Microsoft has announced the availability of its Azure Infrastructure Service – a cloud service – for the general customers at competitive prices almost equalling Amazon Web Services prices.
For those who aren’t familiar, Windows Azure is a cloud computing platform and infrastructure for building, deploying and managing applications and services through a global network of Microsoft-managed datacentres.
Windows Azure supports many different programming languages, operating systems, tools and frameworks, including both Microsoft-specific and third-party software and systems.
These infrastructure services enable customers extend data centres and workloads into the cloud while using their existing skills and investments. With these services, you can:
- Provision Microsoft SharePoint farms in minutes without up-front hardware investments.
- Integrate full-trust code to run rich apps and provide Internet-facing collaboration sites.
- Prototype your newest app or extend data marts into the cloud using Virtual Machines as a robust infrastructure for Microsoft SQL Server software.
- Scale on demand and connect to your on-premises infrastructure using Windows Azure Virtual Networks.
- Embrace rapid innovation using the cloud for development and test scenarios. You can spin up any test lab or sandbox quickly and be agile in your learning, development, and prototyping
With Windows Azure customers can build their private networks, farms, storage networks and so on.
Updated Windows Azure SLA:
When you deploy multiple instances of Windows Azure Virtual Machines, Microsoft provides a financially backed 99.95 percent monthly service level agreement (SLA).
Price reductions for Windows Azure Virtual Machines and Cloud Services:
Microsoft has said that it made following changes in price.
- Windows Azure Virtual Machines general availability prices have been reduced by 21% for standard instances. New general availability prices will be effective June 1, 2013. For a small instance, the new price will be $0.09 per hour. Windows Azure Virtual Machines will remain at discounted preview prices until May 31, for standard instances.
- Linux Virtual Machines prices have been reduced by 25 percent for standard instances. Effective April 16, 2013, prices will be reduced by 25 percent for small, medium, large, and extra-large instances. For example, the price for a Linux small instance will drop from $0.08 per hour to $0.06 per hour in all geographies.
- Windows Azure Virtual Network pricing of $0.05 per hour will become effective June 1, 2013. Until June 1, customers can use Windows Azure Virtual Network free of charge.
- Windows Azure Cloud Services web and worker role prices have been reduced by 33 percent for standard instances. Effective April 16, 2013, the price will drop by 33 percent for small, medium, large, and extra-large instances. For example, the price for a small worker role will drop from $0.12 per hour to $0.08 per hour in all geographies.
- The value of 90-day free trial for MSDN and Microsoft Partner Network offers will increase. These offers will now include additional 50 hours of usage per month of our new high-memory instances. This special offer ends June 1, 2013.
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