Three weeks ago Forrester released a paper on Cloud Databases.
As pointed out by Microsoft, Forrester declared SQL Azure and Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) and Amazon DynamoDB and salesforce.com’s Database.com as leader of the pack.
That is quite impressive given the relatively late start Microsoft took on those competitors.
SQL Azure is a leading service in the Azure family. As an Azure observer, for me there was a before and an after SQL Azure. Before, Azure was a quaint initiative with potential but on the fringe with no mass adoption. When SQL Azure arrived, people got on board. The economics was good, the management and performance made it a no brainer and it is actually quite easy to know when it makes sense to use it or not!
With the addition of SQL Azure Federation, enabling a managed sharding of tables, SQL Azure outgrew its scale up limitation and enables truly huge scale such as consumer scale scenarios.
Slowly the entire SQL ecosystem is moving to Azure. Reporting Services have been there for more than a year and SSIS is suppose to come into town soon. We’ve heard rumours about Analytic Services although this seem to be more for the long run.