As I’ve blogged before, I like the concept of cloud database services. I think that SQL Azure is the right direction. I’ve also blogged that I’m starting a CRM SaaS software startup company. My original business plan had SQL Azure as the hosting service. I like the built-in redundancy and availability.
Last week I took the SQL Azure CTP for a test-drive. It took me about 2 hours to fix all the incompatibilities with my code, and move my test database to SQL Azure. And Wow it’s very, very fast. Did I mention that it’s fast? I really like SQL Azure.
But, sometimes tech decisions need to be driven by business realities. I’ve been crunching numbers and for my business model, SQL Azure is just too expensive. I can buy some nice Dell servers and pay for co-location in downtown Colorado Springs that will have dual power grids and connections to three different internet backbones in the same building for ½ to 1/3 of what SQL Azure costs. As a disclaimer, I intend to host several 5-25 Gb databases each with only a few users, which makes it more efficient for me to host several databases on a single server than pay for each SQL Azure database. If your business model is different then SQL Azure may make more sense for your bottom line.
Since I’ve spoken up so loudly for databases in the cloud, I figured it was only fair to report my current thinking on the subject. So while I’ll keep testing SQL Azure, and I think it’s good tech, this startup is sticking with a traditional SQL Server solution until the SQL Azure pricing model fits my business plan.