Confirming Commercial Availability and Announcing Business Model

Today, during the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2009 we announced the business and partner model for the Windows Azure platform including service level agreements and support programs.

Windows Azure, SQL Azure and .NET Services will be commercially available at the Professional Developer Conference 2009 and we hope you will continue building on the Community Technology Preview (CTP) at no cost today.    

Upon commercial availability we will offer Windows Azure through a consumption-based pricing model, allowing partners and customers to pay only for the services that they consume.

Windows Azure:

O Compute @  $0.12 / instance hour

O Storage @ $0.15 / GB / month stored

O Storage Transactions @ $0.01 / 10K

 

SQL Azure:

O Web Edition – Up to 1 GB relational database @ $9.99

O Business Edition – Up to 10 GB relational database @ $99.99 

 

.NET Services:

O Messages @ $0.15/100K message operations , including Service Bus messages and Access Control tokens

 

Bandwidth across all three services will be charged at $0.10 in / $0.15 out / GB

 

Windows Azure instance hours are charged only for when your application is deployed so while developing and testing your application you may want to remove the compute instances that are not being used to minimize instance hour billing.  Windows Azure storage is metered in units of average daily amount of data stored (in GB) over a monthly period.  Storage is also metered in terms of storage transactions used to add, update, read and delete storage data. These are billed at a rate of $0.01 for 10,000 (10k) transaction requests.  Bandwidth is charged based on the total amount of data going in and out of the Windows Azure platform services via the internet in a given 30-day period.

While consumption based pricing provides great flexibility we have also heard it introduces a level of unpredictability and some customers prefer other options.  At launch we will share details of subscription offers that provide payment predictability and price discounts that reflect levels of usage commitment. 

To support partners’ and customers’ complex business needs we are providing an enterprise-class guarantee backed by a service-level agreement that covers service uptime, connectivity, and data availability.  For compute, we guarantee that when you deploy two or more role instances in different fault and upgrade domains your Internet facing roles will have external connectivity at least 99.95% of the time. Additionally, we will monitor all of your individual role instances and detect within two minutes when a role instance’s process is not running and initiate corrective action.   For storage, we guarantee that at least 99.9% of the time we will successfully process correctly formatted requests that we receive to add, update, read and delete data. We also guarantee that your storage accounts will have connectivity to our Internet gateway.  

As part of the Microsoft Partner Network, partners receive an additional 5 percent promotional discount on Windows Azure compute, SQL Azure and .NET Services.   As an added benefit of MSDN Premium we also announced we will provide subscribers with resources to build, test, and manage full scale cloud based applications.  We will also provide the Development Accelerator promotional offer for partners and customers who want to quickly develop and deploy applications with dynamic scaling, predictable pricing, and a deep discount. 

At launch we will have offers available in local currencies for Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, India, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, and the United States.  In the March 2010 timeframe we expect commercial availability to expand to Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Israel, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Poland, Puerto Rico, Romania, Singapore, and Taiwan.  Additional countries and currencies will be launched as quickly as possible.