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Microsoft Azure Pricing Adds to Cloud Confusion

Microsoft will instead add to the confusion when it comes to Cloud Pricing

The long awaited Microsoft Azure pricnig model was announced recently. For a while I really thought Microsoft would use its fashionably late arrival to Cloud Computing to build upon the short comings of other vendors and maybe take advantage of the opportunity to establish a leadership position in Cloud Pricing. Alas, yesterday I discovered that Microsoft will instead add to the confusion when it comes to Cloud Pricing. Here is a snippet of what they announced:

Azure pricing is a disappointment on three counts:

  1. It isn’t true utility or consumption computing pricing because the customer will not end up paying for what they actually use. Compute and Storage hours are a mistake because it presumes the full consumption of compute unit for any part of 1 hour. The customer doesn’t realize it but they are paying for computing resources they aren’t necessarily going to use. This is the hidden margin for players like Microsoft and AWS. While the customer watches the left hand, the right hand is busy taking money right out of the customer’s pocket! This pricing model is the equivalent to the old salami banking scam. Take fractions of cents from a billion accounts and think nobody will notice.
  2. It will not support the migration from legacy operating models to cloud operating models. I’ve written about this phenomenon before, but it seems like the big cloud players are dramatically out of touch with the average customer. This pricing model means nothing to the customer but a bunch of numbers. How does this pricing model translate to what the average customer doe today in their enterprise?
  3. There is absolutely zero predictability. And if there is, it sure as heck isn’t simple enough. Can someone tell me what the cloud will cost me for 15 .Net applications I have built before I get an actual invoice from Microsoft? Hold on, let me call my MIT laureates and Actuarial PHd’s to do some predictive billing!

I will say that Microsoft, unlike a lot of other cloud platforms on the market has smartened up to the fact that they need to account for Storage Transactions. Storage transactions can be the silent killer of cloud computing infrastructure. The only problem of course is understanding what that means to my application. How the heck do I know how this translates to a real world operation?

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More Stories By John Cowan

John Cowan is co-founder and CEO of 6fusion. John is credited as 6fusion's business model visionary, bridging concepts and services behind cloud computing to the IT Service channel. In 2008, he along with his 6fusion collaborators successfully launched the industry's first single unit of meausurement for x86 computing, known as the Workload Allocation Cube (WAC). John is a 12 year veteran of business and product development within the IT and Telecommunications sectors and a graduate of Queen's University at Kingston.

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