SQL Server Cost in cloud with simple calculation (Internal SQL Server Vs Cloud based SQL Server)
A quick back-of-the-envelope calculation using a 2-cpu server with 8gb ram, SATA drives, Windows 2008 and 2 CPUs of SQL Server Standard at list price puts me around $15,000.
(Yes, enterprises get dramatically discounted stuff, but enterprises don’t need SQL Azure at rack price either.)
Let’s say I use this server for five years – that’s $416 per month. That does not include:
Connectivity costs (but neither does the Azure $9-$99 price, either. Remember that bandwidth costs extra for Azure.)
Management (but neither does Azure, since you still have to roll some of your own utilities. Remember that Azure doesn’t support things like Profiler.)
Backups (but neither does Azure, and no, Microsoft telling me “it’s backed up” doesn’t count.)
Clustering or geographic high availability. I probably wouldn’t achieve three nines of uptime with this configuration, but if I wanted to go for that, I’d add a second server in another location with SQL Server’s database mirroring.
The tough part of all this is the future:
Will SQL Azure’s costs go down? Hardware prices always go down, so it’s interesting to try to compare long-term pricing between the two.
Will SQL Azure add more features? I can back up a locally hosted database easily, but backing up Azure is going to be a little tricky for now. If I want to add filestream data or TDE, that’s a piece of cake with local databases, but not with Azure.
Will SQL Azure stick? If I had a dollar for every piece of technology built then Microsoft abandoned, I’d be Steve Jobs. The nice thing about developing for SQL Azure is that it’s a subset of SQL Server anyway. Worst case scenario, Microsoft abandons SQL Azure – you just light up your own SQL Server and deploy your app there anyway.
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