back to article Microsoft delivers 'almost ready' Azure cloud

Microsoft is fiddling around with the launch dates of the highly anticipated Windows Azure while showing off the cloud service's latest advances. The company said on Tuesday that Azure, unveiled in October 2008, would continue as a Community Technology Preview (CTP) through to the end of this year. Azure will be opened to …

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This should be good

After T-Mobile staff selling customer data: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8364421.stm How anyone would trust the cloud with anything other than a grocery list baffles me.

It's not so much hackers that one needs to worry about when trusting ones data to the cloud... It's with the custodians of that data where the real worry lies.

More of my opinion on data theft and the cloud in general on my blog: http://www.propergander.org.uk/properblog/?p=40 should anyone be interested in debating further. And yes it is a shameless plug for my new website, so please forgive me, and there is no advertising I am trying to garner interest and debate not make money.

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Highly anticipated Windows Azure

Uh, highly anticipated by who exactly? The only anticipating I'm doing is for the sweeps that will be run predicting its first highly spectacular crash.

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Megaphone

Gentlemen, start your titsups wagering

I've got 10:1 the whole thing falls over within the first week

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Grenade

Seriously. Seriously. We're in a recession people.

Whatever happened to the recession?

I don't think the "cloud" is any good for "always-on" services. I run a small business and I worked out that with an Amazon instance it would cost twice as much to host a 24x7 server in the cloud than it would to rent my own dedicated server (or even VPS.)

For example - I'm currently renting a quad-core 2.4GHz processor, 2GB RAM, dual-160GB hard disk server for £69 a month. That's 9.6GHz of effective processing power. I'm upgrading it in the next month or so to have 8GB RAM which will increase that to £89 a month.

Now what if I wanted to match that with an Azure instance?

Well it would sit somewhere between the Large and X Large instances, which would give me 10.5GB RAM and the same amount of processing power. That's without knowing how much disk space I'd get.

That would set me back $0.72 per hour. There's an average of 722.4 hours in a month, which leaves me a bill of $520.13 a month! Translate that into GBP = £313!

I'm planning on getting another server of the same spec, sync'ing the systems data storage, which means I will be able to run 8 VMs of the same spec as the Small Azure instance for less than £200. Which will include live migration of the VMs across physical nodes, about 260GB storage for all 8 VMs and the option of load balancing them.

A Small Azure instance, running 24x7, will cost approx £52 a month, if I had 8 of them that'd be £416. DOUBLE THE PRICE.

Now, if I wanted one or 2 Azure instances to do some heavy processing for a couple of hours a day (which would be useful for exactly 1 scenario if I didn't need my own servers for anything else) then I'd get my head straight in the cloud but for anything else, it only deserves a grenade.

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