Microsoft undercuts Google, AWS in cloud storage price drop

Just days after Google and Amazon Web Services dropped their cloud storage prices, Microsoft has announced a steeper cut

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.

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."

He said Azure's geo redundant storage offers more than 400 miles of separation between replicas, improving cloud 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," 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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