Feeds

When big biz is forced to compete: Now Microsoft latest to cut cloud prices

Redmond follows Amazon which followed Google – what will the mid-tier firms do?

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Microsoft will cut its Azure cloud prices after Amazon slashed its AWS prices in response to Google's cloud price cut.

Redmond announced on Monday that it would lower its prices for cloud services between 27 and 65 percent on the April 3 in response to a wave of reductions that washed through the cloud industry after Google undercut its rivals last week.

These prices come ahead of Microsoft's three-day Build 2014 jamboree for developers that starts this Wednesday in San Francisco, California.

"You won’t see us take the stage at Build and use the opening moment to announce a price cut. This isn’t retail; innovation matters. I’ll cover pricing right here, right now," Redmond Azure chap Steven Martin sniffed in a blog post announcing the cuts.

These new prices cuts mean the cost of Windows-based memory-intensive Azure instances shall fall by as much as 27 percent, along with a price cut of 65 percent for locally redundant storage (LRS) and 44 percent for geo-redundant storage (GRS). The new prices all match Amazon Web Services' storage costs, as Microsoft had previously said it would. However, they fail to go as low as Google which has dropped its storage prices far below its rivals.

A Linux-based Standard A5 instance with 14GB of memory, two CPU cores and up to 4TB of attached disk storage will fall from $0.320 per hour down to $0.220, on Azure, compared to $0.245 for an AWS m2.xLarge instance (2 cores, 17.1GB of RAM and 420GB of flash storage), or $0.164 for a Google n1-highmem-2 instance with two cores and 13GB of RAM.

The caveat here is that only AWS offers directly-attached solid-state disk storage – a powerful technology for developers keen on manipulating large datasets.

Along with today's storage cost drop, Microsoft has created a new family of "Basic" general-purpose servers. These will be priced at up to 27 percent less than their standard forebears, but will not include auto-balancing or load scaling technology.

"Microsoft will continue to focus on bringing our customers a world-class service with an unrivaled user experience. This means best-in-class value while still providing the most complete cloud experience on the market. It means massive investments in cutting-edge infrastructure and world-class R&D. It means continuing to grow our developer and partner ecosystems. Simply put, it means devoting the bulk of our efforts to delivering innovation and a quality experience for our customers, developers, and partners," Microsoft wrote in its blog post.

El Reg's cloud desk here in San Francisco will be slipping out of the office to the Moscone Center in the city for the duration of Build, and will be sure to delve deeply into whatever technologies Microsoft chooses to announce.

With these price changes the industry is showing the glimmerings of true competition, which will be a relief to cloudy consumers and a worry to mid-size cloud providers forced to compete with these large firms. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
The DRUGSTORES DON'T WORK, CVS makes IT WORSE ... for Apple Pay
Goog Wallet apparently also spurned in NFC lockdown
Hey - who wants 4.8 TERABYTES almost AS FAST AS MEMORY?
China's Memblaze says they've got it in PCIe. Yow
IBM, backing away from hardware? NEVER!
Don't be so sure, so-surers
Microsoft brings the CLOUD that GOES ON FOREVER
Sky's the limit with unrestricted space in the cloud
This time it's SO REAL: Overcoming the open-source orgasm myth with TODO
If the web giants need it to work, hey, maybe it'll work
'ANYTHING BUT STABLE' Netflix suffers BIG Europe-wide outage
Friday night LIVE? Nope. The only thing streaming are tears down my face
Google roolz! Nest buys Revolv, KILLS new sales of home hub
Take my temperature, I'm feeling a little bit dizzy
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
How to simplify SSL certificate management
Simple steps to take control of SSL certificates across the enterprise, and recommendations centralizing certificate management throughout their lifecycle.