Microsoft Introduces Cost-Cutting Azure Backup Billing
Microsoft aims to make cloud backups more enticing for enterprises with a new pricing model and a choice of storage locations.Microsoft is changing the way customers are billed for Azure Backup, the company's cloud-based data backup offering, in a move that can help lower the cost of protecting their data. "Today, we are announcing three key changes to Azure Backup that significantly decreases the [total cost of ownership] for customers storing backups in Azure," Aashish Ramdas, a program manager in Microsoft's Cloud and Enterprise division, wrote in a blog post. Those changes include a pricing model "based on the number of machines being backed up" and Block Blob storage-based billing for both long- and short-term backup data. Customers can now elect to park their backups using Azure's Locally Redundant Storage (LRS) or Geo-Redundant Storage (GRS) services. Under the new pricing model, Microsoft charges a monthly fee for Protected Instances, the number of machines customers backed up and the cost of storage consumed by those backups on Azure, explained Ramdas. For example, a small protected instance of up to 50GB can cost $5 plus $0.048 per gigabyte (GB) per month if a customer selects the Geo-Redundant Storage option. Protected Instances can consist of virtual machines, Windows Server workloads (SQL Server, Exchange, SharePoint, Dynamics and the File Server) and Windows clients. Therefore, the more instances handled by Azure Backup, the bigger the bill.
Size also plays a role. "So a virtual machine of 500GB in size will be charged $10, while a virtual machine of 2000GB in size will be charged $40," stated Ramdas.