General Availability of mem. opt. premium-series HW and 16 TB storage in BC in SQL Managed Instance
Published Sep 28 2022 08:32 AM 4,810 Views

We’re thrilled to announce the general availability for the memory optimized premium-series hardware generation for Azure SQL Managed Instance, based on the latest generation of Intel® Xeon Scalable processors (3rd gen - Ice Lake).


Memory optimized premium-series hardware generation in Azure SQL Managed instance offers over 2.5 times more memory per vCore compared to standard-series, 16 TB of storage in Business Critical service tier, providing a significant upgrade over the limits in standard-series (4 TB) and premium-series (5.5 TB).


Premium-series hardware in Azure SQL Managed instance offers industry-leading performance and price/performance for SQL Server cloud database services, providing a perfect platform to migrate more of your large database applications to the cloud. Here's an excerpt from the recent report by Principled Technologies that illustrates the point:


Azure SQL Managed Instance significantly outperformed Amazon RDS. Offering between double and five times the performance depending on the workload, the three SQL Managed Instances we tested also offered better overall value, improving price/performance by as much as 90.3 percent.


Creating a memory optimized premium-series SQL Managed Instance via Azure Portal



The following table summarizes the key technical details for the new premium-series hardware generations in SQL Managed Instance:


Standard-series (Gen 5)


Memory optimized premium-series


Intel® E5-2673 v4 (Broadwell),

Intel® SP-8160 (Skylake) and Intel® 8272CL (Cascade Lake) 2.5 GHz processors

Intel® 8370C (Ice Lake) 2.8 GHz processors

Intel® 8370C (Ice Lake) 2.8 GHz processors

Number of vCores

4-80 vCores

4-80 vCores

4-64 vCores


5.1 GB per vCore

Max 408 GB per instance

7 GB per vCore

Max 560 GB per instance

13.6 GB per vCore

Max 870 GB per instance

Max instance reserved storage

(depending on the number of vCores)

General Purpose: up to 16 TB

Business Criticalup to 4 TB

General Purpose: up to 16 TB

Business Critical: up to 5.5 TB

General Purpose: up to 16 TB

Business Critical: up to 16 TB

Key characteristics for SQL Managed Instance hardware configurations


Support for 16 TB and Improved Storage to vCore ratio in SQL MI Business Critical

Memory optimized premium-series allows up to 16 TB of storage for your Business Critical SQL Managed Instances, providing significantly more room for your large database applications. Given that Business Critical service tier uses locally-attached SSD storage to deliver blazing-fast performance (details in this article), the maximum storage size is tied to the number of vCores. However, both new premium-series hardware generations offer access to 2 TB of storage relative to standard-series, offering lower total costs at lower instance sizes.

Standard-Series (Gen5)


Memory optimized


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

- 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

- 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

Storage to vCore ratios in the Business Critical service tier of SQL Managed Instance


For more details on other limitations, go to SQL Managed Instance resource limits page.


Note when migrating instances with >8 TB of storage from Business Critical to General Purpose service tier

Note that SQL MI General Purpose service tier currently imposes a limitation of 8 TB as the maximum size for each file. Therefore, if your SQL MI Business Critical instance with memory-optimized premium-series hardware generation has a file larger than 8 TB and you wish to change the tier from Business Critical to General Purpose, you will need to downsize that file before you update the tier. Otherwise, you will get the following error message:

“The operation could not be completed because some of the database files are exceeding maximum General Purpose file size limit of 8192 GB.”


Regional Availability

Memory optimized premium-series is available in most Azure regions, including at least one region in each Azure geography. Here’s the snapshot of the supported regions as of Sep 28th 2022:



Regions supporting memory optimized premium-series HW

Europe, Middle East, Africa

France Central, Germany West Central, North Europe, Sweden Central, UK South, West Europe


Brazil South, Canada Central, Central US, East US, East US 2, North Central US, South Central US, West US, West US 2, West US 3

Asia Pacific

Australia East, Australia Southeast, Central India, East Asia, Japan East, Southeast Asia,

List of Azure Regions where memory optimizes premium-series hardware for SQL Managed Instance is available


For an up-to-date list of available regions, consult the SQL Managed Instance resource limits page.


Availability of Reserved Instance pricing

Reserved Instance pricing for memory optimized premium-series hardware in Azure SQL Managed Instance is expected to be introduced later this calendar year. This will allow you to get more value for your money with Azure SQL Managed Instance.


For more details, please see the SQL Managed Instance pricing page.



In this article, we introduced the new memory optimized premium-series hardware generations that make Azure SQL Managed Instance a great fit for more of your high-performance and memory-intensive database applications.


Next steps:

  • Create your first memory optimizes premium-series SQL Managed Instance in one of the supported regions and enjoy the blazing-fast performance for your database workloads.
  • Get started with SQL Managed Instance with our Quick Start reference guide.
  • Learn more about Azure SQL Managed Instance capabilities and premium-series hardware generations.
  • Read the report by Principled Technologies comparing the performance and price/performance of Azure SQL Managed Instance and AWS RDS.


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‎Sep 28 2022 08:18 AM
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