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Microsoft unveils Azure pricing model

Microscope contributor


Microsoft has unveiled the pricing structure for its Azure cloud platform as it encourages developers to engage with the platform and resellers to start to promote the vendor's offering.

Users will be charged a range of costs depending on storage and usage when the service starts in the UK this November.

Mark Taylor, senior director at Microsoft, said the benefits to customers were the flexibility of a pay-as-you-go model or a subscription service and, sticking with the software as a service model, the technology can be offered online or on-premises.

"The purchasing models will be familiar to organisations today with pay-as-you-go, subscription and volume licensing," he said.

Prices of the pay-per-use service start at $0.12 per service hour for Windows Azure. Microsoft said users pay $0.15 per Gbyte/month for storage and $0.01 per 10,000 transactions.

A 1Gbyte SQL database is charged at $9.99 per month. A 10Gbyte SQL database costs $99.98 per month. Microsoft will charge $0.15 per 100,000 transactions for .net Azure services.

Microsoft also promises to offer a service level agreement for Azure. If the service drops below 99.95% availability it will give users a 10% credit. If it drops below 99%, users get a 25% credit.

There will be three versions with Windows Azure, SQL and .net flavours along with services that will include some SLAs.

Claire Barclay, director of partner strategy and programmes at Microsoft UK, said that resellers understood as well as anyone the current demand for the cloud and had supported the vendor launch its software-plus-services strategy.

"Azure is the next generation platform and it will help partners. A lot of on-premises business has remained," she added. "As the economy has downturned there has been an uptake in cloud-based services, and we want to make sure our offerings on that platform are growing."


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