Microsoft has introduced a new Basic pricing tier for its Azure public cloud, aimed at allowing customers to run production sites at a lower cost.
Delivered as part of the April update to Microsoft Azure, the new Basic pricing tier enables customers to operate up to three instances of a dedicated Virtual Machine hosting their website, and includes SSL support, Scheduled Jobs and Endpoint Monitoring.
Pricing for the Basic tier starts at £0.048 per hour for the smallest instance, comprising 1 CPU and 1.75GB of memory. This compares with £0.064 for the same configuration under Microsoft's Standard price tier.
With this introduction, Microsoft Azure now has four service tiers: Free, Shared, Basic and Standard. The Free and Shared tiers are designed primarily for evaluation purposes, while the Standard tier is for production purposes for medium to very large websites.
The Basic websites have all the core capabilities of Azure Web Sites but at a reduced price, and are aimed at production sites for smaller companies, as well as development and testing scenarios, Microsoft said.
Microsoft has upgraded its Standard tier in accordance, according to Yochay Kirtiaty, principal program manager lead on the Azure Web Sites Team, writing on the firm's Azure blog. "The standard SKU now includes more storage, a free SSL connection, and other advanced features – all for the same price you paid until now," he said.
With the April update, customers wanting to change their website pricing tier will need to change its associated Web Hosting Plan (WHP). This is a new concept for Azure Web Sites and comprises a set of features and capacity points applicable to each tier. The WHP can be changed using the Azure Portal.
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