Microsoft has cut the price of its SQL database in Azure and lowered the smallest option to 100 MB.
The price reductions of between 48 percent to 75 percent are the biggest at the 25 to 50 GB range for SQL Azure, making significant cuts to Microsoft's previous $US499.95 cap for anything above 50 GB.
For example, the monthly fee for a 50 GB relational database on Azure would fall from the previous cap to $US125.99, although Australians would be charged $A127.14 despite the country's stronger dollar.
The price per month per GB in US terms for SQL Azure now stands at $US5.20 for 5 GB, $US4.60 for 10 GB, $US3.04 for 25 GB, $US2.52 for 50 GB, $US1.76 for 100 GB and $US1.51 for 150 GB. Fees are amortised over the month and charged on a daily basis.
A new entry level 100 MB database will be billed on a flat fee basis at $US5 a month, while anything between 100 MB and 1 GB will be charged at $US9.99 a month.
One of the differences between Microsoft's Azure SQL and Amazon's EC2 SQL pricing is that Microsoft's charges depend on the size of the database, while Amazon's are based on compute time.
For example, SQL Server Express Edition is free on Amazon's EC2 but can only scale to 4 GB, while its Standard edition is charged at $US1.08 an hour on its "large" on-demand instance. Lower prices are available on EC2 under its RDS service.
Microsoft's latest Azure price drop follows Amazon's recent 12 to 13.5 per cent reduction on its S3 cloud storage platform across all regions, undercutting Microsoft's price-matching effort last year by 1.5 cents a GB at the low end.
Amazon also recently began promoting S3 as an offsite backup facility for the enterprise.