I am starting to explore Microsoft's SQL Azure service. After reading the SQL Azure documentation, I thought that the SQL Azure service offered a way to get one or more MS SQL databases on a server without having to manage the SQL Server itself. In particular, I assumed that my database would be sharing a SQL Server with strangers. The Microsoft web site says, in part, that SQL Azure is a "multi-tenant database service hosted by Microsoft in the cloud".

So why is it that when I first log into the Windows Azure Platform management page and want to create a database I have to create a new SQL Azure server first? Does this mean that I get my very own SQL Azure server? What if I only want to host one tiny database? Isn't that horribly inefficient?

Perhaps someone can clarify this and give a reference to a Microsoft document or help page that explains this.


You don't really create a server, you get your SQL instance, which is basically a separate process running on a shared server. Their wording on the website could be better.

You are indeed sharing the physical VM box with other tenants who all have their own SQL instances and databases running there.

  • This sounds more likely. Do you have a source (i.e., URL) somewhere on a Microsoft site that explains this? – user35042 Apr 2 '11 at 11:38

I believe that you have a seperate 'virtual' server. You need to set up that virtual server before anything can be done. Instead of sharing a server and having limited access, you have full access to working with the server. It is a much more powerful way of working with it.

It is much like running a VPS server, except only for databases.

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