Microsoft Azure plays price cut catch up with Google and AWS
Tue 8 Apr 2014
Microsoft Azure has followed Google’s and Amazon’s price cuts – keeping a promise to match Amazon Web Services (WS) dollar for dollar – with cuts of as much as 65%, claiming it matches or beats Amazon’s prices on most services.
Microsoft said: “Consistent with our previously announced commitment to match Amazon on prices for commodity services, we are cutting prices on compute by up to 35% and storage by up to 65%. 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.”
In a barely disguised dig at Google and AWS, Microsoft said the story behind the headline price cuts was that “innovation and quality will prove far more important than commoditization of compute and storage. Vendors will ultimately extol their track records for building and running services far more than their prices and SLAs.”
Microsoft brought in a new entry-level tier of General Purpose Instances that it called “Basic”. This offers similar machine configurations as the Standard tier of instances previously offered, but without load balancing or auto-scaling. These would cost up to 27% less.
Microsoft said: “Basic instances will have similar performance characteristics to AWS’s equivalent instances while the Standard instances will maintain their favourable performance.” The Basic instances will be available from 3 April.
Microsoft also cut the price of its Memory-Intensive Instance by up to 35% for Linux and up to 27% for Windows, with these cuts from 1 May. It said it would also make available a Basic Tier for Memory Intensive Instances shortly.
Block Blob storage pricing was cut by up to 65% for LRS and up to 44% for Geo Redundant Storage (GRS), from 1 May. It also announce a new cheaper storage model (37.5% cheaper) called Zone Redundant Storage (ZRS), storing an equivalent of three copies of data across multiple facilities within the same region or across two regions.