Azure comes of age and its a lot cheaper.

October 8th, 2016 by Stephen Jones Leave a reply »

There a few high level messages that came out of the Ignite – to paraphrase Satya Nadella : We have gazillions of bytes of data now e need to make sense of it.
The second clear message is that Microsoft is bringing its technology stack together on azure
Analytics and IoT are going to be embedded everywhere with increasing options to mobilise systems
So the recent aggressive price cuts announced from 1 October are timely as are the announcmetns of new Micorsft azure centres

The Microsoft cloud is expanding further in Europe, with the company announcing plans to host Azure, Office 365, and Dynamics 365 in new datacenters in France, expected in 2017. The announcement adds to Microsoft’s European investment, which tops $3 billion, according to the company. The investment in France is aimed to reach companies that need to meet European data sovereignty, security, and compliance needs.

Microsoft has recently announced other additions to its cloud services in western Europe, including in the UK and Germany, where Azure, Office 365, and Dynamics 365 are all eventually expected to reside. The German mode announced alst month , Microsoft explained in an announcement , will be set up so that “access to customer data is controlled by a data trustee, T-Systems International, an independent German company and subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom.”
With customer data remaining in Germany under the control of a data trustee, Microsoft Cloud Germany provides a differentiated option to the Microsoft Cloud services already available across Europe, creating increased opportunities for innovation and economic growth for highly regulated partners and customers in Germany, the European Union (EU) and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). The new datacenters provide infrastructure and platform services enabling a broad range of solutions from the Internet of Things to Machine Learning via locally deployed German datacenters in Magdeburg and Frankfurt.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and president Brad Smith revealed at Reading last week that the company has invested over $3 billion across Europe to date – in effect, doubling its cloud capacity in Europe in the past year. The Microsoft Cloud is now supporting European customers such as the UK Ministry of Defence, the Renault-Nissan Alliance and ZF from Germany to innovate in their industries and move their businesses to the cloud while meeting European data sovereignty, security and compliance needs.

The French datacenters will put the count of total announced datacenter regions at 36, with 30 already available.

The company also released a new book on “the importance of ensuring that the cloud is a cloud for global good,” titled, A Cloud for Global Good.

Microsoft Ventures made its official debut in late May and the fund is already building momentum with cutting-edge tech startups that enable digital transformation.

At the GeekWire Summit in Seattle, Peggy Johnson, Microsoft’s executive vice president of business development, publicly announced the list of the startups the company has backed including security technology company Team8 of Israel; machine learning company CognitiveScale of Austin, Texas; and the San Francisco-based Layer messaging technology company.

Space and environmental exploration became a reality for hundreds of youth who attended AzureCraft, a two-day community tech event held at Microsoft’s U.K. headquarters. The event brought developers and students together for a hands-on experience with a variety of technologies, including tiny, low-cost satellites called nano satellites, powered by the Internet of Things (IoT).

Effective 1st October 2016, Microsoft has lowered prices on many of it’s most popular virtual machines (VMs).
• General Purpose Instances: Prices of Dv2 series VMs will be reduced by up to 15% and new lower prices for A1 and A2 Basic VMs by up to 50%.
• Compute Optimised Instances: Prices of F series will be reduced up to 11%.
• Av2 series: In November 2016, Microsoft will introduce new A series virtual machines (Av2), with prices up to 36% lower than the A series Standard VM prices available today.

the A series VMs arean entry-level compute tier. The Dv2 series VMs are general-purpose tier, with more memory and local SSD storage than A series. F series VMs provide an even higher CPU-to-memory ratio with a lower price than the Dv2 series.

In addition to these reduced prices, for customers using Windows Server with Software Assurance, the recently announced Microsoft Azure Hybrid Use Benefit can help you run Windows Server workloads at 41% lower cost.

There is a price war when it comes to cloud services. First, Google lowered their prices, quickly followed by Amazon, then Microsoft. While Microsoft hopes to save consumers money, general manager for Azure, Steven Martin stressed that providing high-quality, innovative compute and storage solutions was their primary goal. Below are a few of the price change highlights:
•35% decrease in compute services
•65% decrease in storage solutions
•27% cost savings with “basic” service tier
•27% – 35% decrease in Memory-Intensive Instances (depends on Linux or Windows)
•44% – 65% reduction in Block Blob storage

With Facebook signed up to Office 365 and the acquisition of linked -and the imminent release of Dynamics 365, as well as the Azure IoT stack , even SAP Hana on azure, and with a wider geographic base of data centres – the azure proposition is rapidly changing and the price cuts will address a lot of the customer feedback about price concerns to move to azure. This rolling stone is beginning to look more like a roller coaster.


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