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I should have known better honestly.  I’ve had one strike with cloud billing catching me by surprise and I’m not sure why I’m shocked it happened again.  This time, however, I thought I really did plan it out, pay attention to things and asked what I thought were the right questions.  Unfortunately I didn’t get the full answers.  This time I was stung by my shiny new SQL Azure service choice.

UPDATE 12-APR-2012: Based on comments I've received I feel the need to clarify that I'm not bashing Azure or cloud services in general here.  I don't think anywhere I indicated Azure was a crap product or that I hated it at all.  In fact, I indicated I was completely happy with the service offering.  My frustration was *only* with the fact that the pricing was unclear to me based on how I researched it...that is all and nothing more.  As many have pointed out, cloud services like Azure are extremely important in the marketplace and the ability to scale real-time with minimal effort is an exceptional feature.  *FOR ME* I currently don't have those needs so I couldn't justify the charges beyond what I had planned...that is all, nothing more.  My experience with SQL Azure was a positive one as a product.  Quick setup, familiar tools to manage, worry-free database management, great admin interface and a reliable data storage solution.  My architecture, however, just didn't prove ideal currently with my site not being in Azure as well.  When VM roles come out of beta I will be sure to evaluate moving sites there and plan better.

A while back I heard about the change in price for some Windows Azure services and the one that piqued my interest was the SQL Azure.  At the time it hit me right as I needed to move around some of my hosting aspects of my site.  The lure of the $5/month SQL Azure database (as long as it was < 100MB) was appealing to me.  The SQL server aspect of my site has always been a management headache for me as I don’t want to have to worry about growing logs, etc.

Stung by marketing

I followed the announcements to the http://www.windowsazure.com site and read the descriptions of the services.  I was immediately convinced of the value and heck, it was a service from my company so why shouldn’t I give it a try and support it?  When I began to set it up, however, there were questions being asked during setup and I started to get concerned.  I asked around about if this $5 fee was really the only fee.  I didn’t want to get surprises by things like compute time.  Perhaps I wasn’t asking specific enough questions, but all answers I got was that signs pointed to yes, that would be my only fee.

NOTE: As of this writing yes I am a Microsoft employee, but this is my own opinion and I realize that peoples’ expectations and results vary.  This is only my experience.  I’m not only an employee but also a customer of Microsoft services and in this instance a full paying customer.  No internal benefits are used in my personal Azure hosting accounts.

Yesterday I learned that wasn’t the case.  I received my first Azure billing statement and it was way more than I expected.  Yes my $5 database was there as expected, but also was suddenly “Data Transfer” charges of $55.

Trying to make sense of billing

I immediately tried to make sense of this billing.  I immediately remembered that I had created a storage account as well for a quick test and perhaps I forgot to disable/delete that service.  I logged into the management portal and saw that my storage account was properly deleted and nowhere to be seen.  But how to make sense of these charges from the past week then?  Luckily Azure provides detail usage download data so I grabbed that.  The CSV file I download did indeed provide some detail…perhaps too much as some of it I couldn’t discern, namely the one piece that I had hoped would help me: Resource ID.  This ID was a GUID that I thought pointed to a service that I used.  It did not, or at least that GUID was nowhere to be seen on my Azure management portal.

I contacted the billing support immediately to help.  I was able to talk with a human fairly quickly which was a plus.  The gentleman explained to me that I had a lot of outgoing data leaving the Azure data centers and that was the source of the costs.  He asked if I knew if anything was connecting to my SQL Azure instance externally.  Well, duh, yes it was my site!  He went on to explain that this constitutes “Data Transfer” and I’m billed at a per GB rate for any data that leaves the Azure data center. 

I took a deep breath and asked where this was documented in my SQL Azure sign-up process.  We walked through the site together and he agreed that it wasn’t clear.  After being put on hold for a while, I was assured I would receive a credit for the misunderstanding.  Unfortunately for Azure, the damage was done and they lost a customer.

Where the failure occurred

For me the failure was twofold: me for not fully understanding terms and Azure for not fully explaining them in context.  I say “in context” because that was the key piece that was missing in my registration of my account.  Let me explain the flow I took (as I sent this same piece of internal feedback today as well) as a customer once I heard the announcement about the SQL Azure pricing changes:

  • I received notice of updated SQL Azure pricing
  • I visited the site http://www.windowsazure.com for more information
  • I clicked the top-level “PRICING” link provided as that was my fear
  • I was presented with a fancy graphical calculator.  I moved the slider up to 100MB and confirmed the pricing on the side (no asterisks or anything)
  • I notice a “Learn more about pricing, billing and metering” link underneath the calculator and click it to learn more
  • I’m presented with a section of 10 different options all presented at the same level giving the appearance as unique services.
  • I choose the Database one and again read through and confirm the charge for the 100MB database option.
  • I click the “More about databases” link to double-verify and am presented with another detailed description of the billing

