How Much Does X In Azure Cost?

If you want to make me angry/ridicule you, this is the question to ask me.

Let me ask you a question. How much does it cost to buy a car?

Well, sir/mam, that depends. Would you like this fine classic?

Or would you like something more mobile but on the basic end?

How about something with a bit more oomph?

What sort of features would you like added?

Or would you like to go all out?

The answer to “how much is a car?” is anywhere between $0 and (last recorded at auction) $52,000,000.

So, when there are so many variations in Azure VMs, storage types, ways to connect to Azure, options for backing up, enabling DR, etc, how do you expect to price up an cloud solution with a question like “how much is a VM in the cloud?”.

Azure is a technical sale.

Azure is a technical sale.

Azure is a technical sale.

Azure is a technical sale.

Azure is a TECHNICAL sale.

Let me repeat that one more time …

Azure is a TECHNICAL sale.

No design = no pricing. Simples.

In a technical pre-sale, then you’ll do something called a “design”. This “design” allows you to do something called “specification”. In the “design” you figure out which bits you need. The “specification” allows you figure out the sizes of those bits. Strangely enough, there is this thing called “Google” that allows you to search for available specs and pricing, such as:

  • Azure sizes VM
  • Azure pricing VM
  • Azure pricing storage
  • Azure pricing gateway
  • Azure pricing data transfer
  • Azure pricing backup
  • AZURE PRICING site recovery

I really doubt that I have some unique intellect that has identified a search pattern that no one else can find. But some days … I do wonder.

If you are a potential Azure customer, I have two tips for working with consultants/sales people:

  • Technical requirement: NO ONE can price Azure without a technical engagement. As an end customer, I never took a meeting without a technical pre-sales person present. No techie there in reception, then I didn’t come down. Was I being a d*ck? Yeah, but I made it clear how I bought.
  • Give them a test: Ask the consulting company to price up a solution … in front of you .. right there … with no notice. Informed questions that look to fix down a design/spec are indicators of knowledge. Signs of panic, procrastination. non-vibrating phones being answered … they’re bad signs.

For you consulting companies, the advice is simple. Cop on and skill up. Take advantage of every opportunity, and there are lots with many of them free, that there is to skill up: “we’re too busy” is bull$h1t. Classic sales people do have a role: sell the concepts to the managers. After that, you need to bring in the techs and design/spec up a solution. Failing to do so, will get you nowhere, other than looking like an idiot trying to build castles on sand.


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