As the cloud pricing war continues, companies like Microsoft are looking for ways that they can reach out to more customers who may not need robust clouds at their disposal. Microsoft Azure has just released its basic pricing tier which is a good way for start-up organizations who may not have an abundance of cash to begin building in the cloud. Microsoft notes that Azure Basic will give users “some high-end features at a reasonable cost.”
Let’s say you are an entrepreneur wanting to build your services in the cloud. Although you could get a free trial of Azure and begin building, the free trial only gives you a month of development time before you have to begin paying. What are your options after your trial is up? You could deposit hundreds or thousands of dollars and begin watching your cloud services like a hawk to ensure that your costs do not balloon. Microsoft realizes that quandary that some boot strapped businesses may encounter and that is why the basic plan was rolled out. What do you get with Azure basic?
According Microsoft’s MSDN blog, the new Azure basic pricing tier allows for up to 3 virtual machines that host your website. You get free SSL services, a free sandbox to build and develop your websites before they are scheduled to go live and you are able to select the amount of cores you need in your virtual machines.
What are the drawbacks of this new cloud pricing tier? Microsoft offers no SLA on Azure Websites for evaluation purposes and there is also no SLA associated with the feature set. This shouldn’t deter you from using the Azure basic services because it is not expected that Azure basic’s availability will bounce up and down like a ball. We expect Azure to be as stable as it always has been despite not having an SLA on certain services.