL Azure Database

  • Lajos Marton commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    We are migrating our systems from Azure to phisyical hardware because of too high prices. I think this is a shame for Azure and shame for Microsoft. When getting a 8 core server with redundant SSDs and all of MS licenses, and put it into a good datacenter is much more cheaper in a two years period then using Azure, and our server has about 5-10X bigger performance. Azure is not bad, just the prices are too high.

  • Fran commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    It is offensive that this issue is marked as Completed. Actually it could not be further from Completed!

    Please stop saying thing like "it is hard to compare the performance of the old plans with the new ones". Everybody here in this thread have make some kind of comparison and even with the simplest ones, the performance of the new tiers is much worse. Almost everybody have faced timeouts now in the data access!

    Plans get many times more expensive and you get much less performance than before, does it make any sense? I can only think that you were trying to attract as many developers as possible and now you think we are captured in here: No way, we have done a big investment in Azure but we are ready to move to another provider now.

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