back to article Microsoft's Azure cloud price pipped by Amazon's Linux

Microsoft has announced pricing for Azure that marginally undercuts Amazon on raw computing for Windows-based clouds but remains more expensive than the mega book warehouse's Linux option. The company has said it will charge $0.12 per compute hour for its Windows Azure Compute. Amazon's price for an ondemand Windows instance …

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Unhappy

The Sun sets?

Sun started all this on-demand cluster malarky with www.network.com and then got left in the dust by a book seller, a search engine and now the horned beast!

What happened???

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Unhappy

@Ian Rogers

What happened? The suits who took over at Sun decided it would be better to attempt a p-up at a brewery and then went proved they couldn't even do that! Internally at Sun it has descended to a farce and they seriously need a kick up the wotnot if they want Uncle Larry to help them out, else he will be be looking for someone to buy the hardware side, while he strips Java from Sun and sends them on their way. Sun as some serious thinking to do if they fancy staying the game!

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FAIL

RE: The Sun sets?

They charged silly amounts of money, their system was inflexible and product too complicated - in general the same problems which M$ is about to experience ;)

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Doesn't seem very economic

Twelve cents per hour is over $1000 per year, assuming some process polls your server/service every 30 minutes.

Surely a hosting service is only $100 to $300 per year?

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Sun, Red Dog

SUN probably failed because everyone didn't rush to port their software to java and solaris.

I think the interesting story behind Azure is that Microsoft is keeping a pretty innovative new OS (Red Dog) to itself for now. They barely talk about it, no doubt for fear of undercutting MS Server sales. Red Dog reportedly has built in virtualization and an incredibly high scalability to multiple cores compared to NT or Linux. When are we going to get access to this?

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Anonymous Coward

Oh let's just get the fibre rolled out

That's is what is keeping everything back, much simpler to run systems locally then try and upload to odd some concept, that is doomed to lose or expose your data.

Fibre roll out should be the only IT project that the government supports nothing else is more important, let's close some hospitals and get rid of some police stations to pay for it an optical fibre connection to every household and business will mean less people out on the streets causing rumpus.

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Joke

99.95% ~= 4.5 hours downtime a year

Can't be using Windows then!

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Anonymous Coward

Azure is Platform as a Service, AWS is Infrastructure

Microsoft's raw price is slightly higher for a Windows Azure application instance than a Amazon EC2 machine instance, but there's a bigger difference... with Amazon you have manage the machines... plus do things like load balancing yourself, and also pay any licensing for any software you do want to load up (if it has a license fee).

Because you're just managing the *application* instance, all the machine management is abstracted away and this lowers your internal costs. Overall, Windows Azure appears to offer a better value.

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Megaphone

Linux only seems cheaper

Because you're not taking into account the higher support costs. It's very true, just ask MS.

Oh, ehm.

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Azure looks like better value to me (PaaS vs. IaaS)

Microsoft's raw price is slightly higher for a Windows Azure application instance than a Amazon EC2 machine instance, but there's a bigger difference... with Amazon you have manage the machines... plus do things like load balancing yourself, and also pay any licensing for any software you do want to load up (if it has a license fee).

Because you're just managing the *application* instance, all the machine management is abstracted away and this lowers your internal costs. Overall, Windows Azure appears to offer a better value.

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FAIL

@Ian Rodgers

What happened is that no one cares about cloud computing, just as they didn't care about thin-clients and they positively hated Big Iron/Terminal computing. Some people found and find all of these useful but the vast majority of us have no compelling reason to give up the flexibility and reliability of computers on our desks/laps that don't pack in when some idiot workie on the Main Street cuts the network with a drill or BT becomes saturated by demand for iplayer downloads.

This is a niche product that's receiving world-class hype. Once the hype dies down, Amazon will pull out of the market and leave it to specialists like MS, Sun, and IBM. Google might limp on forever with their toy applications being used by kids, but do you really care?

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Gates Horns

Who pays?

I wonder who gets to pay for the operating system part of the "compute time". Windows is not terribly efficient. Or has Microsoft structured the charging for only the compute time directly used by the application? What about priority of tasks yada yada yada?

I remember hearing all these types of questions 25 years ago with Timesharing Bureau services.

The great cycle of life rolls on.

