As you may recall from the April announcement, we committed to match Amazon Web Services prices for commodity services like compute, storage and bandwidth. Effective March 13, customers will see lower prices for Block Blobs Storage and Disks/Page Blobs Storage matching AWS’ prices.  We’re also making the new prices effective worldwide which means that Azure storage will be less expensive than AWS in many regions.

Here are the details… We are matching AWS’ lowest prices (US East Region) for S3 and EBS by reducing prices by up to 20% and making the lower prices available in all regions worldwide. For Locally Redundant Disks/Page Blobs Storage we are reducing prices by up to 28%. We are also reducing the price of Azure Storage transactions by 50%.

While we know that price really matters for these commodity services, we also know that it is not just a price decision, it’s also about great performance, reliability and scalability.  We are deeply committed to maintaining market leading price-for-performance and providing best in class reliability / scalability.

Customers using Windows Azure for storage already enjoy many benefits in addition to low price vs. the competition:

  1. Better redundancy and performance. With the geographically redundancy storage option, we replicate data to another region at least 400 miles away.

As noted in the recent Nasuni Cloud Storage Report, Azure Blob Storage leads S3 across performance, scalability and stability tests.  “This year, our tests revealed that Microsoft Azure Blob Storage has taken a significant step ahead of last year’s leader, Amazon S3, to take the top spot. Across three primary tests (performance, scalability and stability), Microsoft emerged as a top performer in every category” – Nasuni 2013 Cloud Storage Report

2. Customers can get highly durable volumes on their VMs with no additional charge, which makes us less expensive than our competition.

As an example, Azure IaaS Disks are $0.095/GB-month with Geo Redundancy. With AWS in order to get high durability of VM disks, customers have to pay the price of both EBS Standard Volumes ($0.05/GB-month) and EBS Snapshot to S3 ($0.095/GB-month), which is 34% more expensive.

Another example of our commitment to offering best price-for-performance is our Virtual Machines. Recently, we announced up to 22% price cut on our Memory-Intensive compute instances, which helps our customers to move memory-intensive workload to the cloud, such as Sharepoint, SQL Server, and in-memory analytics.

Cloud Spectator’s recent study, A Comparative Analysis of 5 Large Cloud IaaS Providers, showed Windows Azure Infrastructure Services was the highest performing provider and on average has 3X better price for performance than Amazon EC2.

With Azure, customers get great performance, reliability and scalability. With this announcement, we are demonstrating our commitment to match prices on commodity services to ensure Windows Azure leads the market in price for performance.

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