Coming to the topic of this post, after the availability of Database Manager for SQL Azure, SQL Azure Reporting is one step forward in bringing SaaS model in SQL Server ecosystem. Project Atlanta and Quest Software's Azure Services are two of the cloud based SQL Server related SaaS / PaaS (as I have not analyzed it thoroughly) services.
Microsoft's official description for Project Atlanta is as follows: "Microsoft Codename Atlanta is a cloud-based service that analyzes installations of Microsoft SQL Server 2008 (and later) and provides proactive alerts to help you avoid downtime and adhere to Microsoft's best practices. Detection of potential issues is based on knowledge provided by experienced Microsoft Support engineers who keep it up to date to leverage the most recent experience in supporting SQL Server deployments around the world". Though it sounds very exciting, there is another dimension to this offering, which Brent has described in his post. Do not miss the conversation between Brent and the Program Manager of Project Atlanta. This is one case study where one can take few lessons, that can be helpful in developing proprietary solution offerings on similar lines.
If you analyze the trend of the wind, you can easily make out the SQL Server product vendors are gearing up to provide cloud based solutions, some of which might be effective and some might be not. From a solution provider point of view, when your client might request a PaaS / SaaS solution on Windows Azure or SQL Azure, case studies like these can provide good insight from an architecture as well as designing of solution offering standpoint. I am wondering what would be Red Gate 's answer to these services, as SQL Toolsbelt might not be sufficient when cloud comes into picture.