Business continuity has just gotten a new and improved way of providing consistent access to Azure SQL Server databases. Azure SQL Database now supports powerful geo-replication features for all service tiers. Read that again: for ALL service tiers!
Now, anyone who’s ever worked on providing business continuity knows this is hard to do and get right than it sounds. Whether you use SQL Server databases or other mature and quality ways of persisting data you know from experience that maintaining a consistent copy of your data read/write is a challenge.
The way to deal with that challenge is often to have one read/write master copy and have one or more read only copies. The idea is that during a disaster you’ll be able to serve the majority of your needs with a a read only copy and have at least a basic, good enough service until the issue is fixed or a new read/write copy comes on line. It all sounds great but achieving this and maintaining access to the data during a full blow disaster isn’t easy. You need multiple geographical locations and provide access to them. The latter preferably transparent to the clients. These are case where public cloud computing shines and now more then ever as Azure SQL Database now supports powerful geo-replication features for all service tiers.
There’s no more need to upgrade to premium and this capability replaces standard geo replication. Business continuity is rapidly becoming a de facto way of designing and building apps as the cost & complexity blocking this are being torn down.