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Windows Azure Overview Part 3: All About Azure Pricing

Knowing all the different features of Windows Azure and what the corresponding fees are, can help you estimate your expenses for running an application in the cloud. It can also help you develop new applications in a way that they consume lower numbers of billable resources — drastically reducing your monthly bill.

Each instance of your Azure application runs on a separate virtual machine. You have to choose the type of these virtual machines depending on the needs of your application. Microsoft has provided the following details for comparison:

Size CPU cores Memory Disk Space
Web / Worker
Role
Disk Space
VM Role
Bandwidth
(Mbps)
Cost
Per
Hour
ExtraSmall Shared 768 MB ~ 20 GB 20 GB 5 $0.04
Small 1 1.75 GB ~ 230 GB 165 GB 100 $0.12
Medium 2 3.5 GB ~ 500 GB 340 GB 200 $0.24
Large 4 7 GB ~ 1 TB 850 GB 400 $0.48
ExtraLarge 8 14 GB ~ 2 TB 1890 GB 800 $0.96

Some Basic Facts About Pricing

With Windows Azure, every started hour is a billed hour.  Keep in mind that all these resources get reserved for your application once you deploy your application and you’re paying for them — whether your application is using them completely or not. Even if your applications are not running at all, you will still be charged for the allocated resources. That’s why you need to be careful when designing your application and when you set the configuration settings for it in Windows Azure. You are responsible for removing the instances of unused applications and for allocating more or less resources for your running applications when they need them.

Other features you will be charged for are as follows:

  • Storage that your application is using
  • Storage transactions
  • Outbound data transfers (Inbound transfers are not charged)
  • Using Content Delivery Network
  • Caching
  • Access Control

You can find more information on actual prices on the Windows Azure official website.

There you can also find an Azure pricing calculator, which can help you in estimating your costs.
It is an easy-to-use application. You simply specify the amount of resources your application will be using and the calculator gives you the price for running it in Windows Azure.

You now know all the important information about Windows Azure design, its pros and cons, and its pricing. If you haven’t yet decided whether to use it for running your applications or not, then our next article on Windows Azure Security may help you to make your choice.

Keep a lookout for that article coming up in this blog!

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More Stories By Hovhannes Avoyan

Hovhannes Avoyan is the CEO of Monitis, Inc., a provider of on-demand systems management and monitoring software to 50,000 users spanning small businesses and Fortune 500 companies.

Prior to Monitis, he served as General Manager and Director of Development at prominent web portal Lycos Europe, where he grew the Lycos Armenia group from 30 people to over 200, making it the company's largest development center. Prior to Lycos, Avoyan was VP of Technology at Brience, Inc. (based in San Francisco and acquired by Syniverse), which delivered mobile internet content solutions to companies like Cisco, Ingram Micro, Washington Mutual, Wyndham Hotels , T-Mobile , and CNN. Prior to that, he served as the founder and CEO of CEDIT ltd., which was acquired by Brience. A 24 year veteran of the software industry, he also runs Sourcio cjsc, an IT consulting company and startup incubator specializing in web 2.0 products and open-source technologies.

Hovhannes is a senior lecturer at the American Univeristy of Armenia and has been a visiting lecturer at San Francisco State University. He is a graduate of Bertelsmann University.