Customers of Microsoft’s Azure Virtual Machine configurations may feel the grip on their wallets loosen a bit as the company lowers its prices for some of its tools. Thanks to an ongoing competition with Amazon and its Amazon Web Services cloud solutions, Microsoft is tangled in a pricing war that is a pure benefit to customers.
According to Microsoft, part of its promise to deliver the best customer value on Azure includes a commitment to keeping “prices comparable on commodity services such as compute, storage, and bandwidth relative to AWS.” So, thanks, Amazon.
Starting now, Microsoft is reducing the price of Dv2 Virtual Machines by 17%. The details of Microsoft’s new rearranged savings are bit more nuanced.
- For customers with Enterprise Agreements, you not only get price reductions like these but also, your price points are even lower – in many cases well below available AWS pricing – re-enforcing our commitment to be the number one enterprise cloud.
- Unlike AWS, Azure virtual machine usage is billed on per-minute rate, so you only pay for the compute that you use. With AWS, you pay for an hour even if you only use a few minutes.
- For developers, Microsoft provides up to $150 free Azure credits per month along with discounts for Dev/Test workloads through the Microsoft Developer Network program. Any developer will be able to get $25 free Azure credits per month for one year with the Dev Essentials program coming soon.
- With the Azure Compute Pre-Purchase plan, you can receive up to 63% cost savings when you pre-purchase your virtual machines for one year.
- If you’re moving a significant number of workloads to the cloud and are looking for great pricing with lots of flexibility, check out the Azure Compute option. With this program, you can run any compute instance in Azure and realize discounts up to 60% in exchange for add-ons to your Windows Server annuity licenses.
If that's not enough fine print, Microsoft is also encouraging customers to visit the Microsoft Azure website for information about Microsoft licenses on Azure, who can access Azure Compute Options, what workloads are best-suited for ACO, and when license changes go into effect.
On top of the savings proposition, Microsoft is also touting the benefits of Dv2 Virtual Machine over v1 and AWS EC2 instances. Dv2 is now delivering 35% faster CPUs over v1 and compared to AWS EC2; it offers load balancing and auto scaling built-in at ‘no additional charge.’
As Microsoft attempts to shorten the lead between Amazon Web Services and its Azure cloud solutions, customers could expect to see far more reductions as well as bundled products and services being included to boost its value proposition. We'll be sure to keep you up-to-date on these and other Azure occurances.