Microsoft SQL Azure Federations Product Evaluation Program

What are SQL Azure Federations?

Federations are objects that allow scaling-out of data for building data tier applications with unlimited scalability and best price-performance.  For more details on Federations in SQL Azure, please check this TechNet article.




Sharding provides:

  • Unlimited Scalability:  Federations enable horizontal partitioning or ‘sharding’ of data across many nodes to gain unlimited scalability in the application. It is possible to build applications that scale from 10s to 1000s of SQL Azure databases and exploit the power of the PaaS SQL Azure offering and scale beyond the limits of a single SQL Azure database.
  • Best Price-Performance: Federations provide easy repartitioning of data without downtime to exploit elasticity for best application price-performance. Applications built with federations can repartition data without downtime. With online repartitioning combined with the pay-as-you-go model in SQL Azure, administrators of the application can easily optimize cost and performance by changing the number of databases/nodes they engage for their database workload at any given time.  Federations also simplify implementing multi-tenant databases for better cost-per-tenant characteristics. With federations, applications can also repartition to promote any tenant to multi-tenant database to a single-database per tenant without incurring downtime for the reconfiguration.

Program Goals:

  • Generate early customer feedback to improve our design in SQL Azure Federations
  • Generate technical learning & best practice content

Program Execution Timeframe:

May 1st to Aug. 30th, 2011

Customer Benefits:

  • Free technical assistance on SQL Azure Federations provided directly by Microsoft SQL Azure Development Team during the engagement
  • Free early access to SQL Azure Federations features during the program engagement
  • Dedicated Program Manager during the project engagement

Customer Commitments:

  • Have the funding for the cost of SQL Azure Database Services required by their testing
  • Actively test the early build of SQL Azure Federations.  No production deployment on this early build is allowed.
  • Provide product feedback to Microsoft
  • Commit to all legal requirements
  • Commit to regular engagement meetings (max. 1hr/week)

To Apply for this Program: 

Please fill out the attached nomination questionnaire and email it back to

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