Microsoft slashes Azure cloud pricing

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Microsoft slashes Azure cloud pricing

Follows Amazon's lead on cheaper commodity cloud.

Storage pricing for Microsoft's Azure cloud platform was chopped in half over the weekend as Redmond sticks to its promise to match Amazon Web Services prices, which were drastically reduced last week.

The price cuts were announced by Steven Martin, Microsoft's general manager for Windows Azure and will apply worldwide.

Azure Storage transaction prices are lowered by fifty percent, Martin says. Two million storage transactions cost A$0.21, and a billion now cost A$100.91.

Locally redundant storage is charged at A$10.60 on a pay-as-you-go basis for 150GB a month for a maximum of A$6,318.04 for 100 terabytes a month, up to 28 percent lower than last week, Microsoft said.

Microsoft claims Windows Azure trumps its rival by replicating data to regions at least 650 kilometres away and providing more bang for the buck than Amazon EC2 overall.

Microsoft's price reductions kick in from March 13, whereas Amazon's lowered charges take effect on February 1.

Amazon also introduced new features for its Redshift service such as solid state drive backed dense compute nodes with fast, Intel Xeon Ivy Bridge virtual cores for better performance. Dense compute nodes are aimed at customers requiring large amounts of processing power and memory.

The dense compute nodes cost US$0.25 per hour for a single instance on-demand and are available in the AWS Asia-Pacific region, including Sydney.

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