Microsoft Lowers Azure VM Prices

by Pedro Hernandez

The company lowered the cost of spinning up Azure virtual machines and announced the general availability of encryption at rest for its cloud disaster recovery solution.

Further enticing its customers to move their workloads to the cloud, Microsoft kicked off October by lowering prices on some of its most in-demand Azure virtual machines (VMs).

"Prices of our Dv2 series VMs will be reduced by up to 15 percent. We are also lowering prices of our A1 and A2 Basic VMs by up to 50 percent," Takeshi Numoto, corporate vice president at Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise, said in an Oct. 3 announcement. The A series represents the company's general-purpose, entry-level VM tier while Dv2 series describes VMs "with more memory and local SSD storage than A series," he explained.

High-end F series VMs are now priced up to 11 percent lower, Numoto added. Next month, Microsoft is adding new Av2 series VMs that offer customers savings of up to 36 percent compared to today's standard A series VMs.

Finally, for customers with hybrid-cloud Windows Server deployments, the company has rolled out new images that simplify setting up Windows Server VMs on Azure. Using the Azure Hybrid Use Benefit, a perk for Windows Server customers employing the Microsoft's Software Assurance licensing plans, can lower the cost of running workloads on Azure by 41 percent, claimed Numoto.

Also this week, Microsoft announced the general availability of Storage Service Encryption for Azure Site Recovery (ASR), the company's cloud-based disaster recovery offering. In preview since this spring, the offering provides encryption-at-rest protection for cloud data managed by ASR.

"With this feature, you can now replicate your on-premises data to storage accounts with encryption enabled," Poornima Natarajan, a Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise program manager, wrote in an Oct. 5 blog post. "If you want to programmatically enable or disable encryption, you can use the Azure Storage Resource Provider REST API [application programming interface], the Storage Resource Provider Client Library for .NET, Azure PowerShell, or the Azure CLI," she added.

Celebrating the one-year anniversary of Azure in India, Tom Keane, general manager of Microsoft Azure, announced new payment options for businesses in the region. Customers can now consume Azure resources with a credit card or via partners that participate in company's Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program. " With India's rapidly expanding economy, we see an incredible opportunity to help customers of all sizes and industries take advantage of the cloud," said Kean in an Oct. 6 announcement.

On the internet of things front, Microsoft released an open-source library that enables developers to link their projects to the software giant's IoT device connection and management service, Azure IoT Hub.

"IoTHubReact is an Akka Stream library now available on GitHub that allows Java and Scala developers to read telemetry data from devices connected to Azure IoT Hub," Sam George, partner director at Microsoft Azure Internet of Things, said in a brief Oct. 5 announcement. His group plans to follow up with more libraries and other resources, including code samples and demo applications, in the next few months.

Originally published on eWeek.
This article was originally published on Friday Oct 7th 2016
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