Microsoft Azure: Price cuts for virtual machines and storage services

Microsoft drives down the cost of several services as the cloud computing price war continues.
Written by Steve Ranger, Global News Director

Microsoft is cutting the cost of some of its Azure virtual machine and storage services.

Azure is Microsoft's collection of cloud computing and data services, which includes analytics, computing, databases, mobile, media, networking and storage.

For Azure Virtual Machines, Microsoft said it has reduced prices of its compute-optimized F Series instances and its general-purpose A1 Basic instances, by up to 24 percent and 61 percent respectively.

Microsoft's Azure director of product marketing Venkat Gattemneni said the company was making "significant price reductions" on several Azure virtual machine ranges and storage types. "We hope this will further lower the barrier to entry for our customers and accelerate cloud transformation," he said.

The table below shows an example of the VM price reductions in the UK South region, cuts in other regions vary. Gattemneni said Microsoft would also be cutting the price of its D-series general-purpose instances in the near future.


VM price reductions in UK South

Image: Microsoft

The company has also reduced prices on Azure Storage offerings, cutting Hot Block Blob Storage and Cool Block Blob Storage prices by up to 31 percent and 38 percent respectively. These new prices are only available to customers using Azure Blob Storage Accounts. The scale of the reductions vary by region, and the example Microsoft provides is of UK South, where there'll be cuts of 26 percent and 38 percent for these services

Customers who are on the General Purpose Blob Storage can get these prices by moving data from a General Purpose Blob to an Azure Blob Storage account, using tools such as AZ copy.

The big cloud infrastructure providers have been promoting price cuts for some time now as a way of attracting customers to their cloud services, especially for largely commodity services. However, cloud computing pricing is a complicated business for users to understand: it's often hard to get a like-for-like comparison and costs of services can vary by location. Amazon's AWS still dominates the cloud infrastructure market however, with the same market share as it's three biggest rivals combined, according to research by Canalys.


Cloud infrastructure services by provider.

Source: Canalys

And prices don't always go down: last year Microsoft said it would increase Azure prices for UK customers by 22 percent as a result of the weak pound, following the country's vote to leave the European Union.

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