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Web and Business Edition Sunset FAQ

Updated: September 10, 2014

Azure SQL Web and Business databases will be retired September 2015. The Basic, Standard, and Premium service tiers replace the retiring Web and Business databases.

Based on customer feedback, Azure SQL Database is introducing new service tiers to help customers more easily support relational database workloads. The new tiers are designed to deliver predictable performance across a spectrum of seven levels for light-weight to heavy-weight transactional application demands. Additionally, the new tiers offer a range of business continuity features, a stronger uptime SLA, larger database sizes for less money, and an improved billing experience.

For detailed information about the new service tiers and performance model, see Azure SQL Database Service Tiers and Performance Levels. For detailed pricing information for the new service tiers, see SQL Database pricing.

You provision Basic, Standard, and Premium databases using the Management Portal or programmatically. You can also upgrade or downgrade any database between any service tier on the database scale tab, including upgrading and downgrading between Web and Business and the new service tiers. If you need additional quota, please call customer support.

For detailed information on upgrading existing Web or Business databases to the new service tiers, see Upgrade SQL Database Web/Business Databases to New Service Tiers

Azure SQL Database Web and Business will be retired September 2015. You can evaluate Basic, Standard, and Premium which replaces Web and Business. There is no change to your use of Web and Business today. Customers deployed on Web and Business today can continue to use those service tiers as-is via the Management Portal or programmatically through APIs. This includes application patterns which require regular create/delete activity. You can transition to the new tiers at your own pace until the retirement date.

Based on customer feedback and our best practices working with customers, we have determined Federations in its current implementation does not sufficiently meet the dynamic and high-end scale out needs of customers. The current implementation of Federations will be retired with Web and Business. Customers are encouraged to instead use or migrate to Elastic Scale for Azure SQL Database (preview), which simplifies building and managing an application that uses sharding. A .NET client library allows applications to define how data is mapped to shards and routes OLTP requests to appropriate databases. To support management operations that reconfigure how data is distributed among shards, an Azure cloud service template is included that you can host in your own Azure subscription. In addition to Elastic Scale, Microsoft will continue to create and publish custom sharding patterns and practices guidance based on learnings from deep customer engagements. New customers who need scale out functionality should check out Elastic Scale and/or contact Microsoft Support to evaluate their options.

Microsoft is also changing the database copy experience with Premium databases. Previously as premium database quota was limited, CREATE DATABASE … AS A COPY OF in T-SQL created a Suspended Premium database without reserved resources, which was charged at the same rate as a Business database. As premium quota is now more freely available, Suspended Premium is no longer supported. Database copies will now be created with the same edition and performance level as the source and will be billed accordingly. Customers can choose to downgrade copied databases to a different service tier or performance level to reduce their cost if desired. Existing Suspended Premium databases will be converted to Business edition as part of this release. It is anticipated that the introduction of point in time restore will reduce the need to make backup copies of databases.

Basic, Standard, and Premium Azure SQL Databases are billed by the hour, and you have the ability to scale each database up or down 4 times within a 24 hour period. You are billed at a fixed rate based on the highest service tier and performance level you choose for each hour. Additionally, performance levels (example: Basic, S1, and P2) are broken out in the bill to make it easier to see the number of database days/hours you incurred in a single month for each performance level. Web and Business databases continue to be billed using Database Units based on the database size. Please visit the SQL Database pricing page to learn more about the pricing and differences between the new service tiers.

Yes! Customers with paid Azure Support plans and Microsoft Premier Support offerings can now get Microsoft support for the SQL Database previews.

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