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Microsoft Reduces SQL Azure Database Pricing And Offers Lower 100MB Option

Darryl K. Taft covers IBM, big data and a number of other topics for TechWeekEurope and eWeek

Microsoft has announced price reductions for its SQL Azure cloud database services with a new minimum 100MB option

Microsoft has announced a reduction in pricing for its SQL Azure cloud database service.

In a Windows Azure team blog post, general manager of Windows Azure Business Planning Steven Martin said Microsoft has lowered the price of SQL Azure and introduced a 100MB database option to meet evolving customer needs “across both ends of the database size spectrum”.

Half as much or more

Customers will realise 48 percent to 75 percent savings for databases larger than a gigabyte, Martin said. “Today’s announcement is another step in our ongoing journey to help customers with a variety of scenarios to embrace cloud computing,” he said. Martin noted that Microsoft has seen two primary usage patterns emerge in the last 18 months – user projects that start small and then need to quickly scale, and other users who have a smaller workload and want an inexpensive option.

“Just as we made a 150GB option available for customers with large database needs, we are providing the same level of choice at the other end of the spectrum with the 100MB option for smaller database needs,” Martin said, adding that, for customers who want to scale: “As your database grows, the price per gigabyte will decline significantly”.

The 100MB database option enables customers to get started using SQL Azure at half of the previous price, while still providing the full range of features including: high availability, fault tolerance, self-management, elastic scale-out, on-premises connectivity, and full Service Level Agreement.  Full details on the new pricing can be found here.

Microsoft’s SQL Azure’s price reduction follows Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) announcement of a reduction in price for its Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), effective as of 1 February.

In a blog post, Amazon Web Service evangelist Jeff Barr announced a new series of price reductions for the S3 service, noting that AWS will continue to drive down storage costs and pass the saving back to the customer base.

“With this price change, all Amazon S3 standard storage customers will see a significant reduction in their storage costs,” Barr said in his post. “For instance, if you store 50 terabytes of data on average, you will see a 12 percent reduction in your storage costs and, if you store 500 TB of data on average, you will see a 13.5 [percent] reduction in your storage costs.”