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July 2011, Vol. 6

As Microsoft's SQL Azure gains altitude, industry eyes chances of reign

When longtime SQL Server MVP Paul Nielsen decided to launch a startup to deliver a hosted customer relationship management application designed for the nonprofit industry, there was no doubt the traditional version of the Microsoft database would serve as the core platform. Yet months into the development effort, Nielsen changed course. After attending a February 2010 MVP summit, where Microsoft laid out the latest roadmap for its SQL Azure cloud database service, Nielsen felt comfortable that the cloud was ready for prime time. As a result, Nielsen rewrote his business plan around SQL Azure, seizing what he said was a real opportunity to greatly reduce his startup and operating costs. “After seeing the roadmap and some of the growth features, it made it much more feasible than when SQL Azure first came out,” said Nielsen, author of the SQL Server Bible series. “My wife likes the new business plan that doesn’t have us spending $30,000 on hardware that will be obsolete in two years. Now we can say we have high availability on ...

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