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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      • Thierry commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        We've been doing a lot of testing over the last 3 months and came to the conclusion that the CPU allocation for P1 databases is completely off the mark and is the number one issue behind our very slow performance.
        Our only solution was to move our P1 database to SQL on a VM. Clearly there is something very very wrong with the CPU allocation of Premium databases.

      • Dan Petitt commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Kyle, I don't think you would find much perf improvement even if you go to the ridiculously expensive P tiers. We don't have a heavy hitting database but found even a P3 uselessly slow, in fact we are even getting performance issues with a D13 Sql Server VM so personally I don't see performance being at all possible with any Azure services for all but the most basic of uses.

      • Kyle commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        We have been running some simple workflow applications through Azure for some time now. At the most there are maybe 30-40 connections to our 200mb S1 tier database at a time. We do have a somewhat high number of transactions per second as these users are constantly reading and writing to the tables but it is nowhere near the max S1 can allegedly handle.

        Every once in a while performance will unpredictably decrease so drastically that any use of the database becomes impossible. Queries take a great many seconds, even minutes, and the application will timeout. This is unacceptable as downtime of these services halts any progress of our operations team.

        We are a small company and signed up for Azure because of the low cost of services. We are not asking for much performance and it is ridiculous for us to consider paying drastically more for a high tier to make a 200mb database with <50 concurrent connections work.

        If these problems persist we will be forced to find other solutions as we grow.

      • Thierry commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        We have migrated to S3 and I unfortunately need to add my voice to the already long list of complaints. Many of our queries are now timing out. The perfomance has truly been horrible.

        In case someone from Microsoft is still monitoring this board, I'd like to point out that we are not complaining for the sake of it. We are heavily using Azure (see our testimonial on your website here: http://www.microsoft.com/sv-se/kundreferenser/Microsoft-Azure/Bridgestone-Asia-Pacific/Mobility-and-Cloud-Help-a-Global-Tire-Manufacturer-Deliver-Better-Customer-Service/710000003680 )

        The performance with the new tier is just downright terrible and the whole situation is really upsetting...

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Since this request is already marked as "Completed", I use sql server to store all my user details and registration and other transactional details for our users. Post upgrade to S1 (which is in simillar price range to Biz) all the queries started timing out. I had to revert back to Biz edition.

        I wanted to know how users are getting out of this trouble. I am personally thinking of migrating to MySql. Its a tough job, but looks like there is no other way left!!

      • Brian Feldman commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Agree! Performance on anything below S3 is terrible. My app runs a basic report that only performs 2 simple queries and it times out unless I'm on S3. There is nothing more to optimize in the queries and it completes instantly running on a local copy of SQL Server 2012.

        The pricing for SQL Azure doesn't work for me.

      • Henrik Bergstrom commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I fully agree that Azure SQL is causing alot of headache.
        I just spend alot of time converting to azure. Membership provider, Redis Cash. Webjob ...
        When all was running I changed from SQL Web to Standard S0 and the site timeout.
        I could not belive the performace was so bad that a simple select count(*) took 6 sec. 20x longer. Why is the price problem so hard to understand at MS. Dont they see the problem this is causing us? 10x price to run same application as on Web is not ok.
        I also have two databases. One for prod and one for testing.
        Now I'm again spending alot of time reading on Appharbour and Amazone. Frustrated.

      • Sam Erwinoff commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I think their idea is to slowly phase out all startup, small and medium business and only focus on large enterprises.

        The nice thing is the market looks at this and there may be compelling alternatives.

      • Sam Erwinoff commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The SQL performance on Azure now is absolutely awful, not to mention the ridiculous prices they're expecting small web sites / new sites to pay. It's silly. It makes no sense to pay 10x, 20x prices simply because you want better DB performance. My web app, like many others, is new - and I was hoping to get everything on Azure. In testing, I had to increase my connection timeout to 5 minutes for simple queries!!

