I am currently doing some research to get some preliminary IT cost projections for a project, and I was looking at Azure. Since this is a startup, I do not want to deal with the IT operations myself and instead am looking at having it all professionally hosted. I am looking at azure due to the SLA assurances, already in place disaster recovery operations, and the reliability.

I'm playing with some numbers, and I am wondering if hosting my database on Sql Azure is an option, while hosting the actual webpage on another host until I need the frontend scalability of Azure. Is this actually feasible or will the latency in requests between the web host and azure be too much and I would be better off hosting both on the same service?


Is the 5 cent hosting option out of the question for the hosting? Just curious as it may provide some context for your situation.

As for latency + bandwidth between SQL Azure and another host, that is unknown without identifying who the host is and doing a literal comparison of bandwidth + latency.

I would imagine, just from experience (I've done several deployments with SQL Azure + on-premises), that if you have a lot of queries (which is likely) for standard read/write operation of the database then you'll run into problems. Another option, if you're worried about cost is to use SQL Light or SQL Company Edition/Express and deploy the database with the site. This is a great way to have the simplicity of a SQL relational solution without the headache of needing an entire database server.

If you want the horsepower and redundancy of SQL Azure though, you might as well just go ahead and pop a few 5 cent per hour small web roles for hosting in there, then you'll have a better latency + bandwidth guarantee.

Provide some more information and I'd be happy to provide additional information.

  • It's not completely out of the question, the 5 cent option comes out to about $37.5 a month, which isn't excessive. I have just been referred to some $10 a month business hosting plans that seem reputable, but I would feel more comfortable with the redundancy and other features of Sql Azure for the backend. I'll probably end up using the Full Azure package instead of using piecesi n different area though, as it will probably make my life a lot easier in the long run. – KallDrexx Mar 14 '11 at 17:01
  • Another consideration is that SQL Azure performance is very different than SQL On-premise performance. Specifically in terms of connectivity and scaling options. As such the application will have to be built to specifically address these issues. It is very common to see an app that will work great on premise have problems with connection timeouts and throttling. More info: social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/… – shiitake Jun 28 '13 at 22:37
  • I would totally support the idea of using SQL Express as a free but powerful database solution. It can handle a surprisingly complex database and user load. Installing it with the web site would have some security issues but would be cheaper. For cost, functionality and flexibility I would use SQL Express rather than the Azure SQL database service. – David Coster Apr 5 '16 at 23:06

It depends on your requirements. I expect that a lot of customers will be using SQL Azure without needing Compute and/or App Fabric instances.

For performance purposes, hosting the web server and DB server in the same location will always be optimal, but hosting the DB on Azure will be okay in most cases.

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