Anything AWS can do: Microsoft announces new Azure VM price cuts

Microsoft has announced price reductions of up to 17% on its Azure D-series Dv2 virtual machines, in an evident play against Amazon Web Services (AWS) following its own price cuts.

Just how evident this latest move is occurs when Microsoft cloud platform director of marketing Nicole Herskowitz calls AWS out. In a blog post, Herskowitz writes: “It is worthwhile to note that the Azure Dv2 instances – unlike AWS EC2 instances – have load balancing and auto-scaling built-in at no additional charge. This means you get even more value from Azure.”

Customers using Linux instances will get a better deal, with reductions on the D1-D5 v2s at 14% for Linux and 10% for Windows Server, and 17% and 13% respectively for the D11-D14 v2 machines.

Microsoft also took the opportunity to push further messages on how it differentiates from AWS, almost universally agreed to be the market leader in the infrastructure as a service space. Herskowitz argued the Redmond giant gives lower price points than Amazon for customers with enterprise agreements, as well as billing by the minute, as opposed to per hour.

The announcement from Microsoft completes the trio; after AWS announced its 51st price cut on EC2, Google responded by describing Amazon’s model as “an unpleasant surprise”. The AWS reductions apply to C4, M4 and R3 instances running Linux across eight regions overall.

A report from Tariff Consultancy found that while enterprise cloud computing prices had dropped by two thirds on average since 2014, overall pricing was beginning to even out. Yet Herskowitz argued price was not the only reason customers, citing Towers Watson, BMW, and Jet.com, preferred Microsoft. “Customers are using Azure for the value it brings,” she wrote. “Customers are using Azure for its hybrid capabilities that enable existing on-premises environments to seamlessly bridge with the public cloud – a reality for the vast majority of organisations.”

The price reductions will roll out in early February, with more details available here.

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