Microsoft has introduced a new pricing structure for its Azure Backup cloud service, based on the number of systems protected and the amount of data stored, which it claims will deliver substantial cost savings for customers.
Introduced towards the end of 2013, Azure Backup is a cloud-based backup solution for Windows server and client systems that enables subscribers to use Microsoft's Azure cloud as an off-site target for backing up data.
Now, Microsoft is moving to make Azure Backup a more attractive option for business users with a new pricing model that is based chiefly on the number of machines that are backed up, reported in a customer's monthly bill as Protected Instances, and the volume of data stored.
Microsoft claims that all customers protecting data to Azure Backup will see some savings with the new model, whether the data is coming from Data Protection Manager (DPM) or from Azure Backup agents running directly on Windows Server and client systems.
Those who will see the biggest savings will be customers keeping data in Azure Backup for long-term retention, the firm said. In a blog post announcing the new pricing, Microsoft published a chart showing that such customers running a daily backup of a 100GB server could expect to save 77 percent by the end of a year for Protected Instances against the existing pricing model.
"This makes the new pricing economical for machines of all sizes - from small laptops to enterprise grade servers. The new pricing is also attractive to Azure Backup customers using long-term retention, with the benefits of storing data on Block Blob storage adding up over time," said Aashish Ramdas, cloud and enterprise programme manager, writing on the Azure blog.
Under the new pricing model, all backup data - both long term and short term - will be billed on standard Block Blob storage prices. Microsoft said it does not charge customers for restoring data from Azure Backup or for storage transactions.
Customers can also choose whether their backup data is replicated using Locally Redundant Storage (LRS) or Geo-Redundant Storage (GRS) policies; LRS maintains three copies within a single data centre, while GRS augments this with an extra three copies in a different region.
Customers will need to upgrade to the latest version of the Azure Backup agent in order to be billed under the new pricing model, Microsoft said.
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