SQL Azure used to require the Premium (P) tier to take advantage of Active Geo-Replication for Azure SQL Database. Since April 25th this is no longer the case and all tiers, including Basic (B) at around $5/£3 month, now support this setup.
This is fantastic news! We can now have databases up to 250GB, in Standard (S) Tier, with Active Geo-Replication for a readable secondary for around £30/£18 month, on the S0 Tier, for both databases. We can then offload our reads to our secondary for reporting whilst using the primary for our business if required for writes. In addition to this we can have up to four readable secondaries.
This is without doubt a fantastic reason to be thinking PaaS (Platform As A Service) and most definitely one of the more significant features now available to all. Standard Geo-replication will be retired in April 2017.
Additional charges for storage apply.
Active Geo-Replication for Azure SQL Database ALL Tiers