Recently I tried to upgrade Resgrid’s Azure SQL database form S1 to S2. Being able to upgrade the performance/characteristics of your cloud PaaS/IaaS services is one of the major tenants of utilizing a service like Azure. No longer do you by more hardware then you ever will use, you scale it.
At Resgrid this is something we subscribe to. We want to keep our costs down while providing the best performance to our customers. In Azure this is a very simple operation, especially with auto-scaling. We’ve never had an issue with this before, but not we’re being told that we cannot upgrade for an S1 SQL Azure database to an S2.
This is a huge, huge deal.
What are the S1 and S2 database levels (http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/details/sql-database/):
As you can see the S2 is more then double the performance of an S1 database. This gives services a nice clear progression on how they can move through the database performance levels. The decision was made to move to the next tier, we’ve had more and more customers using the service and the DB performance is the major factor for our service.
Going to the Azure portal and trying to upgrade we get the following error:
“The operation is not supported for your subscription offer type.”
WHAT?!?!?! I’m a paying Azure customer in good standing. Ok maybe it’s an issue with the old Azure portal so I switch to the new one.
So far so good, so I save it….
Nope, same error, in a slightly prettier format. Ok, after some quick Googling I find this MSDN forum post with MSFT commenters, and I submit an Azure Billing ticket.
The reply I get back form Microsoft Azure support is absolutely mind blowing.
SQL Azure databases in US WEST (probably one of their most used regions) cannot be upgraded from S1 to S2! WHAT! Why is this restricted, because you want to run counter to what people expect from a cloud PaaS/IaaS provider. Is it April? Did I loose 2 1/2 months?
The following regions, you know all of our major Azure data centers are restricted from offing you a performance upgrade in a critical piece of any application.
Their first suggestion is that I move my primary SQL database to another region. This mean that every action, every database call needs to leave the region where my servers reside and traverse the Internet. Possibly adding orders or magnitude delays.
Their other suggestion is that I take my primary, mission critical, database and put it into preview mode, which Microsoft doesn’t advise for, you know, mission critical infrastructure.
This was supposed to be an easy operation, something quick and a normal,every day operation on the Azure cloud just scaling up my service. But for the moment caveat emptor when buying an S1 database in any of the Azure regions besides South Central US, you may not be able to upgrade it.
Resgrid is a SaaS product deployed on Microsoft Azure, providing logistics and management tools to first responder organizations like volunteer fire, career fire, EMS, search and rescue, public safety, disaster relief organizations, etc. It was founded in late 2012 by myself and Jason Jarrett (staxmanade).