        Bottom line - bye bye Azure. Not for me. Not for any new comers. Not for small sites needing high performance. Not for enthusiasts. Not for startups. Not with this kind of SQL pricing.

      • Sander Schutten commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I second all other opinions in this thread. I'm surprised this is marked as 'completed' while it's clear the price increase for decent performance compared to the current 'Web' tier is ridiculous. Before I read up on the new tiers I migrated a test DB (Web) to the new Basic tier, expecting similar performance. It took me a while to discover all the timeouts my application was throwing all of a sudden had to do with the database tier. It shocked me to discover what I'd need to pay to get a similar performance.

        Apart from the excessive pricing, the new tiers are very hard to understand. What should be very easy in the light of PaaS feels like requires a masters degree now.

      • Thierry commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The fact that this post has been marked as "Completed" is very unsettling...

      • David commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        These new tiers are not acceptable.

        A simple report on my trivial database (80mb) has jumped from 6 seconds under Web tier, to 60 seconds under Basic tier. I found I needed Standard S2 to get comparable performance, but I'm not sure how much headroom this give me going forward. I feel I need to opt for a Premier tier just to be confident in my setup - but at a whopping 47x price increase it's just not feasible.

        What sort of customer does this serve? Even the most basic database will need some one-off reports, but these tiers are too slow on medium queries to be useful. Why do I need to pay for 500gb of storage for my 100mb database? It just doesn't make sense.

        To me, this defeats the point of the PaaS model: by calling for in-depth performance analysis on the simplest of queries, it's added undue complexity to trivial projects.

        Please reconsider this approach.

        Dave.

      • John commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Please add S0 to your pricing calculator. Your best tier, P3, has 735 transactions per second. This seems very low to me. I'm sure SQL Server can handle much much more than that. I remember reading on your site that new applications should use SQL Database instead of SQL VM. How can I use SQL Database if it doesn't even perform to my needs? And I agree with the other commentators here. The current pricing seems very off. This is a big show stopper for me.

      • Mark commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Storage is supposed to be cheap in the cloud. This is insanely expensive. I'm sorry guys, but you can't expect us to commit to this.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I have to echo all the sentiments here. I switched our staging database over to the new tiers for testing today, and the performance has been pathetic. Syncing data down to one of our users has gone from 4 minutes on a Web database, to 12 minutes on a S2. This process may happen only a few times a day and is already quite substantially optimized. The total database size is only 2.2GB. To match the performance we currently have on web, we would need at least a P1 instance. That means we go from roughly 227 ZAR (+/- 20USD) to 5,301 ZAR (465USD).

        That is a 23X increase in cost!

        Microsoft, you are killing the small businesses that you have worked very hard to attract! How can I convince others to host on Azure if you make a move like this? We will be looking to move to another provider altogether if these price / performance levels look to continue past the retirement date of the Web and Business retirement dates.

        There would also be no point keeping our application servers on Azure if the databases have to move. I totally understand the need to price performance in... but do that... charge on DTU per min if you have to. If someone needs the performance for a few minutes a day, why charge on a reserved instance model? This is the problem that cloud hosting is supposed to solve for us. Give us incremental billing based on actual usage. If people need reserved capacity, keep it as an option, but provide alternatives for crying out loud.

      • tmfkmoney commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I agree with the original poster. This new pricing is a disaster for me.

        It is at least tripling my costs and so far the standard tier has been unusable. Importing data is taking me tens of hours instead of minutes and the performance is so bad that I have started to get complaints from my clients.

      • Sebastian commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Here are some advantages of (now deprecated) SQL Azure Federations that cannot be solved by a custom sharding solution:

        - Connection Pooling will not work (or work badly) with Custom Sharding, because each server will require a separate connection. Not the case with Federations.
        - Price will increase dramatically
        - Instead of getting a new SQL node immedeately, I have to wait hours or days before all my data is copied to a new node
        - Increased complexity of my software. I don't want to develop and manage sharding solutions...

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