Not once during that process was context provided.  Not at any of the steps above (3 different pricing screens) was there context that additional fees could also apply to any given service.  Data transfer, in fact, doesn’t even describe itself very well.  As I was assured in asking folks involved in Azure about my concern on pricing, this “Data Transfer” wasn’t brought up at all.  I’m not sure why at all it is listed along side services and almost presented as a separate service as it appears all Azure services are subject to data transfer fees.  This is not made clear during sign up nor marketing of the pricing for each service.  SQL Azure should clearly state that the fees are database *plus* any additional fees resulting from data transfer.  Heck Amazon does this with S3 which also makes it so confusing to anticipate the cost of billing there as well…but at least it is presented that I need to factor that into my calculation.

I’m to blame, so why am I whining

I said I’m to blame as well for not understanding better what I’m getting into.  It is unfortunate because I really did like the service and felt an assurance of more reliability with my database then I had before.  The management portal was great and the uptime and log management was something I didn’t have to think about anymore. 

So why, you might ask, am I complaining about a service fee for something that was providing me value? 

NOTE: You may ask why I didn’t just move my site within Azure as well so that no data would be leaving the data centers.  This is a fair question, but unfortunately my site won’t run on any Azure hosting services and additionally I manage a few sites on a single server so it is cost prohibitive to have multiple Azure hosting instances for me right now.

Well it is simple.  I’m not made of money.  This blog has no accounting department or annual budget and such, I have to be smart about even the smallest cost.  I already have sunk costs into the server that hosts this site as well as a few others.  A $5/month database fee was nothing and justifiable easily with the value I was getting and the minor additional cost.  $50 (and growing) just wasn’t justifiable to me.  It was already at the same cost as my dedicated server and just no longer made sense for my scenario here.  In this instance I’m the “little guy” and need to think like one.  Perhaps cloud services are not for me.

Summary

So what did I learn?  Well, I really need to understand bandwidth and transfer data better for the sites I have.  Unfortunately this isn’t totally predictable for me and as such if I can’t predict the cost then it isn’t something that I should be using.  If you are considering these types of services regardless of if they are from Azure or Amazon (or whomever) you need to really plan out not only the service but how it will be used.  Don’t be lured by those shiny cost calculators that let you use sliders and show you awesome pricing but don’t help you estimate (or alert you) to that some of those sliders should be linked together.

I think Azure (and other similar services) have real customer value…there is no doubt in that.  For me, however, it just isn’t the time right now.  The services, based on my configuration needs, just don’t make sense.  Had I had a clearer picture of this when signing up, I wouldn’t have been in this situation of frustration.  Choose your services wisely and understand your total usage of them.  For me it currently doesn’t make sense and I’m moving back to a SQL Express account on my server.  Yes I’ll have to manage it a bit more, but my costs will be known and predictable.

Hope this helps.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution By license.


4/9/2012 11:04 PM | # re: Stung by Azure Data Transfer fees
I would love to experiment with Azure but it looks just too scary cost wise. I need to have a service that offers a cap so that I know my costs are limited if I make a blunder. I'd rather the service shut down rather than pay a huge bill. I think google offer this but I haven't looked into it fully. Thanks for the warning.
4/9/2012 11:20 PM | # re: Stung by Azure Data Transfer fees
How did you transfer that much data? Several hundred times the size of the entire 100mb db (~4000 times to be exact)
4/9/2012 11:58 PM | # re: Stung by Azure Data Transfer fees
@hurricanepkt - as I noted in my original setup, my site was not in Azure but the DB was...so any page view was 'out' transfer fees.
4/10/2012 1:49 AM | # re: Stung by Azure Data Transfer fees
Not sure about MS-SQL, but there are value-added services for db hosting on EC2, I know of some for Postgres and mySQL. Most let you choose where to run from, so you avoid similar fees. I know heroku connects with few of them.
4/10/2012 2:10 AM | # re: Stung by Azure Data Transfer fees
one off topic question. can you pls tell me which font you are using for the text displayed on your blog.
4/10/2012 3:06 AM | # re: Stung by Azure Data Transfer fees
You say "all Azure services are subject to data transfer fees". Does that even include Azure Compute and Azure blob storage?
4/10/2012 4:27 AM | # re: Stung by Azure Data Transfer fees
I actually went the linode route with my sites...and just run my own postgresql server...its really not that much work...great price and hundreds of gigs of transfer are included in that cost.
4/10/2012 6:08 AM | # re: Stung by Azure Data Transfer fees
I'd also add that is seems like in your case, you may really want to look at adding some type of local content cache. If you're a fairly static content site, caching stuff to the local storage area of your role instances will help reduce transfer costs and speed up application performance. This is key if you're trying to architect for scale and/or resilience.
Gravatar
4/10/2012 7:29 AM | # re: Stung by Azure Data Transfer fees
@Gary - Azure services have caps. If enabled, they'll shut off the service when you reach the caps. In fact, the caps are enabled by default on at least some plans and services.
4/10/2012 7:29 AM | # re: Stung by Azure Data Transfer fees
@Michael - yes I could switch to MySql or something like that, but my sites would need a lot of config changes and not something I have tim to invest in right now.

