Microsoft Azure SQL Database enhances read and write performance for its Premium option

Microsoft announced Wednesday that it has doubled the write performance across all Azure SQL Database offers and additionally have doubled the read performance for its Premium databases. These performance upgrades come with no price change and are available world-wide.

The increased performance will allow for price optimization of existing workloads as well as for onboarding of even more demanding workloads to the platform. The increase in write performance will benefit bulk inserts, heavy batched data manipulation and index maintenance operations.

SQL Database is a relational database service in the Microsoft cloud based on the Microsoft SQL Server engine that is capable of handling mission-critical workloads. SQL Database delivers predictable performance at multiple service levels, dynamic scalability with no downtime, built-in business continuity, and data protection — all with near-zero administration.

These capabilities allow users to focus on rapid app development and accelerating time to market, rather than allocating precious time and resources to managing virtual machines and infrastructure.

As SQL Database is based on the SQL Server engine, SQL Database supports existing SQL Server tools, libraries, and APIs. As a result, it is easy for users to develop new solutions, to move existing SQL Server solutions, and to extend prevailing SQL Server solutions to the Microsoft cloud without having to learn new skills.

The SQL Database service offers three service tiers: Basic, Standard, and Premium. Each service tier offers different levels of performance and capabilities to support lightweight to heavyweight database workloads. Users can build their first app on a small database for a few bucks a month and then change its service tier manually or programmatically at any time to meet the needs of the solution. This can be done without downtime to the app or customers.

Dynamic scalability enables database to transparently respond to rapidly changing resource requirements and enables consumers to only pay for the resources needed when required.

With SQL Database, each service tier offers a comprehensive set of business continuity features and options that you can use to get up and running and stay that way. Consumers can use point-in-time restore to return a database to an earlier state, as far back as 35 days, and can configure long-term backup retention to store backups in a secure vault for up to ten years.

In addition, if the datacenter hosting the databases experiences an outage, users can restore databases from [geo-redundant copies of recent backups](( If needed, they can also configure geo-redundant readable replicas in one or more regions for rapid failover in the event of a data center outage. Consumers can also use these replicas for faster read performance in different geographic regions or for application upgrades without downtime.

SQL Server has a tradition of data security that SQL Database upholds with features that limit access, protect data, and help monitor activity.

In its latest announcement, heavy OLTP workloads in Premium database with random read patterns will benefit from the increases read performance and may fit into a smaller performance tier than they are running in today. In general, if the Premium workload is below 50 percent DTU utilization currently, users may be able to run in the next lower Premium performance level.

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