The Daily Cloud: Now that Azure costs money, will people pay for it?

Microsoft Azure steps out of the testing phase and prepares to officially do battle with Google App Engine.

All the cloud news that's fit to spin!

Microsoft Azure now costs real money
Microsoft Azure is out of the testing phase and has finally begun to bill users for its Platform as a Service cloud offering.

Priced roughly within the "pennies per hour" Amazon Web Services model, Azure has generally been met with cautious approval from users and analysts. Enterprises that have to pay money for the service may be a tougher sell, despite Microsoft discounting the street price on data transfers until June.

Here are the details:

  • Compute = $0.12 / hour
  • Storage = $0.15 / GB stored / month
  • Storage transactions = $0.01 / 10K
  • Data transfers = $0.10 in / $0.15 out / GB ($0.30 in / $0.45 out / GB in Asia)

Azure is the most innovative part of Microsoft's general shift in focus to services over straight software sales, but it's a late arrival to a party started by Google. Google has occupied more and more of Redmond's attention in recent years, gobbling up revenue and markets Microsoft overlooked. Google App Engine, Azure's nearest rival, boasts thousands of active users and is free up to a certain level of use, which presents an irreducible argument for users.

Having to compete with Google must be a little frustrating for Microsoft at times: Google apparently doesn't really need to charge money for anything, and they are just so perky all the time.

MeriTalk calculates cloud costs for feds, helps rein in gov spending
MeriTalk , the government IT network, today announced a Federal Cloud Computing Savings Calculator. This calculator is a free online tool that lets federal agencies quantify potential cloud savings…or lack thereof. The calculator provides agencies with a read on their various cloud model options -- private, community, and public -- and the suitability and financial impact of their cloud model choice.

And if the calculator forecasts less than promising results? Well, like the Magic 8 Ball says, ask again later.

M Squared offers cloud consulting, joins millions doing same
M Squared says it provides cost-effective, on-demand consulting services to companies looking to increase top-line growth, boost operational efficiencies and improve market position. And who wouldn't want that!?

"With cloud consulting, we've taken our existing model of use-driven pricing and operation to the next level," said Marion McGovern, founder and CEO of M Squared Consulting. There were no details in the press release on what level exactly, but we assume it's a high one.

Other companies offering cloud consulting include IBM, CSC, HP, Oracle/Sun (sort of), Cisco, Microsoft, Terremark, AT&T, Savvis, Rackspace, Dell, EMC and everyone else in the technology market.

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