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Boffin

Sun tried to screen their cloud customers

I recall that it was difficult to become a Sun cloud customer. They wanted paperwork and large commitments, but Amazon just wanted an email address and a credit card number.

I think that this happened because Sun was building a new system, whereas Amazon was selling slack capacity on an infrastructure that already existed.

Amazon got critical mass because they were willing to sell to anybody -- just like any other public utility -- but Sun management wanted customers that were "worthwhile".

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Badgers

Trust Microsoft?

Not a hope would I trust them to do this right. They'll ballsmer this up and make it too hard to be viable.

The term azure derives from the Persian لاژورد (lazhward) - far too close to hazard for my liking.

In any case - how do you patch a cloud .. ?

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Flame

Head in a cloud

"In May 1997, NetCentric tried to trademark the “cloud computing” but later abandoned it in April 1999."

The currently "in" thing is based around a term founded over a DECADE ago, I'd like to know whether the person deciding to call it Cloud Computing was drinking Shandy, Ale or a bottle of jagermeister in one when they decided it should be cloud computing.

To help push come to shove and avoid the whole debacle that Web 2.0 was (and maybe still is) when it came to light, why couldn't they just call it something simple people could kinda relate to. Ungrid computing or something like that because, even PS3 people know grid computing thanks to folding at home. Instead we have Dick and Roger the manager going crazy for something they don't even understand just, HAVE TO HAVE IT.

What a lovely rant, now i can go to bed and wake up both at the same time in peace.

On a more serious note, I'd love to know what the power requirements of an entire Ungrid (sounds like a hungry term to me :3 ) are (minus the internet switches) and whether cloud computing is actually a green approach in the long term. If companies signed up to the service, they'd still need a device to act as a terminal instead of computers that might as well be terminals, what's the watts Watson?

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The Sun sets?

I kinda remember www.network.com - it's been while ago. I think (maybe I am wrong) their model was a bit different. You could rent computing power only.

Amazon's very flexible "rent a computer and install whatever OS you want" covers more than just computing power (for example you could not start Oracle on linux in sun's framework).

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Silver badge
FAIL

Never undercut your distributor

This should teach Amazon not to run Windows Server on their cloud. There's no way they can compete with Microsoft on pricing if they have to pay for the server software licensing.

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Headmaster

"Compute hour"?

"Compute" is an adjective now?

What a world we live in.

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Re: Sun Sets

What happened? They build a niche mentality around their software platform that encouraged its developers to adopt a mutually hostile outlook on both the Windows and the Linux development worlds. it was a belief that the rest of the world would either come over to their way of thinking, eventually (based entirely on the superiority of the offering, they had), or that they'd at least maintain the market they already controlled. The problem was, that most potential customers didn't see the need for on-demand compuuting, and when they did, had already built so far down the Windows or Linux roads, that a switch to Sun was not an option - even if Sun's developer community had been a bit more welcoming.

Maybe Scott McNealy finally did one 'car analogy' too many and thought Sun could be Rolls Royce? The problem with computers, is that they don't grow old the way cars and red wine does; and you can't pose around the streets with your Enterprise ten thou (however impressive and purple it might be). In the computing world 'exclusive' is another word for 'just plain odd'.

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Thumb Up

EC2 Linux is great

To AC and John - about managing your own machine - thats exactly what I want. I need access to the OS. Load balancing is also available in many forms. Guess it depends upon your skill set. Any my licensing costs have been 0.

"Red Dog reportedly has built in virtualization and an incredibly high scalability to multiple cores compared to NT or Linux. "

Linux scales to thousands and thousands of cores. #1 super computer runs linux. 12,960 IBM PowerXCell 8i CPUs, 6,480 AMD Opteron dual-core processors

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@paul 97

Linux is not scaling to 18,000+ processors in your Roadrunner example. An individual Linux is running on each one of those nodes, which then communicate through higher-level software like MPI. Also, the general impression of Roadrunner is that the hybrid design was a mistake--everyone I've spoken to about it says it was very hard to program for Roadrunner, in part because of the general crappiness of Cell.

Linux is not the answer for HPC. It's pleasant on the desktop and it's good in servers, but it doesn't belong in petascale, especially now that we're focusing on cheaper slower processors, where Linux may eat up a significant fraction of processor time.

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