Not too many years ago, building a globally distributed database system using your own data centers, your own connections, and your own precious resources required a great deal of planning and more than a little effort. In some instances, enterprises would determine that the cost of such a project was just too great to undertake, limiting company growth and business potential.

However, with cloud computing and the Software as a Service (SaaS) business model, developing a scalable, globally distributed database for your enterprise–whether it is a one-man operation or a Fortune 100 company–can be just a few mouse clicks away.

Microsoft Azure Cosmos DB uses the inherent power of cloud computing to create a turnkey globally distributed database system that can expand and contract with your business needs. This smart person’s guide provides specifics about Azure Cosmos DB and details on how to use it. We will update the guide as new information is available about the database system.

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Executive summary

  • What is Microsoft Azure Cosmos DB? A turnkey globally distributed, multi-model database system sold by Microsoft as part of Azure.
  • Why does Microsoft Azure Cosmos DB matter? It provides enterprises of any size the ability to establish a global presence easily in a matter of minutes.
  • Who does Microsoft Azure Cosmos DB affect? Any enterprise looking to deploy a global database that does not already have the technological infrastructure in place.
  • When is Microsoft Azure Cosmos DB available? Azure Cosmos DB is currently available as part of the Microsoft Azure suite of cloud-based applications.
  • How can I get Microsoft Azure Cosmos DB? Azure Cosmos DB can be acquired directly from Microsoft on the Azure website.

SEE: Build 2017: Microsoft promises a turnkey globally distributed database service, Azure Cosmos DB (TechRepublic)

What is Microsoft Azure Cosmos DB?

Microsoft Azure Cosmos DB is a turnkey globally distributed, multi-model database system sold under the SaaS model. Cost is determined by data throughput and used storage capacity. The more data throughput an enterprise uses the more it will be required to pay.

Azure Cosmos DB give customers the tools it needs to scale both the computational power and the global distribution pattern required at any point in time depending on business needs. The tools are supplied by the Microsoft Azure platform and its intelligent cloud AI technology.


Feature Description
Turnkey Established globally distributed database system driven by the cloud-computing power of Azure. Data can be automatically replicated in Azure data centers around the world.
Multi-model Customers can use key-value, graph, and document data without worrying about schema or index management.
Multi-API Data is automatically indexed, which allows customers to access their data with the API of their choice including SQL, JavaScript, Gremlin, MongoDB, and Azure Table Storage.
Scalability Customers can independently scale storage and throughput.
Five consistency levels Defined consistency levels include strong, bounded staleness, consistent-prefix, session, and eventual.
Latency Guaranteed less than 10-ms latencies on reads and less than 15-ms latencies on (indexed) writes at the 99th percentile.
Reliability Offered service level agreements (SLAs) include 99.99% high availability, with latency at the 99th percentile.

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Why does Microsoft Azure Cosmos DB matter?

Developing a proprietary, self-contained, globally distributed, multi-model database system from scratch requires a tremendous outlay of time and financial resources. In many cases, the cost of such a project is too much for an enterprise to undergo alone, which can limit the potential for business growth.

With Microsoft Azure Cosmos DB enterprises of any size can establish a globally distributed database system that takes advantage of already existing data centers and infrastructures in a matter of minutes. Combine that with the administrative tools provided by Azure and Microsoft’s intelligent cloud system, and enterprises can establish a powerful global presence quickly and easily without a major initial expenditure.

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Who does Microsoft Azure Cosmos DB affect?

Any enterprise, regardless of size, that needs to establish a flexible database system to meet business requirements may find the Microsoft Azure Cosmos DB a desirable choice. This is particularly true if business dictates that the database be globally distributed and scalable.

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The main competition to Microsoft Azure and all of the applications that make up the platform, including Azure Cosmos DB, are other large technology players like Amazon AWS, IBM, and Google Cloud Platform. Traditional database companies like Oracle also represent competition in this market.

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When is Microsoft Azure Cosmos DB happening?

The Microsoft Azure Cosmos DB system is available now. However, because it is offered as a SaaS system, new features and applications will be tested and added periodically.

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How do I get Microsoft Azure Cosmos DB?

Customers seeking to establish an Azure Cosmos DB database should visit the Microsoft Azure website. The system is one of the many applications offered under the auspices of Azure.

Pricing for Azure Cosmos DB is based on provisioned data throughput, measured in reserved RUs / second and storage usage, measured in GB / month. The standard current rate according to the Microsoft Azure website is:

SSD Storage (per GB) $0.25 GB/mo
Reserved RUs / second (per 100 RUs, 400 RUs minimum) $0.008/hr

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