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Azure Goes Dollar-to-Dollar with AWS

Microsoft will cut prices on its IaaS and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) virtual machines by 21%-33%

Windows Azure got into the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) business Tuesday when a hungry Microsoft took on Amazon Web Services, vowing to match its pricing on "commodity services" such as compute, storage and bandwidth despite Amazon's habitual price cutting.

To start, Microsoft will cut prices on its IaaS and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) virtual machines by 21%-33%.

The new on-demand prices for Azure VMs are:

Size Name

# of CPU Cores

Memory

Windows VM Pricing

Linux VM Pricing

ExtraSmall

Shared

768 MB

$0.02 per hour

$0.02 per hour

Small

1

1.75 GB

$0.09 per hour

$0.06 per hour

Medium

2

3.5 GB

$0.18 per hour

$0.12 per hour

Large

4

7 GB

$0.36 per hour

$0.24 per hour

ExtraLarge

8

14 GB

$0.72 per hour

$0.48 per hour

A6

4

28 GB

$1.02 per hour

$0.82 per hour

A7

8

56 GB

$2.04 per hour

$1.64 per hour

Microsoft also said that, "Regardless of how you choose to buy Windows Azure, you'll get the benefit of this price reduction."

For a six- or 12-month spending commitment Microsoft will discount the standard pay-as-you-go rates. The discount applies to any Azure resource the user buys so he can tinker with deployment sizes.

The general availability of Windows Azure Infrastructure Services will let customers move their applications to Microsoft's public cloud under the protection of what Microsoft thinks are among the industry's highest enterprise SLAs and Microsoft support.

Its long-awaited IaaS release is now live in production and Microsoft is offering a free trial.

The widgetry has been enhanced from what was in preview starting nine months ago to include new validated VM image templates for SQL Server, BizTalk Server, SharePoint and Dynamics NAV and new high-memory VM instance sizes of 28GB/4 cores and 56GB/8 cores for heavy workloads.

Users can create durable VMs from the Image Galley of pre-populated templates built into the Windows Azure Management Portal, or upload and run their own custom-built VHD images.

Besides SQL Server, BizTalk Server and SharePoint Server, the templates include Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2008 R2, Ubuntu, CentOS and SUSE Linux.

User can run both Linux and Windows apps without any rewriting.

During the preview Azure's default OS disk partition size was 30GB. Based on customer feedback all new images now default to 127GB for an OS partition.

Microsoft has also released Brooklyn, its Azure Virtual Networking that'll extend enterprise networks with secure site-to-site IPsec VPN connectivity like Amazon.

Azure claims to have 200,000 customers with a thousand a day signing up.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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