@Vinod - it is the Ubuntu font

@Shubhan - any service you are using where requests originate from outside the Azure data center and data leaves the data center I believe are subject to this. Compute doesn't sound like it is, but blob storage I would say yes if your request comes from outside of the data centers (i.e., a phone/client applicatin directly fetching data from the service)

@Brent - it is not fairly static, data changes regularly. I do have an HTTP cache for the content but it changes pretty regularly. But good idea to re-examine my cache settings for optimal scale.
4/10/2012 11:19 AM | # re: Stung by Azure Data Transfer fees
@shubhan - Windows Azure has bandwidth charges in places for any/all data leaving an Azure datacenter. This includes data served by a web application running in the Azure Compute service and data that is served/retrieved directly from any of the other storage mechanisms (blobs, tables, queues, SQL Azure, cache, etc).

There are no charges for bandwidth within the datacenter though. For example, if your website does a query on a SQL Azure database and retrieves a large amount of data (say... all the rows in a table), but then only serves up a smaller portion of that to an end user's browser client (say... a single row), then the only bandwidth charge would be for the bytes sent down to serve the response*. (let's say that single row).

In Tim's case, since the website is not hosted in the Azure datacenter, if the site was retrieving "the whole table" from the SQL Azure database, it would incur the bandwidth charges for that data. ($0.125/gb outbound).

* - I put an asterisk near "bandwidth charges for the bytes to serve the response". To clarify, you pay bandwidth for ANY/ALL data that leaves the datacenter to serve that response. This includes not only the HTML to render the page, but also any images, script files, or other data linked in the HTML that the browser will download.

While there are bandwidth charges for ALL data leaving the Azure datacenters ($0.125/gb), there are also "data transaction" charges for any/all requests against Windows Azure Storage (blobs, tables, and queues). These charges are much less ($0.01 per 10,000 storage transactions), but could add up depending on how heavily your application hits these stores. A "storage transaction" is any request for a file from blob storage or programattic/API access to blobs/tables/queues in your code. These "data transaction" charges apply even WITHIN the datacenter!

Multiple code calls to blobs/tables/queues can be "batched" as a single transaction programattically. But, if you are repeatedly hitting blob or table storage in a tight loop... yeah, you would need to be aware of what you are doing. These "data transaction" fees do NOT apply to data retrieved from SQL Azure.

I agree with Tim that the Windows Azure site can probably do more to call out the context of bandwidth & data transactions fees associated with the raw storage costs in the pricing calculator.

Whenever you are using a "pay-as-you-go" service, you really need to understand your application's usage of compute, bandwidth, and storage. When you do, the pricing calculator DOES give you a good idea of costs.

At the end of the day, everyone's usage scenario is different. The current offerings may work better for some scenarios than others.

I hope this helps explain things.
-Peter Laudati
[Disclaimer - I am a Microsoft Evangelist for Windows Azure on the east coast]
4/10/2012 12:14 PM | # re: Stung by Azure Data Transfer fees
Tim,

The problem that you highlight may seem insignificant to the casual reader but highlights a present and growing problem with cloud computing - that being that the cost models are really really complex and the tools to plan, analyze and make decisions are simply not good enough. A couple of sliders on a cool looking web page and some billing information are simply not enough. Can you imagine if you had built an architecture for a high load app using your assumptions. I'm not attacking your particular assumption - at some point lots of assumptions about how costs work need to be made, including assumptions about cost changes over time. I've been banging on about this for a while (cloudcomments.net/... and cloudcomments.net/...) and we are still a loooong way from having this sorted. You are lucky it was only $55, I imagine others are/will make the mistake for $1000's for a long time to come.

I do wonder if it is in the best interests of the cloud providers to make it easier. If it were easier then you would be able to optimize, which is not the best thing for those selling the services

Simon
4/10/2012 3:22 PM | # re: Stung by Azure Data Transfer fees
'Interesting' to see the comment / real world anecdote that I posted yesterday has been removed from this thread. Already unsubscribed.
4/10/2012 7:48 PM | # re: Stung by Azure Data Transfer fees
@Simon Great post on cloud costs being an engineering problem! Thx for sharing. I'd have to strongly +1 that notion.

As I speak with folks about the cloud, many times the conversation focuses around "How can I migrate what I have on premises now?" vs. "How can I design for the cloud?"

