Azure SQL Database customers are getting more storage options and flexibility. Microsoft has announced a new premium in its latest service tiers, Premium RS. With this update, Azure SQL Database users also get a 4TB increase of storage for Premium P11 and P15.

Microsoft also says it will also bring a new enhanced portal to the service, which makes it easier to manage and select service tiers and performance levels.

In an official blog post, Senior Program Manager Jan Engelsberg says the company is continuing to make SQL Database more flexible. Microsoft wants to make the platform dynamic across performance tiers, giving customers more choice.

The introduction of Premium RS has been created for customers with IO-intensive workloads. These users need Premium performance, but do not need highest-level guarantees. This makes Premium RS ideal for customers as it allows them to replay data in case of severe system error.

Also, customers with non-production databases can benefit from Premium RS. For example, databases using pre-production performance testing or in-memory technologies.

Microsoft has expanded the amount of storage available in Premium P11 and P15. There is now up to 4TB of included storage in the databases. The company says this increase comes at no extra cost. However, there is a limited roll out of this update. Microsoft says it is available in the following regions:

East US 2, West US, Canada East and South East Asia (all starting March 9th) and West Europe, Japan East, Australia East, Canada Central (available today). For more details refer to the documentation.

For everyone else, the company adds that worldwide availability will come in CY 2017.

Azure SQL Database Pricing

Finally, Microsoft has simplified the way pricing tiers are managed for databases. Customers can now configure a database in three steps. These processes reflect the new options (Premium RS and increased storage) mentioned above.

Pricing tier management:

  • Select the service tier which corresponds to your workload needs.
  • Select the performance limits (DTU) required by your database.
  • Choose the maximum storage required to your database. This added option hopes to make it simpler for you to manage the growth of your databases