Sign-up now and get instant access
Leave a comment
Beginner to advanced classes taught by Microsoft MVPs and Authors.
In-depth boot camps take you from a novice to mastery in less than a week.
Season Learning Pass
Get access to our very best training offerings for successful up-skilling.
Customized training to master new skills and grow your business.
Quick references for when you need a little guidance.
Summaries developed in conjunction with our Learn with the Nerds sessions.
Digital goodies - code samples, student files, and other must have files.
Stay up-to-date on all things Power BI, Power Apps, Microsoft 365 and Azure.
Earn money by driving sales through the Pragmatic Works' Training Affiliate Program.
It's time to address your client's training needs.
Learn how to get into IT with free training and mentorship.
Discover the faces behind our success: Meet our dedicated team
How can we help? Connect with Our Team Today!
Find all the information you’re looking for. We’re happy to help.
If you’re just starting out with Azure SQL Database, you may have questions about the difference between the DTU and vCore pricing models. I’d like to clear up some of those questions.
Let me start by pointing out that whether you’re using DTU or vCore pricing with Azure SQL Database, the underlying service is the same. The difference between them really has to do with how the service is billed and how you allocate databases.
A little history here—the DTU (Database Transaction Unit) model was the first to be introduced with Azure SQL DB. DTU is a measure; a blend of CPU memory and IO. The idea was to create a measure that would give us a relative idea of the amount of power or resources behind the database – the higher the number of DTUs, the more powerful database we had.
The range of DTUs went from 5 on the low end to up to 4,000 on the high end. The problem for many was not knowing exactly what a DTU is. After a while, Microsoft acknowledged that question and introduced the vCore pricing. vCore is short for virtual core and it’s a model that was designed to make it simpler to translate your on prem hardware resource specs into similar specs on the Azure SQL database platform.
For example, if you’re pricing by vCore, you have some visibility into the actual amount of RAM that’s available to you, as well as some idea of the type of processor and the speed of the processor that’s being used on the hardware. With the DTU model, all of that is just part of the service, so you’re not aware of those specifics.
A few notes:
So, you may ask, which one should I use? The simple answer, it depends. The DTU model is simpler as far as the number of options that you have and the number of ‘levers to pull’ – one fixed price includes everything. The vCore model gives you more flexibility and transparency into what you’re paying for.
In short, for simplicity, the DTU model has an advantage. Plus, if you’re just getting started with Azure SQL Database, the DTU model offers more options at the lower end of performance, so you can get started at a lower price point than with vCore.
If you have software assurance with Microsoft and are familiar with how that works, there are some advantages there to using vCore. If you’re not familiar with software assurance, you may want to start with the DTU model.
If you have questions about Azure SQL Database, the Azure platform and anything related to Azure or data for your business, you’re in the right place. Click the link below or contact us – we’re here to help no matter where you are on your cloud journey.
Join other Azure, Power Platform and SQL Server pros by subscribing to our blog.