Windows Azure Backup Is Generally Available & Other Azure News

The following message came in an email overnight:

Windows Azure Backup is now generally available, Windows Azure AD directory is created automatically for every subscription, and Hyper-V Recovery Manager is in preview.

What does that mean?  Some backup plans charge you based on the amount of data that you are protecting.  Personally, I prefer that approach because it is easy to predict – I have 5 TB of data and it’s going to cost me 5 * Y to protect it.  Azure Online Backup has gone with the more commonly used approach of charging you based on how many GB/month of storage that you consume on Microsoft’s cloud.  This is easy for a service provider to create bills, but it’s hard for the consumer to estimate their cost … because you have elements like deduplication and compression to account for.

The pricing of Azure Online Backup looks very competitive to me. 

Windows Azure Backup is billed in units based on your average daily amount of compressed data stored during a monthly billing period.

Some plans get the first 5GB free and then it’s €00.3724 per GB per month.  In the USA, it will be $00.50 per GB per month.  Back when I worked in backup, €1/GB per month was considered economic.

In other Azure news:

A Windows Azure AD directory is created automatically for every subscription:

Starting today, every Windows Azure subscription is associated with an autocreated directory in Windows Azure Active Directory (AD). By using this enterprise-level identity management service, you can control access to Windows Azure resources.

To accommodate this advancement, every Windows Azure subscription can now host multiple directories. Additionally, Windows Azure SDK will no longer rely on static management certificates but rather on user accounts in Active Directory. Existing Active Directory tenants related to the same user account will be automatically mapped to a single Windows Azure subscription. You can alter these mappings from the Windows Azure Management Portal.

Take advantage of the new Windows Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager preview.

Windows Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager helps protect important applications by coordinating the replication of Microsoft System Center clouds to a secondary location, monitoring availability, and orchestrating recovery as needed.

The service helps automate the orderly recovery of applications and workloads in the event of a site outage at the primary data center. Virtual machines are started in an orchestrated fashion to help restore service quickly.

The Euro GA pricing for Hyper-V Recovery Manager was included in the email.  It will cost 11,9152€ per virtual machine per month to use this service.  The website is not updated with GA pricing.