Microsoft Cuts Azure Cloud Prices, Introduces ‘Basic’ Instances

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Microsoft is cutting prices for users of its Azure cloud, dropping the price of its compute by up to 35 percent and storage by up to 65 percent.

The company will also be moving to region-specific pricing to help customers save money when their workloads does not require specific placement.

In the blog post announcing the change, Microsoft Azure general manager Steven Martin states, “We recognize that economics are a primary driver for some customers adopting cloud, and stand by our commitment to match prices and be best-in-class on price performance.”

According to Martin, Microsoft sees price as just one (albeit a very compelling) factor in the decision to use Azure, which it is trying to build as a platform with the best combination of innovation, price, and quality.

Price competition, however, is heating up in the cloud space, and is largely led by Amazon and Google, who many would describe as Microsoft’s most fierce cloud competitors.

In February, Amazon Web Services lowered its prices in all regions with Amazon Simple Storage Service costing up to 22 percent less and Amazon Elastic Block Store up to 50 percent.

Last week, Google announced new pricing for its cloud computing services including a drop of its Compute Engine service by 32 percent, Cloud Storage by roughly 68 percent for most customers, and Google BigQuery by 85 percent.

Microsoft’s announcement this week, however, wasn’t just about pricing, but also announcing some new services.

A new tier of General Purpose Instances called “Basic” ranging from extra small (A0) to extra large (A4) will become available on April 3. These are similar to the current Standard tier, but cost 27 percent less, but do not include load balancing or auto-scaling.

In the coming months, the company plans to add Zone Redundant Storage (ZRS), a new redundancy service for Block Blob storage that keeps an equivalent of 3 copies of your data across multiple facilities either within the same region or across two regions.


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About the Author

David Hamilton is a technology journalist and Contributing Editor of the WHIR. Based in Toronto, David has covered the hosting industry internationally for the WHIR with particular attention to innovative hosting solutions and the issues facing the industry. He has written for the National Post and other news outlets, and is a graduate of Queen’s University and the Humber College School of Media Studies.

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