Windows Azure Cloud Costs Analysis

If you’ve ever tried to figure out what Cloud Hosting would cost, you may have thought, “wow, that’s complex.”

I’m here to confirm that thought and maybe help out with the knowledge I gained from 4 days of back and forth emails with Microsoft’s Billing Support.  They’re very helpful, but I think they’re pricing model is probably a barrier for some Architects.  Regardless of complexity, it turned out to be a very good deal.

Azure Hosting if you have a MSDN License:
If you currently have a Visual Studio Premium with MSDN subscription, that may include $100 monetary credit each month. Therefore, as long as your usage is within $100, you would not be billed. If your usage exceeds $100, you would be charged as per standard rates.

Standard Website
You will be metered for compute hours as you are using reserved units for your website.
How many compute hours are there in a month?  930 compute hours.
Pricing = 930 x 0.06 = 55.8 USD.

WordPress Websites MySQL Database

Since I made a WordPress site, I discovered I got 1 Free 20MB MySQL database license.  Additional MySQL databases will be charged.

How much would I be charged for a second MySQL database?
Standard Rates: http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/pricing/details/sql-database/

  • 0 to 100 MB         $4.99
  • 100 MB to 1 GB         $9.99
  • 1 GB to 10 GB         $9.99, for the first GB $3.99 for each additional GB
  • 10 GB to 50 GB         $45.96, for the first 10 GB $1.99 for each additional GB
  • 50 GB to 150 GB     $125.88, for the first 50 GB $0.99 for each additional GB

How much would a Microsoft SQL Server Database Cost (what are standard rates)?
When you set up a SQL Database in Azure you can choose:
DATABASE SIZE    DATABASE UNITS (EACH DU = $9.99)

  • 0 to 100 MB            0.5 DU
  • 100 MB to 1 GB        1 DU
  • 1 GB to 10 GB        1 DU for the first GB, 0.4 DU for each additional GB
  • 10 GB to 50 GB        4.6 DU for the first 10 GB, 0.2 DU for each additional GB
  • 50 GB to 150 GB        12.6 DU for the first 50 GB, 0.1 DU for each additional GB

These rates are pro rated.

Why does a “Windows Azure Website” show up under “Cloud Services”
For billing purposes only, Azure Web Sites (standard) uses Windows Azure Compute Hours meter (also used by Cloud Services). This is the reason why the website would show up as “Cloud Services” under the invoice/detailed usage report.

If I have 3 WordPress Websites, How can I minimize the costs?    
By default, if you create a Standard Website, there is a reserved unit created for that sub-region (ex: east-us).
Any additional websites that you create in the same sub-region, would be automatically linked to this reserved unit.
We will be billing only for the reserved unit and not for the number of websites.
Therefore, to save cost, you can create all three websites under the same sub-region.
You would be only for one reserved unit, i.e. 30 hours per day.

Well, hope that helps anyone out.

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