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Azure SQL Database Accounts and Billing

Updated: April 24, 2014

Billing in Azure SQL Database is first based on the service tier of the database. Web and Business are billed on size. Web and Business billing is on a graduated rate based on the concept of the Database Unit, which is a unit of measure of database size usage. For Premium, Basic and Standard service tiers, it is not based on the size of the database. For more details on the pricing structure and costs, see SQL Database Pricing Details.

Billing rollup occurs daily and databases are billed for the maximum rate per day. Thus, if a database is upgraded, the billing rate is effective from the time the upgrade completes, and it is billed at the higher rate for the entire day on which it is upgraded. Likewise, if downgraded or the reservation size is reduced, it continues to be billed at the higher rate for the day on which it is downgraded or reduced in size, the next day it is billed at the lower rate.

Buying a SQL Database Subscription

The Microsoft Online Services Customer Portal is where you purchase subscriptions to the Azure platform and to other Microsoft Online Services. After your purchase is complete, you will receive a confirmation notification in email with instructions for accessing your account in the Azure SQL Database platform.

When you purchase your subscription to the service through Microsoft Online Services Customer Portal, you will be prompted to create a profile for your account owner. The account owner or account administrator is the person who signs up for the SQL Database platform and other Microsoft Online Services. As an account owner, you own the billing relationship with Microsoft. You can log in to the Microsoft Online Services Customer Portal to manage your subscriptions and to the Azure Platform Management Portal to manage your SQL Database servers.

To activate your subscription, you will need to enter contact details for the person in your company who will be responsible for setting up and managing your service. This person is called the service administrator, and is assigned by the account owner. The service administrator defaults to the account owner from your profile, in case your service administrator is the same as your account owner. The service administrator can only access the Management Portal. As soon as activation is complete, an email message is sent to the account owner and the service administrator, outlining the next steps to take.

Bandwidth Savings on the Azure Platform

Bandwidth used between Azure SQL Database and Azure is free within the same region or data center. When designing your system, organize it so that operations incurring large data transfers are within the Azure platform and the same region. When deploying a Azure application, locate the application and the Azure SQL Database within the same region to avoid bandwidth costs.

Database Copy

When you create a copy of the database using the Database Copy feature, the copy operation creates a new database with the same service tier and performance level as the source database. Each copy adds to the total database count and is billed at the same rate as the source database. For more information, see Web and Business Edition Sunset FAQ.

Database Federations

The current implementation of Federations will be retired with Web and Business service tiers. Consider deploying custom sharding solutions to maximize scalability, flexibility, and performance. For more information about custom sharding, see Scaling Out Azure SQL Databases.

The federation root and all its members are part of the server database count and are billed as regular databases. Federation members are physically implemented as individual databases, so each federation member adds to the database count.

SPLIT operations always create new physical database(s). For example, a SPLIT operation with a single split point, such as ALTER FEDERATION … SPLIT(100), creates 2 new databases (federation members,) and drops the source database when the operation is complete. The new database(s) are not part of your build during the SPLIT operation, however once the operation completes and the database(s) are online, they become part of your bill. Databases that are in a failed state do not appear on your bill.

For both operations the source database (federation member) remains accessible throughout the operation, and will continue to accrue charges as normal.

Disabled Subscriptions

The status of your Microsoft Azure SQL Database subscription is displayed on the Azure Platform Management Portal.

If your subscription is disabled, the following applies to your Azure SQL Database account until you pay for a subscription to continue using the service:

  • You cannot create or drop a Azure SQL Database server. However, you can view the existing ones.

  • You can view Azure SQL Database firewall rules but cannot add, update, or delete a firewall rule.

  • You cannot modify the server administrator password for your Azure SQL Database server.

  • On attempting to connect to a user database in your Azure SQL Database server, an error appears indicating that you have reached the limit for the billing month.

  • You cannot create, modify (such as changing the edition of your database), or delete databases in your Azure SQL Database server.

  • You cannot read from or write to the user databases. However, you can read data from the master database.

  • You cannot execute any stored procedures or any other actions that can write data to the master database.

Viewing Your Bill and Usage

You can access the usage details of Azure SQL Database accounts through system views on the Azure SQL Database server.

The sys.database_usage view lists the number, type, and duration of databases on the server and the sys.bandwidth_usage view describes the bandwidth used with each database. For more information, see the following topics: and.

See Also

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