Microsoft Azure, formerly Windows Azure, was released in February 2010 as a cloud computing platform for building, deploying and managing applications and services through a global network of Microsoft-managed data centers.
It is getting bigger every year with new updates and enhancements like HDInsight, Data Factory, Machine Learning and Revolution R who was acquired by Microsoft earlier this year.
These services were not only released to face the rough competition from Amazon and Google, but also to respond to the high demand of enterprises that need to load applications from the cloud, need to manage databases or to analyze big data without big investments.
Last April, 29, Microsoft announced it will release later this year three new services, Azure SQL Database elastic databases, Azure SQL Data Warehouse and Azure Data Lake. Here is a brief description.
Azure SQL Database elastic databases
The elastic database, who might be the first one created these days, lets a business share several databases from different location as if it was only one database. It also allows centralized queries for all databases instead of making single queries on each one for the same analysis, making therefore faster and better analysis and management of all the data at low cost. It allows the building of SaaS applications, the database can be searched on full text and uses column-oriented structure for better and faster analysis.
Below is a chart of the pricing model where eDTU refers to elastic database throughput unit. As you can see, 100 databases can be pooled together for $4.5 per eDTU per month with elastic databases of up to 250GB of size at $2.5 per database per month. (+)