Microsoft unveils Azure pricing structure

Microsoft originally announced its Azure cloud services and platform at last year's PDC.

Azure provides businesses with a set of hosted services from Microsoft that allows developers to build rich web based applications that can scale well. Housed in Microsoft's data centers, the service was initially released as a Community Technology Preview and free of charge during its testing phase.

Today Microsoft detailed its pricing structure on how it intends to charge customers for cloud use. Bob Muglia, president of the Server and Tools Business at Microsoft, announced the business and partner model for the company's Windows Azure platform at the Worldwide Partner Conference in New Orleans today. Microsoft will offer Windows Azure, SQL Azure and .NET Services for purchase through a consumption-based pricing model, allowing partners and customers to pay only for the services that they consume. Microsoft partners also will benefit from special promotional offers and discounts.

Microsoft has said it will charge $0.12 per compute hour for its Windows Azure Compute. Amazon's price for an ondemand Windows instance starts at $0.125. The company will also charge $0.15 per GB for storage and $0.10 per 10,000 storage transactions. The full pricing structure will not kick in until Microsoft launches Azure as commercial service at the Professional Developers Conference, due to take place between November 17-19 in Los Angeles. The company plans to launch Azure as a pay-as-you-go consumption model, under subscriptions, and via volume licensing contracts.

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I sure wouldn't recommend it to my company, sitting in our IT department.

It always help to have the stuff under your control, in case crap hits the fan. It's like step 1 in my book. Imagine a company's web app stops working for distance workers across the country due to a server-side disruption of service. What do you do? Whine at MS in a fricking telephone, wait, and cross your fingers? Come on... If the CEO didn't know the details, he'd practically execute you if this configuration then came to his knowledge. ;)

It's convenient to play around with for quickly started web app experiments though, as a private user. While it was free. Going commercial and charging for both use as well as storage automatically pushes it more into the corporate domain.

Microsoft partners also will benefit from special promotional offers and discounts.

IMHO, this is indicative that MS realizes there may be issues with the pricing system, and they're worried a carrot like this is needed. It's not a good sign.

Jugalator said,
I sure wouldn't recommend it to my company, sitting in our IT department.

It always help to have the stuff under your control, in case crap hits the fan. It's like step 1 in my book. Imagine a company's web app stops working for distance workers across the country due to a server-side disruption of service. What do you do? Whine at MS in a fricking telephone, wait, and cross your fingers? Come on... If the CEO didn't know the details, he'd practically execute you if this configuration then came to his knowledge. ;)


Well if you have the infrastructure and man power to maintain your own services then yes, that makes sense. If you don't something like this would probably be appealing as it could well be a lot more cost effective to implement and potentially avoid not only buying hardware but hiring staff.

Hosted services at all levels have their pros and cons in the end of the day.

From Article
Microsoft will offer Windows Azure, SQL Azure and .NET Services for purchase through a consumption-based pricing model, allowing partners and customers to pay only for the services that they consume

Well, it sounds like they only revealed part of the pricing then? It sounds like you have to buy the modules separate? Or is that worked into things like Visual Studio and such? Still a bit confused.

I'm glad I'm not buying any of this cloud mess as the price structure is very confusing :P
For example:

What is a computer hour? How does it differ from a normal hour? How do you calculate it?
What is $0.10s? The s being the confusing part for me...

I still prefer to keep my own servers where I can know my data is secure.

Frazell Thomas said,
I'm glad I'm not buying any of this cloud mess as the price structure is very confusing :P
For example:

What is a computer hour? How does it differ from a normal hour? How do you calculate it?
What is $0.10s? The s being the confusing part for me...

I still prefer to keep my own servers where I can know my data is secure.


I'd assume Computer Hour means CPU time per hour?

andrewbares said,
lol, "Computer Hour".

I'd rather have everything under my control too.

And I don't like paying for stuff, either.

Well, it's tough finding solutions you don't have to pay anything for...

They mean CPU time. It's a per resource pay model, thus they charge CPU, GB, and transaction (bandwidth). The more your app/service uses the more it'll cost. Which sounds logical. This is running on MS's datacenters in the end.

You can however run your own Windows Azure servers. But MS hasn't said yet how much that will cost you. Also the volume and subscription pricing isn't known yet.