These features are being added into the preview:

• Geo-restore: Designed for emergency data recovery when you need it most, geo-restore allows you to recover a database to any Azure region in the event of a catastrophic event. Geo-restore uses geo-redundant Azure Blob storage for daily database backups and is available with Basic, Standard, and Premium tiers via the current Azure Management Portal and standard API.

• Standard geo-replication: Opt into a Microsoft-managed geo-replication service with an asynchronously replicated secondary database ready to take over if disaster strikes. Azure regions are pre-paired, at least 500 miles apart, and within geopolitical areas to help ensure data sovereignty. Standard geo-replication is available with Standard and Premium databases via the current Azure Management Portal and standard APIs. Standard geo-replication incurs a cost for the secondary database, which is billed at 75 percent of the primary database.

• Auditing: The new audit feature tracks and logs events that occur on your database. Dashboard views and reports provide at-a-glance insight into database events. Use auditing to streamline compliance-related activities, gain knowledge about what is happening in your database, and identify trends, discrepancies, and anomalies. These can serve to enhance business visibility or potentially indicate business concerns or suspected security violations. Audit events are written to an audit log that is stored in an Azure storage account that you designate (note that Azure storage rates apply). Auditing is available in Basic, Standard, and Premium tiers and only available in the new Azure Preview portal and via standard APIs.

Additionally, there will be an improved billing experience for customers using active geo-replication with Premium. Now, every Premium secondary replica will be clearly designated in your bill as a “secondary.”

For more information, please visit the Microsoft Azure Blog and the Azure SQL Database Business Continuity, Preview features, and Changing Database Service Tiers and Performance Levels webpages. For a comprehensive look pricing, visit the SQL Database Pricing Details webpage.