Recommendations on using Azure SQL Database tiers

Microsoft Azure provides three service tiers for their Azure SQL Databases (Basic, Standard and Premium) according to the provided database size and responsiveness. Each tier is further divided into performance levels, see Azure SQL Database service and performance tiers for details.

The following table provides our recommendations for running Kentico databases in Azure SQL.

Project demands

Azure SQL levels


Projects in development


The lowest Standard level is suitable only for projects that are not in production and have only small performance demands.

Even though Kentico is able to run in the Basic tier, we do not recommend using this tier as it applies strict limitations on max concurrent requests and DTUs.

Read-only projects in production


Only for small Kentico projects.

Larger read/write projects in production

S3 / P1

Large websites with lots of visitors and database requests.

We also recommend that you perform load test when switching to new Azure SQL tier to make sure the database provides satisfactory performance. Choosing performance levels that do not cover your project demands can cause slow database response times and generally low performance.

You can switch between the Service tiers and Performance levels on the Azure Management Portal -> Select your database -> Pricing tier (scale DTUs) tab.