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Posted 4 Jul 2011

Windows Azure Pricing Real World

, 4 Jul 2011
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This article will to help application developers get a rough initial estimate of their Windows Azure usage coststo help application developers get a rough initial estimate of their Windows Azure usage costs

The <a href="http:"" windowsazure="" pricing-calculator="" "="">Windows Azure Platform Pricing Calculator is pretty neat to help application developers get a rough initial estimate of their Windows Azure usage costs. But where to start? What sort of numbers do you plug in? We've taken a crack at some use cases so you can get a basic idea. We've put the Windows Azure Calculator Category Definitions at the bottom of the post.

Free options for Windows Azure:

  • <a href="" ="" target="_blank">Free 30-day Windows Azure pass (No credit card needed: use promo code = CP001)
  • <a href="" ="" target="_blank">Free technical support. Click on "Windows Azure Platform" under "Technologies"
  1. e-commerce application
    1. An application developer is going to customize an existing Microsoft .NET e-commerce application for a national chain, US-based florist. The application needs to be available all the time, even during usage spikes, scale for peak periods such as Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day
    2. You can use the Azure pricing data to figure out what elements of your application are likely to cost the most, and then examine optimization and different architecture options to reduce costs. For example, storing data in binary large object (BLOB) storage will increase the number of storage transactions. You could decrease transaction volume by storing more data in the SQL Azure database and save a bit on the transaction costs. Also, you could reduce the number of compute instances from two to one for the worker role if it’s not involved in anything user-interactive—it can be offline for a couple minutes during an instance reboot without a negative impact on the e-commerce application. Doing this would save $90.00 per month in compute instances (three instead of four instances in use).

  1. Asset Tracking Application
    1. A building management company needs to track asset utilization in its properties worldwide. Assets include equipment related to building upkeep, such as electrical equipment, water heaters, furnaces, and air conditioners. The company needs to maintain data about the assets and other aspects of building maintenance and have all necessary data available for quick and effective analysis.
    2. Hosting applications like this asset tracking system on Windows Azure can make a lot of sense financially and as a strategic move. For about $6,500.00 in the first year, this building management company can improve the global accessibility, reliability, and availability of their asset tracking system. They gain access to a scalable cloud application platform with no capital expenses and no infrastructure management costs, and they avoid the internal cost of configuring and managing an intricate relational database. Even the pay-as-you-go annual cost of about $9,000.00 is a bargain, given these benefits.

  1. Sales Training Application
    1. A worldwide technology corporation wants to streamline its training process by distributing existing rich-media training materials worldwide over the Internet.
    2. Hosting applications like this sales training system on Windows Azure can make a lot of sense financially and as a strategic move. Using the high estimate, for a little less than $10,000.00 a year, this technology company can avoid the cost of managing and maintaining its own CDN while taking advantage of a scalable cloud application platform with no capital expenses and no infrastructure management.

  1. Social Media Application
    1. A national restaurant chain has decided to use social media to connect directly with its customers. They hire an application developer that specializes in social media to develop a web application for a short-term marketing campaign. The campaign’s goal is to generate 500,000 new fans on a popular social media site.
    2. Choosing to host applications on Windows Azure can make financial sense for short-term marketing campaigns that use social media applications because you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars buying hardware that will sit idle after the campaign ends. It also gives you the ability to rapidly scale the application in or out, up or down depending on demand. As a long-term strategic decision, using Azure lets you architect applications that are easy to repurpose for future marketing campaigns.

Windows Azure Calculator Category Definitions

Azure Calculator Category How does this relate to my application? What does this look like on Azure? Measured by
<a href="" target="_blank">Compute Instances This is the raw computing power needed to run your application. A compute instance consists of CPU cores, memory, and disk space for local storage resources—it’s a pre-configured virtual machine (VM). A small compute instance is a VM with one 1.6 GHz core, 1.75 GB of RAM, and a 225 GB virtual hard drive. You can scale your application out by adding more small instances, or up by using larger instances. Instance size:
Extra small
Extra large
<a href="" ="" target="_blank">Relational Databases If you application uses a relational database such as Microsoft SQL Server, how large is your dataset excluding any log files? A SQL Azure Business Edition database. You choose the size. GB
<a href="" target="_blank">Storage This is the data your application stores—product catalog information, user accounts, media files, web pages, and so on. The amount of storage space used in blobs, tables, queues, and Windows Azure Drive storage GB
Storage Transactions These are the requests between your application and its stored data: add, update, read, and delete. Requests to the storage service: add, update, read, or delete a stored file. Each request is analyzed and classified as either billable or not-billable based on the ability to process the request and the request’s outcome. # of transactions
Data Transfer This is the data that goes between the external user and your application (e.g., between a browser and a web site). The total amount of data going in and out of Azure services via the internet. There are two data regions: North America/Europe and Asia Pacific. GB in/GB out
<a href="" target="_blank">Content Delivery Network (CDN) This is any data you host in datacenters close to your users. Doing this usually improves application performance by delivering content faster. This can include media and static image files. The total amount of data going in and out of Azure CDN via the internet. There are two CDN regions: North America/Europe and other locations. GB in/GB out
<a href="" ="" target="_blank">Service Bus Connections These are connections between your application and other applications (e.g., for off-site authentication, credit card processing, external search, third-party integration, and so on). Establishes loosely-coupled connectivity between services and applications across firewall or network boundaries using a variety of protocols. # of connections
<a href="" ="" target="_blank">Access Control Transactions These are the requests between your application and any external applications. The requests that go between an application on Azure and applications or services connected via the Service Bus. # of transactions


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Comments and Discussions

GeneralGood Article Pin
Parameshwaran G30-Oct-11 7:01
memberParameshwaran G30-Oct-11 7:01 
GeneralThanks Pin
gregthecanuck12-Jul-11 1:02
membergregthecanuck12-Jul-11 1:02 

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