As partners evolve their portfolio of offerings to include Azure, questions often arise about pricing.  Although there is a great deal of information online already, help is often needed to clarify some of the finer details.  The following information was recently provided as a follow-up to a series of pricing questions we were researching for our partner community.  We hope you find this helpful.

MSDN premium subscribers are now able to sign up for a special introductory Windows Azure platform offer. This offer lasts 8 months from when the subscriber signs up and provides 750 hours of Windows Azure compute per month (6000 total hours) plus three SQL Azure databases, AppFabric, and bandwidth. For more information on this offer please visit: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/subscriptions/ee461076.aspx. Any usage each month in excess of the MSDN Premium Subscription Benefit will be charged at the MSDN Premium rates: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsazure/offers/popup.aspx?lang=en&locale=en-US&offer=MS-AZR-0005P.

Compute hours are billed based on the number of clock hours your service was deployed multiplied by the number of equivalent small compute instances included in your deployment. Partial compute instance hours (prior to conversion) are billed as full hours." We would recommend you go through the FAQ under: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsazure/faq/.

If you have two tenants deployed for a hosted service, one for staging and one for production, both will be charged as both are utilizing Windows Azure platform resources.

Members of the Microsoft Partner Network will receive a 5% discount on all Windows Azure Platform Services and offers with the exception of Windows Azure Storage and Data Transfers (bandwidth):

  • MSDN® Premium Subscriptions-These subscriptions are a Microsoft Partner Network benefit for Certified, Gold Certified, and Microsoft® BizSpark™ program partners. The number of users who can access this benefit is determined by your partner level. Gold Certified and Certified Partners receive three complementary subscriptions; BizSpark partners receive 25 complementary subscriptions; and partners with paid subscriptions can have one user access the capacity per subscription. Empower for ISV subscribers with MSDN Premium for Empower do not qualify for the Windows Azure Platform benefits. (All partners that receive MSDN Subscriptions via their Microsoft Partner Network benefits should use this limited time offer to try the Windows Azure Platform before the end of FY10.)

  • Windows Azure Platform Consumption -This offer is a “Pay As You Go” pricing plan that includes compute hours, storage, data transfers, SQL Azure databases, and AppFabric Service Bus connections and Access Control transactions. If you are not sure what you need, this is the simplest way to find out what works best for your business.

  • Windows Azure Platform Introductory Special -This promotional offer enables you to try the Windows Azure platform at “no charge”. The subscription includes a base level of compute hours, storage, data transfers, a SQL Azure database, and AppFabric Service Bus connections and Access Control transactions. Please note that any usage over this introductory base level will be charged at standard rates.

  • Windows Azure Platform Development Accelerator Core -This promotional offer provides compute hours, storage, data transfers, and AppFabric Service Bus connections and Access Control transactions at a deeply discounted monthly price. The offer is valid only for a six-month term. Customers may purchase multiple Base Units to match their development needs.

  • Windows Azure Platform Development Accelerator Extended -This promotional offer provides compute hours, storage, data transfers, AppFabric Service Bus connections and Access Control transactions, and SQL Azure database at a deeply discounted monthly price. The offer is valid only for a six-month term. Customers may purchase multiple Base Units to match their development needs.