back to article Microsoft follows up those licensing hikes by snipping away costs for Azure Archive Storage

While Amazon fumed over Microsoft's licensing changes, the gang in Redmond attempted to soften the blow a little by slicing the pricing of Azure Archive Storage. Azure Archive Storage is aimed at rarely accessed data with what the company calls "flexible latency". Think backups rather than anything particularly too hot. Indeed …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Oh really ?

    "Vogels claimed that a company that raised prices, cut benefits and restricted freedom of choice was not to be trusted"

    Bah, he's just miffed that MS did it first.

  2. Nolveys Silver badge
    Windows

    The best feature of the cloud...

    ...is that once customers are locked in nice and tight the vendors can crank the price to infinity and beyond.

    While Amazon fumed over Microsoft's licensing changes...

    It's always surprising when a company does exactly the same thing it's been doing for decades yet again.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Doesn't feel nice...

    For all you cloud users to feel that vice tightening around your dangly bits. These cloud vendors (shysters) have you all by the short and curlies.

    To charge you to get your data out of the cloud is IMHO stark raving bonkers but there again, it really isn't your data any longer now is it????

    Prices are going to rise. Penalties for leaving one service and going to another will increase.

    Is this any different to your Sky or Virgin Contracts?

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Doesn't feel nice...

      "To charge you to get your data out of the cloud is IMHO stark raving bonkers but there again, it really isn't your data any longer now is it????"

      What do you expect? You put data on a server that is connected remotely, so if you're getting data off it, it is bandwidth you're using. That, like CPU time or disk space, is a limited resource, so there's a cost to using it. I think the stated price sounds too high, but it seems logical to me that data retrieval would cost money. If it did not, they'd be providing me unlimited bandwidth, which history has shown to always be more expensive for the provider than they planned. I'm very happy if they choose to do that, but I'm not surprised that they don't. Of course, they could wrap some amount of data transfer in the purchase of disk space, for example giving enough to perform a complete retrieval once, but then people would complain that they were being charged for transfer they weren't using if they left their data in for a longer period.

    2. FIA

      Re: Doesn't feel nice...

      For all you cloud users to feel that vice tightening around your dangly bits. These cloud vendors (shysters) have you all by the short and curlies.

      Cloud providers provide infrastructure as a utility, as a customer you need to make a choice as to how much or little of this you use. Use more and your life is easier but the lock in greater.

      To charge you to get your data out of the cloud is IMHO stark raving bonkers but there again, it really isn't your data any longer now is it????

      It's using bandwith (and probably some infrastruture to retreive it from long term storage). Like all utilities, you pay for what you use. It's still your data. (Unless you've done it wrong, why is the cloud provider seeing anything other than encrypted data at their end?)

      Prices are going to rise. Penalties for leaving one service and going to another will increase.

      Companies like to make money, who knew? ;) (Any ongoing business cost is likely to rise over time; be it cloud provider or the company that runs the alarm securing your building).

      Hence the likes of things like Docker, over time the differences will be abstracted away, so if you choose you can have easy and locked in, or slightly more work but vendor agnostic.

      Or you can just do it the old way, you still have that choice.

      The cloud is wonderful, but don't go into it with your eyes closed.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Going the Oracle route

    Can’t complete on a technical level, so let’s change licensing to force customers to use Azure. It’s a little bit awkward...

  5. wayne 8

    "a replacement for the likes of magnetic tapes and regulator-mandated archives."

    The Cloud replacing offline, offsite, physical media\ stored in an iron mountain?

    Works until it doesn't.

    1. FIA

      The Cloud replacing offline, offsite, physical media\ stored in an iron mountain?

      Erm... 'the cloud' == someone elses servers.Often offsite too... ;)

      Works until it doesn't.

      Backing up to multiple cloud providers in multiple geographical regions is still potentially cheaper and/or more resiliant for many companies that building an iron mountain though.

      Plus it can augment an existing strategy, doesn't have to replace it. I can still have bacula writing to tape as well as an S3 bucket.

  6. adnim Silver badge

    First they trusted

    the Sun, it's a fair bet. Its been pretty reliable for the past 4.5 billion years.

    Then they trusted the person that said the Sun was a god that talked to him. It went seriously down hill form there.

    Non reliance on a third party for business critical systems isn't expensive. Skills are rare though,

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: First they trusted

      "Non reliance on a third party for business critical systems isn't expensive. Skills are rare though,"

      I'm sorry? That's very expensive. Oh, I know what you were going for--hardware on prem can be less expensive than the cloud. Maybe you were also going for license-free software too. But let's look at the typical third parties a business relies on and how expensive it would be to not rely on them.

      Real estate: Most businesses rent their buildings. Many don't need a full building and share with other businesses. Some that need a building like the reduction in risk that comes from renting, or want to be able to move quickly. In order to run a business without renting, they need to purchase one or more buildings. This is very expensive, especially if the business is, like many businesses, located in an urban area.

      Electricity: Most businesses get the power to run their building, their servers, and everything else from the grid. Of course they run local generation for backup purposes, but usually only enough to keep the absolutely critical systems running for a short time. If they wanted to have complete nonreliance, they'd effectively have to build their own electrical plant, requiring extra real estate costs not to mention the costs for the generation capacity. Even if they are allowed to use the standard electricity supplier so long as they can switch over, they'd probably need to buy a lot more generators and fuel in order that, when power from the grid fails, the situation is "everyone can keep working in the building" rather than "the public servers won't go down".

      Communications: The company would have to be an ISP. That's the only way not to rely on anyone else. Well, actually, they'd still rely on the other ISPs and tier one communications companies, but not much can be done about that. I forgot, they probably run a phone line for customer support or at least sales, so they'll have to be a telco too.

      Outsourcing: Many companies choose to have some roles, like cleaning, recruiting, or even HR, outsourced to another provider. They pay that provider, who provides the people who can do that task, manages them, and pays them. There are many additional companies who keep that all in house, but most of them are either very small, requiring little of those services, or very large.

      That's without considering other tasks that the company might do and rely on, like sales which might be assisted by resellers or retailers, advertising which relies on external media, or hardware from servers to office chairs which probably is not all manufactured by the company.

      Let's also consider the original point. The desire is to avoid any other services. Most people can do that; machines were meant to run on prem and were designed with that in mind. However, imagine a situation where a lot of scalability is desired but the hardware for that is not always needed. You can get that on the cloud for relatively cheap. Obtaining that on prem is expensive because you have to keep a bunch of hardware frequently underutilized. What if you want geographic distribution, either for lower latency or increased redundancy in case of problems in one area. Cloud has that covered as well. Implementing that without external requirements means the company will have to purchase extra servers and physically bring them to various places. Because we're going for "Non reliance on a third party", it's not enough to rent space in a datacenter because what if the people running it didn't set up backup power right? So that's purchasing a building in another area, country, or continent just for keeping servers in.

      I frequently prefer not to run services on the cloud, and I'll be the first to argue that there is too much emphasis on cloud over non-cloud. But it is expensive to have things that don't rely on a third party. Sometimes, the cloud is in fact worthwhile.

  7. Andrew Williams

    Microsoft, Amazon...

    Were the leaders of the pack decrying IBM and other mainframe providers as locking you in, cranking up prices.

    What was old is now new again, and today it’s Microsoft, Amazon and Google rather than mainframes.

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Microsoft, Amazon...

      yup- typical capitalists. Tell everyone competition is good and do there best to stamp it out.

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