Microsoft sent out emails last night to inform Azure customers that the pricing of Azure Online Backup is changing.
Currently, you get 5 GB free and then pay €0.149/month (rounded to €0.15) in North Europe for each additional 1 GB.
On April 1st, the pricing structure changes:
So, 5 GB free. Then for each machine you backup, you pay at least €7.447, with an additional charge of €7.447 for each additional 500 GB protected on that machine. And that DOES NOT COVER the cost of storage consumed in Azure. You have to pay for that too (GB/month and transactions).
So how much will that be? I have no frickin’ idea. There is no indication what kind of storage or what resiliency is required.
It might be Block Blobs running at €0.0179/GB (LRS) or €0.0358/GB (GRS). But who knows because Microsoft didn’t bother documenting it!
That leads me to an issue. The biggest blocker I’ve seen in the adoption of Azure in the SME space is not cost, technical complexity, or trust. The biggest issue is that few people understand how to price a solution in Azure. If you’re deploying a VM you need the VM/hour cost, storage space, storage transactions, egress data, and probably a gateway. Is there a single place that says all that on the Azure portal? No. What Microsoft has is isolated islands of incomplete information on the Azure website, and a blizzard of pricing in their Excel-based pricing “tools”.
If Microsoft is serious about Azure adoption, then they need to get real about helping customers understand how to price tools. Azure Online Backup was the tool I was starting to get traction with in the SME/partner space. I can see this new announcement introducing uncertainty. This change needs to be changed … fast … and not go through the Sinofskian feedback model.
Grade: F. Must try harder.