Azure Pricing

  • Azure offers pay-as-you-go and reserved instances for pricing.
  • Azure Pricing Factors:
    • Resource size and resource type.
    • Different Azure locations have different prices for services.
    • The bandwidth of your services.
    • Any data transfer between two different billing zones is charged.
      • Ingress (data in) = free
      • Egress (data out) = charged based on data going out of Azure datacenters
  • Factors that can reduce costs:
    • By purchasing a reserved instance (one-year or three-year terms), you can significantly reduce costs up to 72 percent compared to pay-as-you-go pricing.
    • A reserved capacity is a commitment for a period of one or three years for SQL Database and SQL Managed Instance.
    • Hybrid Benefit allows you to use your on-premises Software Assurance-enabled Windows Server and SQL Server licenses on Azure.
    • If you purchase an unused compute capacity, you can get deep discounts up to 90 percent compared to pay-as-you-go pricing. A spot virtual machine is for workloads that can tolerate interruptions.
  • All resources belong to a subscription.
    • An Azure account can have multiple subscriptions.
    • Organize your resources and subscriptions using Azure management groups.
  • Azure Cost Management gives you a detailed view of current and projected costs.
  • For new accounts, the Azure Free Tier is available.
      • Free Tier offers limited usage of Azure products at no charge for 12 months.
      • You also get $200 credit that you can spend during the first 30 days.
      • More details at
    • Estimate your expected monthly costs using Azure Pricing Calculator.
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  • Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Calculator
    • Estimate total savings over a period of time by using Azure.
    • Compares costs and savings against on-premises and co-location environments.
  • Azure Support Plans:
    • Basic – included for all Azure customers.
    • Developer – recommended for non-production environments. Limited access to technical support during business hours by email only.
    • Standard – appropriate for production workload environments. Has 24/7 access to Azure’s technical support engineers by phone or email.
    • Professional Direct – suitable for business-critical workloads. Has 24/7 access to Azure’s technical support engineers by phone or email. Provides access to Operations Support, ProDirect delivery managers, and Support APIs.

Service Level Agreement (SLA)

  • It is the commitment of Microsoft for the uptime and connectivity of a service.
  • You could obtain a service credit if the service level agreement is not met by Microsoft.
  • Composite SLAs include several resources (with different availability levels) to support an application.
  • SLAs for multi-region deployments distribute the application in more than one region for high availability and use Azure Traffic Manager for failover if one region fails.

Service Lifecycle

  • Private Preview is only available to a few customers for early access to new technologies and features.
  • Public Preview makes the service in the public phase and can be used by any customers to evaluate the new features but SLA does not apply.
  • General Availability is the release of service to the general public and is fully supported by SLAs.
  • Azure updates allow you to get the latest updates on any Azure products and features.


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