Cloud computing

Microsoft undercuts Google, AWS in cloud storage price drop

Archana Venkatraman

Microsoft is set to slash Windows Azure Storage prices by 28% from 12 December 2012. 

The news comes just days after Google cut its cloud-based storage prices by 20% and Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced a 25% price reduction for Amazon S3.

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Microsoft has cut prices for both geographically redundant and locally redundant storage services.

Under the revised Windows Azure pricing, customers will pay $0.095/GB for the first 1TB every month under the geographically redundant service, and $0.07/GB for the first 1TB every month under the locally redundant storage service. 

This is Microsoft’s second cloud price reduction this year, having previously reduced Azure Storage prices by 12%.

Google, as part of its infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) expansion strategy, reduced the price for up to 1TB of storage by $0.025 per month to $0.095 from 1 December 2012. This was $0.025 cheaper than Amazon's equivalent S3 storage cloud.

Meanwhile, AWS lowered the S3 prices at its re:Invent conference last week – its 24th price cut since 2006. Under the new pricing, customers will be able to store data in the Amazon cloud for about $0.09/GB. 

On the official Microsoft blog, Steven Martin, general manager of Windows Azure Business Planning, said: “Reducing prices is only part of the story; we’ve also added more value to our storage offerings in a number of ways.â€�

He said Azure’s geo redundant storage offers more than 400 miles of separation between replicas, improving cloud’s durability. Customers can turn geo-replication off to use Azure’s locally redundant storage, which is relatively cheaper.

Among other improvements to its cloud storage, Microsoft deployed a flat network for Windows Azure across all its datacentres to provide very high-bandwidth network connectivity for storage clients. It also increased scalability targets for Windows Azure Storage

Windows Azure’s customer base is seeing “tremendous growth�, Martin said on the blog.

“We have over four trillion objects stored, an average of 270,000 requests processed per second, and a peak of 880,000 requests per second,â€� he said.

In comparison, 1.3 trillion objects are stored on AWS S3, which peaks at 835,000 transactions per second.


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