Today, Microsoft announced pricing for Azure (which isn't open for business yet) on their Azure Windows MSDN blog. Here are some of the basics:
- Compute @ $0.12 / hour
- Storage @ $0.15 / GB stored
- Storage Transactions @ $0.01 / 10K
- Web Edition – Up to 1 GB relational database @ $9.99 per month
- Business Edition – Up to 10 GB relational database @ $99.99 per month
- Messages @ $0.15/100K message operations , including Service Bus messages and Access Control tokens
As you might expect, the compute model is similar to EC2 in that the pricing is "per hour" and per GB. The missing part in the model is the size (or type in EC2 terms) of the compute platform. I would expect Microsoft to augment pricing for compute based-on the amount of compute resources an application requires. I don't think Microsoft would allow an applications that requires 5x the amount of memory or CPU time to be the same price as another application with lesser requirements. There must be tiers at some point. Nothing is infinitely scalable.
Transactions, which I think will translate to I/O, are similar as well -- although Amazon is cheaper (more I/O per cost). The SQL and .NET services are different, as to be expected, since Azure is more of a full featured PaaS.
What I found interesting was this statement:
Burton Group has been saying that we believe that IT organizations need more predictable cloud costs. Some organizations have no idea how much cloud services they are consuming until the bills start to trickle in. IT governance will demand that predictable cost controls be put in place. An "all you can eat within limits" model seems to fit the bill. This could be a good move by Microsoft.
If I had one piece of advice for Microsoft it would be regarding this statement:
Microsoft, please do these things regarding the SLAs:
- Be exhaustive. Don't insult our intelligence with a 1 page SLA. SLAs need to cover more areas than three areas. Things like contingencies, abatements, and service response, need to be covered too.
- Build in some flexibility. An enterprise-class guarantee requires some flexibility. One-size boilerplate SLAs do not fit all.
- Make a machine readable, XML SLA format, complete with the ability to sign and negotiate programmatically. Doing so will speed up automation.
[posted by: Drue Reeves]