Microsoft slashes Azure prices and takes swipe at AWS

Microsoft slashes Azure prices and takes swipe at AWS

Microsoft this week said it will cut prices on its D-series virtual machines next month by up to 17%, while also swiping at Amazon Web Services (AWS) by including services for free that its competitor does not.

As Microsoft rightly notes, though, instance pricing should only be one reason to opt for a given cloud computing platform.

R3 running Linux: The On-Demand, Reserved and Dedicated host prices of these instances are also 5 percent lower in all AWS regions.

Not content with just simply announcing the price cuts, Herskowitz went on to claim that Azure's Dv2 instances are better than AWS EC2 instances because Microsoft's have load balancing and auto-scaling built-in at no extra charge. Amazon has "Trusted Advisor" which advises consumers on how to get the most out of their cloud storage. Customers locked into existing contracts with Amazon often are not eligible for the new prices or often get stuck with cloud instances that no longer are suitable for their needs, he said.

"We continued to add features to Amazon WorkMail during the preview, with a focus on security, ease of use, and migration", wrote Jeff Barr, AWS chief evangelist, in a January 4 blog announcing general availability in the AWS regions US West (Oregon), US East (Northern Virginia), and Europe (Dublin). Before users even had a chance to calculate how much they stand to save, Amazon followed up the move with the introduction of a new purchasing option that will further reduce the cloud bill by up to 10 percent for deployments that only run during scheduled time intervals.

The latest round of the cloud price war has seen Microsoft Azure weigh in with its own price cuts and criticism aimed at AWS. Thursday's price cuts reflect Microsoft's "longstanding commitment" to match AWS on commodity cloud pricing, the company said.

The price reductions will take effect from early February on the Dv2 servers, Microsoft's equivalent to AWS's EC2 cloud.

With cost being less of an issue, cloud providers find themselves competing on the quality of their services, according to TCL.

Amazon's planned expansion of AWS services to new regions comes against the backdrop of the fact that the AWS service is facing increasing competition from Microsoft's Azure platform.

Google then fired back with a blog post this week arguing that it offered better value for money than AWS.

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