Microsoft cuts Windows Azure cloud storage prices

Summary: Microsoft has chopped prices on its Windows Azure cloud storage for the second one time this year.

The cloud-storage pricing wars just keep going and going.

The latest to trim prices is Microsoft, following similar back-to-back moves by Amazon and Google .

On December 5, Microsoft announced its second Azure Storage price cut of this year . Effective December 12, Microsoft is cutting prices of both geo-redundant and locally-redundant storage by as much as 28 percent, in accordance with a post at the Windows Azure blog.

 (Because the Softies explain within the post, “Windows Azure Storage accounts have geo-replication on by default to offer the best durability. Customers can turn geo-replication off to exploit what we call Locally Redundant Storage , which leads to a reduced price relative to Geo Redundant.”)

Here’s the recent post-bargain list, courtesy of Microsoft:

Microsoft cuts Windows Azure cloud storage prices

So with this cut, which service is cheapest of all of them, relating to storage? It’s hard to assert.

“Since pricing for either one of these services are changing quite frequently and depended upon a lot of factors, it was impossible for me to pinpoint exactly which service is cheaper ,” acknowledged Guarav Mantri, founding father of Cerbrata and a Microsoft Most respected Professional (MVP) in a blog post at the topic.

Mantri created an easy calculator to take a look at to assist users determine whether Microsoft or Amazon was the low-cost winner. He noted that transaction costs (costs incurred in response to variety of transactions performed against each service); storage costs (costs of knowledge stored in each service calculated in GB); and bandwidth costs (costs incurred in response to data sent from the datacenter) all had to be factored in.

Speaking of price cuts, the Azure team also recently posted about cutting the costs of 2 key Windows Azure Active Directory (WAAD) components — access control and core directory and authentication — to zero. The post never mentioned the unique cost of those components or the volume wherein the pricing was cut.

One reader mentioned to me in an e-mail exchangethat ACS (access control services) was officially priced at $1.99 per 100,000 identity transactions. He said it’s been available without spending a dime as portion of a promotion for for greater than a year. 

WAAD is Microsoft’s Active Directory directory service for the cloud. A selection of Microsoft cloud properties already are using WAAD , including the Windows Azure Online Backup, Windows Azure, Office 365, Dynamics CRM Online and Windows InTune.

In case you are looking for a one-stop Azure pricing page, do this .