Microsoft TechEd 2013: Windows Azure Differentiates from the Crowd
Microsoft also is enabling a bunch of new capabilities through the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) with Windows Azure, Guthrie said. “Specifically today with MSDN, when you sign up for an MSDN subscription, you have what are called use rights, so that you could use SharePoint or SQL or Windows Server or BizTalk for developer and test services without having to pay for those licenses,” he said. “But up until now the use rights for MSDN did not allow you to use those licenses in a hosted environment. What we’re announcing at TechEd is we’re enabling the MSDN licenses to be used on Windows Azure, and you can take those MSDN licenses you already have and use them on Windows Azure. Even better, we are integrating MSDN images inside the Windows Azure management portal, so directly within Azure you can go on and create a Windows Azure VM and install your license on it, or you could just go ahead inside the portal and click the SQL image and run it under your MSDN license and we’ll spin up in a matter of minutes a Windows Server just for you with your SQL Server with you SQL MSDN license on it and you’re not paying anything extra for that license.” Moreover, Microsoft also is announcing some really deep rate reductions when you have an MSDN license and you want to do development and test inside Windows Azure. Previously when users wanted to do dev and test on Azure or Amazon or anyone else, they would pay the standard rates that the company would charge also for production. “For Windows Azure and Amazon today it’s 9 cents per hour for a small VM to run for Windows, for SQL it would be 64 cents an hour, for BizTalk it would be 75 cents an hour,” Guthrie said. “What we’ve done is announced the ability to run dev/test workloads on Azure at a dramatically reduced rate. We’re basically going to just charge you 6 cents per hour for any workload–that’s a saving of 33 percent each hour if you’re just running Windows Server, a savings of 90 percent if you’re running SQL, and a savings of 92 percent if you’re running BizTalk. And no other cloud provider out there provides those types of discounts. And this dramatically makes it cheaper to do development and test in the cloud. And when coupled with per-minute billing, this makes it super, super-cost effective for any organization to spin up any number of VMs in the cloud. With this offer you can run thousands of VMs if you want to for development and test.”
And to make it even sweeter, Microsoft is also giving every MSDN subscriber monetary credits. So depending on your MSDN subscription, the company will give you a free coupon to use on Windows Azure each month for anything you want to do for dev and test. So every MSDN Professional user will get $50 a month in credits, every MSDN Premium user will get $100 a month, and every MSDN Ultimate user will get $150 a month. And the portal will show you how many credits you use.