By Joan Bennett

The SQL Azure Q4 Service Release is available now. With this release, Microsoft is tripling the maximum database size to 150 GB, and introducing the SQL Azure Federation to simplify setup, management, and automation of shards.

Microsoft also announced a price cap, which will lower the effective cost per GB for customers with large databases.  Effective right now, the maximum price per SQL Azure DB is $499.95.  This change allows customers with 50 GB databases and larger to continue to grow without additional costs.  Customers that use 150 GB DBs will see their effective price per GB drop by 67 per cent.