SQL Transactional Processing Price-Performance Testing

Profile and Evaluation: Azure SQL Database vs. Amazon RDS SQL Server

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Fully-Managed Cloud SQL Server Offerings
  3. Field Test Setup
  4. Field Test Results
  5. Price Per Performance
  6. Conclusion
  7. Disclaimer
  8. Appendix
  9. About Microsoft
  10. About William McKnight
  11. About Jake Dolezal


Day in and day out, organizations run their businesses with transactional applications and databases. Given the potential for transactions at all hours and from a variety of devices, transaction rates and volumes have soared. A key to any transactional application—whether it is processing bank transactions, keeping a gaming platform in sync, or monitoring health conditions—is processing the high volumes of data at high speed. The time it takes to access or write data creates latency and delays action. Latency is particularly relevant to read- and write-intensive applications in the cloud, where database latency, plus latency created by network throughput, API/ microservices calls, and other processes compound.

There are a variety of databases available to the transactional application. Ideally, any database would have the required capabilities; however, depending on the scale of the application, and the chosen cloud, some database solutions can be prone to delays. Recent trends in information management see organizations shifting their focus to cloud-based solutions. In the past, the only clear choice for most organizations has been on-premises data—often using an appliance-based platform. However, the costs of scale are chipping away at the notion that this remains the best approach for all, or some, of a company’s transactional needs. The factors driving data projects to the cloud are many, but the advantages, like data protection, high availability, and scale, are realized with a fully-managed cloud deployment. In many cases, a hybrid approach serves as an interim step for organizations migrating to a larger cloud architecture.

This report outlines the results from a GigaOM Transactional Field Test derived from the industry-standard TPC Benchmark™ E (TPC-E) to compare two fully-managed cloud SQL Server offerings: Amazon Web Services Relational Database Service (AWS RDS) and Microsoft Azure SQL Database. Both are based on Microsoft SQL Server, however, there are some distinct differences in the two cloud offerings other than performance.

The results of the GigaOM Transactional Field Test are valuable to all operational functions of an organization such as human resource management, production planning, material management, financial supply chain management, sales and distribution, financial accounting and controlling, plant maintenance, and quality management. The underlying data for many of these today are in SQL Server, which is also frequently the source for operational interactive business intelligence (BI).

The parameters to replicate this test are provided. You are encouraged to compile your own representative queries, data sets, and data sizes, and test compatible configurations applicable to your requirements.

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