Windows Azure – a Cost-Effective Platform for ISVs

  • Use of a Windows Azure application server instance is now just USD$15 a month. 
  • A SQL database starts at just $5 a month.
  • Data transfer is $0.12 per GB (inbound is free)
  • There’s a free trial offer with lots built-in, and other discount packages available.

This is now at a price-point that is very competitive with discount hosting providers, but even better when you consider the Platform as a Service capabilities, SLA and scalability offered when you start putting things together…

This is a platform I am now recommending for ISVs and using myself.

For example, for $35 a month (plus $0.12 per GB of outbound data in US) you can get (setup in minutes):

  • Two load-balanced web application server instances capable of running multiple ASP.NET or PHP sites
  • A SQL Server database with built-in redundancy
  • No physical or OS administration
  • A 99.95% connectivity guarantee
  • A 99.99% faulty instance correction guarantee
  • A 99.9% database availability guarantee
  • Free starter development tools
  • Ability to scale in minutes through mature portal

See SLA details.  

Note: the Windows Azure Extra Small compute instance runs on shared CPU cores with 768MB of memory, 20GB of local disk and 5Mbps of bandwidth. The starter database is up to 100MB.

To see what you can get with different feature/power combinations, check out the pricing calculator.

Other great offers include:

Free Trial Period

A great trial package that includes up to 6 extra small instances, 1GB database, 20GB outbound data, 500,000 caching network transactions, 20GB of high-availability storage with 1M transactions!

Member offers

MSDN subscribers, Microsoft Partner Network members and BizSpark members all get a quantity of free Azure resources.

6 Month deals

Package offers with up to 33% off


There are also zero spending limit options that can prevent charged over-usage when using packages with free resources.


One thought on “Windows Azure – a Cost-Effective Platform for ISVs

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