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Vague pricing and FAQ issue with Azure VMs RRS feed

  • Question

  • Call it a question, or call it a point of attention that should be addressed:

    The Azure pricing calculator for VMs does not include a slider for storage. Also, in the FAQ, there is a question about "local" storage as follows:

    "Do I need to purchase local disk storage with Virtual Machines separately?

    No, local disk storage is provided with Virtual Machines and is not charged separately. To explore virtual machines configurations visit here."

    Unfortunately between the two, it leaves the impression that some storage is included with the VM. However it has been my experience that this is not the case. Once you stand up a VM, even the small changes that occur when an OS is specialized counts as storage and gets billed on the invoice. Which is fine, but it means this should be better explained in the FAQ and, ideally, a storage slider would also be on the VM pricing calculator since EVERY running VM will have some storage cost associated with it.

    Tuesday, August 27, 2013 8:53 AM

Answers

  • Adding some more technical details which might be helpful.

    Note that VM created from templates have two drives. One would be OS disk and other would be temporary storage. OS disk would be stored as VHD file in our storage account and we would be charged for it as a regular blob. Temporary storage is not persistent and hence we would not be charged for it.

    However one more important point to note over here is that disks (VHD) are page blobs and not block blobs. This is good news as this helps Azure keep track of used space and free space. Empty pages count towards free space and Azure does not charge for empty pages or unused space. If our OS disk is sizing 120 GB and we are only using 30 GB out of 120 GB then we would be charged for only used space i.e. 30 GB.

    I agree with you that every VM compute cost would be accompanied by Storage cost and even a small note with aster-ix would have been helpful. However if we look at full calculator then it starts to make sense. Space used in OS disk is really dependent on actual usage. Also VM allows us to add more and more disks as virtual drives hence actual storage used by a VM is really dependent on business scenario and it is not fixed. If you really think of a scenario where your storage (VHD) is in different region from your VM then even bandwidth and storage transaction would be chargeable. Hence I would say it would difficult to encompass all these scenarios in a simple calculator.


    Regards,
    Ojas Maru ( My blog )


    Wednesday, August 28, 2013 5:43 AM

All replies

  • Hi,

    Thank you for your feedback.

    I'd like to know what you mean by "even the small changes that occur when an OS is specialized counts as storage and gets billed on the invoice"? From my experience, Windows Azure users need to pay for the VM instance they are running, but that is different from local storage. Local storage means the disk that hosts the OS, which is attached to each VM instance. The billing for this storage is not charged with VM separately. Windows Azure users need to pay for the VM image (if users have a customized image stored in the storage account), or additional disks users attach to the VM. If the FAQ is not clear enough, we can submit the kindly suggestions on http://www.mygreatwindowsazureidea.com/forums/34192-general-feedback-.

    Best Regards,

    Ming Xu


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    Wednesday, August 28, 2013 5:02 AM
  • Adding some more technical details which might be helpful.

    Note that VM created from templates have two drives. One would be OS disk and other would be temporary storage. OS disk would be stored as VHD file in our storage account and we would be charged for it as a regular blob. Temporary storage is not persistent and hence we would not be charged for it.

    However one more important point to note over here is that disks (VHD) are page blobs and not block blobs. This is good news as this helps Azure keep track of used space and free space. Empty pages count towards free space and Azure does not charge for empty pages or unused space. If our OS disk is sizing 120 GB and we are only using 30 GB out of 120 GB then we would be charged for only used space i.e. 30 GB.

    I agree with you that every VM compute cost would be accompanied by Storage cost and even a small note with aster-ix would have been helpful. However if we look at full calculator then it starts to make sense. Space used in OS disk is really dependent on actual usage. Also VM allows us to add more and more disks as virtual drives hence actual storage used by a VM is really dependent on business scenario and it is not fixed. If you really think of a scenario where your storage (VHD) is in different region from your VM then even bandwidth and storage transaction would be chargeable. Hence I would say it would difficult to encompass all these scenarios in a simple calculator.


    Regards,
    Ojas Maru ( My blog )


    Wednesday, August 28, 2013 5:43 AM