The Storage Wars: Microsoft Hops Onto The Price-shed Bandwagon

The Storage Wars: Microsoft Hops Onto The Price-shed Bandwagon

Last week’s wrap-up of the on-going cloud storage price wars between Google and Amazon ended off with a humble suggestion for Microsoft: wait for nothing and plunge straight into the cloud storage price-drop showdown. It turns out that the software giant actually did make up its mind to join the party real soon, responding to the soaring market competition in style.

Microsoft made a pronounced entry into the ballroom by announcing price sheds for its Windows Azure Storage, and that as well, as much as a hefty 28 percent (how’s that for a stunner).

Reducing prices is only part of the story”, explained Steven Martin, General Manager at Windows Azure Business Planning Division, in an official blog post. Microsoft has also complemented its cloud storage offerings by incorporating significant value addition in a multitude of ways.

Owing to the ingeniously formulated 400 plus miles separation between the constituent replicas, the corporation’s Geo Redundant Storage architecture remains to be the market lead in terms of reliance and durability. That’s just about perfect for mitigating the impact natural disasters are known to have on ventures. On top of that, commissioning of high bandwidth network connectivity across all of its datacenters and increase in scalability targets for Windows Azure Storage continues to strengthen “Microsoft’s commitment to (providing the) best overall value in the industry”.

Based on Microsoft’s new formula, the first terabyte of geographically redundant Azure storage is priced at $ 0.095 per GB per month, while the same in the locally redundant flavor comes for $ 0.070 per GB per month. The figures are all set to fare pretty well against those laid down by Amazon and Google.

Microsoft took a step further and revealed a handful of compelling usage statistics within the same post. The Azure Storage service, house to over 4 trillion objects, has about 270,000 requests processed per second with peaks as volumetric as 880,000 requests every second. The figures are comparable to Amazon’s peak measures of 835,000 requests per second (talk about being neck-to-neck).

Critics argue that the recent price drops from Amazon, Google and now Microsoft might just be more than a mere race to the bottom. There has to be ample logic behind the cost teardown. And logic there sure is – sheer method in the apparent madness. The most effective way to lure corporate clients (and budding startups) on board the cloud is to offer them unbelievably inexpensive cloud storage, making them crave for pricey computing services follows shortly.

Whether you think of the price lowering trend as a marketing gimmick or a corporate bait, the crux remains the same: cloud computing is here for good and here to stay. Cloud service providers have proved their point in making ventures realize that in cloud rest savings. It’s about time the critics learn the same – better late than never.

By Humayun Shahid


With degrees in Communication Systems Engineering and Signal Processing, Humayun currently works as a lecturer at Pakistan's leading engineering university. The author has an inclination towards incorporating quality user experience design in smartphone and web applications.

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