Save up to 50% on your compute costs: SQL MI Business Critical improved its storage-to-vCore ratio

This post has been republished via RSS; it originally appeared at: Microsoft Tech Community - Latest Blogs - .

Many database workloads require a significant data volume, but do not need a large number of vCores. For such workloads, migration to Azure SQL Managed Instance was often prohibitively expensive since the storage-to-vCore ratio had been a blocker. Customers sometimes had to buy more vCores than their workloads required to be able to unlock the required amount of storage. Microsoft is constantly improving the SQL MI service and allowing you to migrate more of your mission-critical workloads to SQL MI. We are excited to tell you that in SQL MI Business Critical you are now getting up to twice as much storage for the same number of vCores!


What is new?

Business Critical


Now (New in blue)

Max instance storage size (reserved)

- 1 TB for 4, 8 vCores
- 2 TB for 16, 24 vCores
- 4 TB for 32 vCores
- 5.5 TB for 40, 64, 80 vCores

Memory optimized premium-series:
- 1 TB for 4, 8 vCores
- 2 TB for 16, 24 vCores
- 4 TB for 32 vCores
- 5.5 TB for 40 vCores
- 16 TB for 64 vCores


- 1 TB for 4, 6 vCores

- 2 TB for 8, 10, 12 vCores

- 4 TB for 16, 20 vCores

- 5.5 TB for 24, 32, 40, (64, 80, 96, 128 vCores)

- 16 TB for 64, 80, 96 and 128 vCores (in certain regions, see blog)


Memory optimized premium-series:

- 1 TB for 4, 6  vCores

- 2 TB for 8, 10, 12 vCores

- 4 TB for 16, 20 vCores

- 5.5 TB for 24 vCores

- 8 TB for 32, 40 vCores

- 12 TB for 48 and 56 vCores

- 16 TB for 64, 80, 96  and 128 vCores


Why is improved Storage-to-vCore Ratio important?

Improved storage-to-vCore ratio means that you have access to up to three times the storage per vCore as before (details in the table above). This brings the following benefits:

  1. Improved Scalability: With more storage at your disposal, your instance can effortlessly scale to meet growing data demands. Whether it is a sudden influx of customer data or expanding analytics, your instance will not skip a beat.
  2. Cost-Effective Growth: While your storage capacity is doubling, your vCore count does not have to increase at the same rate. In SQL MI, you got used to vCore-based purchasing model (What is Azure SQL Managed Instance? - Azure SQL Managed Instance | Microsoft Learn) and this improvement can lead to significant cost savings as you are using fewer vCores. Additionally, with a smaller number of vCores, you need a smaller number of SQL Licenses. It is also cost saving mechanism as you can pay less or reuse licenses that you now have free for some other workload.
  3. Seamless Data Management: If you are dealing with large datasets or heavy transactional workloads, you now have more room to breathe. Complex queries and extensive data sets will feel right at home in your upgraded database environment.

This enhancement is not just about numbers; it is about empowering your business to do more. Whether you are running a global e-commerce platform, handling massive customer databases, or driving real-time analytics, this storage upgrade is designed to support your ambitious data-driven projects.


How to save up to 50% on your database compute costs

STEP 1: Check on your CPU and storage usage.

You can find this on Azure Portal, here is an example:

cpu storage final.png



STEP 2: Explore if the new storage-to-vCore limits allow you to downsize your instance.

In our example, we ran our 32 vCore instance since we needed more than 2 TB of storage, but our CPU usage was less than 50% all the time (32% maximum). With new storage-to-vCore limits, we can downsize our instance to 16 vCores and thereby save 50% on our database compute costs.


STEP 3: Scale your managed instance.

You can scale your managed instance from Azure portalPowerShellAzure CLI or ARM templates. You can also utilize ‘online scaling’ with minimal downtime. See Scale resources - Azure SQL Database & Azure SQL Managed Instance | Microsoft Learn.



If you are already using Azure SQL Managed Instance Business Critical, now is the time to explore how this storage boost can improve your database performance and lower your costs. And if you're in the market for a high-performance, scalable, and reliable database solution, look no further, now is a great time to get started and take Azure SQL Managed Instance for a spin. Thank you for reading and enjoy better storage-to-vCore limits of SQL Managed Instance Business Critical service tier.


Next steps:

  • Get started with SQL Managed Instance with our Quick Start reference guide.
  • Learn more about the latest innovation in Azure SQL Managed Instance

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