What is the Windows Azure Platform? Go Here http://www.microsoft.com/azure/whatisazure.mspx
At this year’s Worldwide Partner Conference, Microsoft unveiled the pay-as-you-go pricing for its Windows Azure platform, which includes a cloud services operating system, a Web-based relational database in Microsoft SQL Azure (formerly SQL Services), as well as connectivity and interoperability with .NET Services. Microsoft will offer a consumption-based pricing model, allowing partners and customers to pay only for the services that they consume, in the following structure (bandwidth across all three services will be charged at $0.10 in / $0.15 out / GB):
- Windows Azure:
- Compute @ $0.12 / hour
- Storage @ $0.15 / GB stored
- Storage Transactions @ $0.01 / 10K
- SQL Azure:
- Web Edition – Up to 1GB relational database @ $9.99
- Business Edition – Up to 10GB relational database @ $99.99
- .NET Services:
- Messages @ $0.15/100K message operations, including Service Bus messages and Access Control tokens
Microsoft emphasized that its partners would have access to special promotional offers and discounts that will help them bring solutions to the market faster, reduce IT complexity, and increase revenue opportunities. Microsoft partners get a five percent promotional discount on Windows Azure compute, SQL Azure, and .NET Services. MSDN Premium subscribers will get resources to develop and test their cloud-based applications. There will also be a “development accelerator promotional offer” (15 to 30 percent discount off the consumption charges) for partners and customers who want to quickly develop and deploy applications with dynamic scaling, predictable pricing, and a deep discount. It requires a six-month commitment, and after six months the pricing reverts to the standard Azure rates.
Furthermore, on the Windows Azure blog, the software giant outlined an enterprise-class guarantee backed by a service-level agreement that covers service uptime, connectivity, and data availability:
For compute, we guarantee that when you deploy two or more role instances in different fault and upgrade domains your Internet facing roles will have external connectivity at least 99.95% of the time. Additionally, we will monitor all of your individual role instances and detect within two minutes when a role instance’s process is not running and initiate corrective action. For storage, we guarantee that at least 99.9% of the time we will successfully process correctly formatted requests that we receive to add, update, read and delete data. We also guarantee that your storage accounts will have connectivity to our Internet gateway.
Microsoft also noted that Windows Azure, SQL Azure, and .NET Services would be commercially available at its Professional Developers Conference 2009, which goes on between November 17 and 19, 2009. At launch, Microsoft is planning to have offers available in local currencies for Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, India, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, and the US. In March 2010, commercial availability will expand to Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Israel, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Poland, Puerto Rico, Romania, Singapore, and Taiwan.
Microsoft may have a tough time convincing developers that Azure is worth their time, and while pricing is important, it all comes down to trust. You can read our explanation on what Windows Azure is and isn’t for more information.