Just watched the SQL Lunch by Scott Kein
This session will first provide a very quick introduction into SQL Azure to those who are new to SQL Azure, but then dive into lessons we have learned from our projects, and things you can expect and should know when working with SQL Azure. We will discuss deployment practices, what to know from the application side, and how to get the best out of SQL Azure.
Patrick LeBlanc and Adam Jorgensen
I thought the demo was great. I like the fact that SQL Server can now be accessed in the "Cloud" thereby transferring the support to Microsoft.
You get one main database and then two replicated databases automatically, for free. If your main server goes down, the next server in line becomes the primary and a third database (replicated) is added.
It has a feature called "Federation Sharding" which is an advanced topic but deals with separating out your database into mini databases for speed and efficiency and its all handled on the database side.
With the new Azure database, if you have a somewhat simple application in let's say .net, Java or PHP, it is possible to re-point your database to the cloud with a change to the connection string only. Quite powerful if you ask me.
But with anything there is always a price. And that price is pay for what you use, like a garden hose, use a little, pay a little, use a lot, pay a lot.
It's the future of database. And it supports Reporting Services. Nice product. Great demo.