Microsoft Azure

NEW Lower Azure Pricing & Release Annoucements

MICROSOFT AZURE Changes to Azure Pricing

As part of Microsoft's continued commitment to deliver Azure to customers at the best possible prices, they have lowered prices of many of the most popular virtual machines (VMs).

Below you'll find a summary of the key changes:

  • General Purpose Instances: Prices of the Dv2 series Virtual Machines (VMs) will be reduced by up to 15%. Microsoft are also lowering prices of the A1 and A2 Basic VMs by up to 50%.
  • Compute Optimised Instances: Prices of the F series will be reduced up to 11%.
  • Av2 Series: As of November 2016, Microsoft are introducing new A series virtual machines (Av2), with prices up to 36% lower than the A Series Standard VM prices available.

Read on for more information about Azure pricing updates and annoucements.

MICROSOFT AZURE Azure Active Directory Domain Services

Azure Active Directory Domain Services generally available.

Now generally available, Azure Active Directory Domain Services general availability pricing will begin on 1st December 2016.

The original pricing model, proposed during public preview, included three prices based on number of directory objects: 0-5,000, 5,000-25,000, and 25,000-100,000. Now Microsoft are combining the first two tiers into a single price point for all directories with under 25,000 objects and lowering the price by 25 percent. 

  • If your directory size is under 25,000 objects, you will continue to see usage listed against “S2 Domain Services Hours” on your invoice until 1st December 2016. After that, it will be renamed “S1 Domain Services Hours.”
  • If your directory size is between 25,000 and 100,000 objects, you will see usage listed against “S3 Domain Services Hours” on your invoice until 1st December 2016, after which it will be renamed “S2 Domain Services Hours.” 
MICROSOFT AZURE Azure HDInsight

Azure HDInsight introduces advanced security capabilities in public preview.

As part of a public preview premium offering, Azure HDInsight is making available several key security capabilities, including authentication, authorization, and auditing for cloud Hadoop.

HDInsight integrates with Azure Active Directory and Azure Active Directory Domain Services for enterprise-grade authentication and identity management. HDInsight also integrates with Apache Ranger for a central policy and management portal where administrators can maintain fine-grained access control policies over Hadoop data access, components, and services. Finally, data processed by HDInsight is stored in Azure Data Lake Store or Azure Storage. Both offer server-side encryption to secure data at rest. 

MICROSOFT AZURE Azure Analysis Services

Azure Analysis Services is a new service now available in public preview. 

Built on the proven analytics engine in Microsoft SQL Server 2016 Analysis Services, Azure Analysis Services delivers enterprise-grade Business Intelligence semantic modeling capabilities with the scale, flexibility, and management benefits of the cloud. 

MICROSOFT AZURE Azure Search S3

Azure Search S3 tiers and new regions generally available.

Standard S3 and Standard S3 High Density (HD) tiers for Azure Search are now generally available.

Azure Search is also now available in the West Central US, Canada East, and Canada Central regions. 

  • For more information about pricing, please visit the Search Pricing webpage.
  • To learn more about Azure Search, please visit the Search webpage. 
MICROSOFT AZURE Billing for Azure Key Vault

Billing for Azure Key Vault certificates feature will begin on 1st December 2016.

Starting on or after 1st December 2016, all operations on certificates in Azure Key Vault, except renewal requests, will be charged the same as operations on keys and secrets.

Renewal requests for certificates will be charged a separate, higher price. 

MICROSOFT AZURE Azure Cloud Services

G-Series instances now available for Azure Cloud Services.

Microsoft are making G-Series instances available in Azure Cloud Services in all regions where G-Series instances for Azure Virtual Machines are available today. 

The G-Series instances feature the latest Intel Xeon processor E5 v3 family and provide unparalleled computational performance, substantial memory, and robust local solid-state drive (SSD) storage. 

MICROSOFT AZURE Azure SQL Database

Azure SQL Database Long-Term Retention in public preview.

Now in public preview, Long-Term Retention (LTR) allows you to enable your databases to create weekly backups stored in your own Azure Backup vault and extend the retention period built into SQL Database from 35 days to up to 10 years.

  • For more information, please visit the Backup Pricing webpage.
  • To learn more about LTR, please visit the SQL Database webpage.