We answered a lot of questions on Azure at day 2 of the Worldwide Partner Conference yesterday (Tues 14th July 2009). The conference is being streamed live this week (or at least parts of it) at http://www.digitalwpc.com/ 

Windows Azure, SQL Azure, and .NET Services will be available for purchase before end of calendar 2009 and Windows Azure will be available at PDC 2009 in November. (I’m stroking my lucky rabbits foot – but we seem confident). It will be available at 21 countries at launch (including the good old UK) and 16 more beyond launch. Importantly we will have global datacenter availability at the launch of Windows Azure in November.

I was lucky enough to be part of the v-team which briefed UK press and analysts on this and you can see some of the early articles below. In case you were wondering, Mark Taylor is the director of my group in the UK:

The following (to me) were the most important announcements.

Pricing

We now have costs and they are a) straightforward and b) simply based on consumption.  Full details including SLA information is up on the Azure website.

Windows Azure:

  • Compute = $0.12 / hour
  • Storage = $0.15 / GB stored / month
  • Storage Transactions = $0.01 / 10K
  • Bandwidth = $0.10 in / $0.15 out / GB

SQL Azure:

  • Web Edition – Up to 1 GB relational database = $9.99
  • Business Edition – Up to 10 GB relational database = $99.99
  • Bandwidth = $0.10 in / $0.15 out / GB

.Net Services:

  • Messages = $0.15/100K message operations , including Service Bus messages and Access Control tokens
  • Bandwidth = $0.10 in / $0.15 out / GB

As part of the Microsoft Partner Network, partners receive an additional 5 percent promotional discount on Windows Azure compute, SQL Azure and .NET Services.

SQL Azure Database

We announced that we would have two versions of SQL Azure Database (formally SQL Data Services – see my simple explanation of the renaming)

Web Edition Relational Database includes:

  • Up to 1 GB of T-SQL based relational database
  • Self-managed DB, auto high availability and backup
  • Auto Scale with pay-as-you grow
  • Best suited for Web application, Departmental custom apps.

Business Edition DB includes:

  • Up to 10 GB of T-SQL based relational database
  • Self-managed DB, auto high availability and backup
  • Auto Scale, Pay-as- you grow
  • Additional features in the future like auto-partition, CLR, fanouts etc.
  • Best suited for ISVs packaged LOB apps, Department custom apps

MSDN Premium Subscribers

I don’t have the details but we will provide subscribers with resources to develop and test their cloud-based applications. Something many of us were keen to see happen.