Windows Azure Officially Launched

With Windows Azure and SQL Azure, Microsoft has launched its first Cloud Computing services in 21 countries.  From now on, Microsoft’s partners can sell services based on Azure.

Since January 2010, many partners have switched from CTP (Community Technology Preview) to the Production release of Azure.  Since February 1, 2010, they many also sell their own solutions based on Windows Azure and SQL Azure.

Windows Azure serves as development and hosting platform for applications.  Thus, Windows Azure is in competition with offers like Amazon EC2.  Windows Azure is paid by usage: $0.12 USD per hour plus $0.15 USD per stored Gigabyte and month.  Storage transactions are billed with $0.01 USD per 10,000 transactions, plus $0.10 USD for incoming and $0.15 USD for outgoing traffic.

Windows Azure Drive starts as Beta

Storage can easily be integrated into the virtual instances using Windows Azure Drive, currently available as beta version.  Applications running in the Cloud can then use NTFS APIs to access the storage.

SQL Azure is based on Microsoft SQL Server and can be used for your own applications.  The service is Microsoft’s reply to Amazon SimpleDB, but works superior.  There are two editions: Web Edition for a maximum of 1 GB relational data for $9.99 USD per month; and Business Edition for a maximum of 10 GB relational data for $99.99 USD per month.  Both editions bill $0.10 USD for incoming and $0.15 USD for outgoing traffic.

One comment

  1. Hi Klaus,
    “[SQL Azure] is Microsoft’s reply to Amazon SimpleDB”

    That’s not true. SQL Azure is a hosted relational database which is not what SimpleDB is. Windows Azure Table storage has much more in common with SimpleDB and thus should be considered Microsoft’s reply to it.

    No-one else is offering a relational database as a cloud service a la SQL Azure – for once Microsoft are being truly innovative here.


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