The Price Of Azure Online Backup is … I Don’t Know!

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.

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9 Replies to “The Price Of Azure Online Backup is … I Don’t Know!”

  1. Same thoughts from our side. We opened a ticket at the Azure support .. it still pending. It seems that the news was not internally propagated, how the new backup space calculation is done.

    But we hope, it only can get cheaper. The pricing for the backup space was until now a really price nightmare and in no way price wise arguable in comparison to other vendors.

  2. So far the official response:

    “The EA team responded that the details to enroll pricing are still being worked out. It appears the new pricing details and setup are still being worked out with the release over a month away still.”

  3. Did the math on Azure backups when we switched to using DPM as our backup solution last year. We bought a new SAN instead. I guess they eventually figured out that it is just too expensive when you have more than a few GB to backup.

    I wonder if “protected instance” means each server that you protect with dpm or if the dpm server counts as one instance.

    • I’d change the batteries in your calculator if I was you. If your SAN is costing less than Azure storage then something is very wrong. Plus the new model with backup storage starting at approx €0.017 (1.7 Euro cents) per GB … no way a SAN comes close.

      • ~7-10 TB of data to backup at that time, price used to be 0,38 Euro per GB. That is like 30000 Euro per year. SAN cost like 14000 with support for 5 years. We dont have to pay for network bandwidth or power. Azure didnt even come close.

        • And TODAY backing up 10 TB of data would cost you less than €3000 per year. That’s A LOT cheaper than buying, keeping, managing, and POWERING a SAN on premises just for backup. And you forget that online backup gets data offsite.

    • The date of the post pre-dates the current pricing. The text, written at the time, says “Currently, you get 5 GB free and then pay €0.149/month” which is exactly what AB -used to- cost in North Europe.

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