Q63.When Azure offers SQL Database why should I use Windows Azure Table Storage in Azure application?

The choice of data storage for an Azure application is based on the application type that is whether application is SaaS based or on-premise or highly scalable application or big data application and its data needs. Even though SQL Database works well with many scenarios, highly scalable applications need Table Storage kind of data storage because of the following mentioned benefits. Azure Table Storage offers three significant benefits as compared to Azure Database service.

1. Cost
2. Scalability
3. Speed

As mentioned, cost is a significant benefit of Azure table storage. It is an overriding factor when making a choice between Table storage and SQL database. In fact, Microsoft forces you to think and make choices as it offers many alternatives for a business and technological need.

Microsoft has designed its pricing structure in such a way that the first GB of data is the lowest priced and incremental pricing is very competitive. For one GB of data, the cost of Table Storage is much lower when compared to SQL database.

In a big data scenario, Table storage is perfect choice because of the next two features Table Storage offers.


Storing large amounts of data in SQL database has its own limitations. On the other hand, Table Storage is highly scalable because the data in a Table can be split into many partitions and these partitions are spread across many storage nodes. This partitioning technology ensures as data is being added and the Tables are growing in size azure automatically handles this situation seamlessly.


Accessing data from Table storage is very fast as it does not involve joins to retrieve data. Also, Tables are partitioned based on partition key and queries are executed on partitions making data retrieval very fast. On the other hand SQL database involves complex joins and queries are very slow specially in big data scenarios.