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    Hey, Dave can you say more about the backup thing ?  when you say "However, since there isn't a backup mechanism in SQL Azure and this is why the database copy strategy is suggested" that seems very odd....   do you mean just that you do not have the option to make a backup and then mount it as a new db instance ?  or that you have no way to set a backup job from the server at all ?  even if the cloud has it's internal backup system I would still want to be able to pull down a backup for local testing on a standard sql server for example.