It is the later question that all of us as developers should be skilling up on. When it comes to cloud computing, there are going to be choices driven by not only technology, but also economics.

For example, it may be technically easy to just move an existing relational database to the cloud, but re-designing data storage to use non-relational stores may be cheaper depending on the problem set.

I admit pricing today amongst the major cloud vendors is complex and confusing. Often marketed as "nickels & dimes" for service costs. Those nickels & dimes do add up to "real" costs at some point that need to be realized by both developers and IT folks.

Historically, I think developers have focused on technology without being concerned or aware of the costs. Those are traditionally the domain of IT Pros who manage the servers and datacenters. It's the IT Pros who "know" usage patterns and associated infrastructure costs & needs.

Cloud computing will require developers to take on much of that IT Pro knowledge so they can make the right design decisions... at the same time as they decipher the complexity of today's cloud computing service pricing.
4/10/2012 10:00 PM | # re: Stung by Azure Data Transfer fees
I hope you follow up with the powers that be as there is a lot of value in Azure.. at the right price.
4/9/2012 11:12 PM | # re: Stung by Azure Data Transfer fees
I had a similar experience. I set up a demo project for a client, including a process to sync 2-way from azure to their on-premise database. I synced a few 100 rows across a few tables, tested my demo a few dozen times, sync'd back to the on-premise database.

My Azure bill for the month was ~ $35.

After estimating the real load on the system (around 5 full time users), we concluded that it was going to cost at least $1000 / month and possibly more for Azure alone (not to mention the cost of hosting the WCF component).

On top of that, we concluded we were going to spend the whole project compromising on things to prevent wasting bandwidth (eg, making screens very granular where we might not have otherwise).

And guess what. We built the system based on an on-premise SQLServer solution.
4/10/2012 10:17 PM | # re: Stung by Azure Data Transfer fees
@Peter - thanks for jumping in here...yes everyone's mileage may vary. In my current situation I now know that Azure isn't for my setup.

@ross - you likely weren't deleted but still back in my azure DB and caught mid-migration :-) -- please come back as I restored your comment!!

@Simon - agreed 100%

@James - yes, this was passed along. My frustration was the transparency...especially when I thought I had all the answers. A simple asterisk would have done the trick to alert me :-) And completely agree on the value of Azure (and other cloud services...I use S3 extensively)...just for my use here it was cost prohibitive.
4/11/2012 6:49 AM | # re: Stung by Azure Data Transfer fees
I had a similar "novice" experience. Put up a small instance (actually two i'm told) as a learning experience and didn't revisit for three months. I ran up $150+ charges each month for no-"computing charges." Still in dispute with the Azure team. Can't agree more - "free" Azure services are not for me.
4/12/2012 3:33 PM | # re: Stung by Azure Data Transfer fees
I never considered that Azure SQL counted against Data Transfer - Microsoft still has a long way in not only explaining this up front, but on billing too.

You mention multiple sites - one Azure Web Role can host multiple sites. You can also load up custom services, scheduler tasks, etc - a Role is really a VM and you can even RDP into it once up. I currently run both GameMarx.com and XboxIndies.com on the same Extra Small instance and they run just fine.

I think part of the problem is assuming cloud == cheap. It may or may not, depending on your site and needs. you also may need to change how the application works to take advantage of lower costs (without looking, I'd say your local cache could be tuned if you're hitting the DB that often and that much). For a blog, Azure Table Storage would be be an option and cost even less. Move the comments to a service like Disqus that is client side, and you would hit the server DB less often to update posts.

Sometimes as developers we tend to look only within our bubble for answers. For a blog, a free Wordpress.com account plus a $10/yr custom domain addon would be plenty. If, like me, you find yourself running a handful of blogs for family and such, a $5/mo Bluehost account for setting up wordpress sites is great, reducing the number sites needed on the ($$) VM.

The value in cloud services comes when you need to scale. I could go in right now if GameMarx hit reddit and add 3 more front end servers, then turn them off once the traffic passed. That's not possible without the cloud. If all you want is to get cheap hosting for a low traffic site, the cloud isn't going to stack up well against other hosting providers.
4/12/2012 10:00 PM | # re: Stung by Azure Data Transfer fees
@MichaelNeel - well stated. Totally agree. I guess I'm still a 'dedicated server' snob and haven't moved away from that. I like bit twiddling with my web stuff but wanted to get out of the dba business. I have to check out the Azure VM Role...but it looks like it is still in beta and I need production...however still you note that cloud != cheap...so even though the role might work...for me (since I don't need scale right now) it may not be cost effective.
4/13/2012 4:44 AM | # re: Stung by Azure Data Transfer fees
Azure and cloud computing costs analysis in general is a difficult area to get a handle on, trial and error is the way we've had to learn lessons. One of our first cloud applications is hosted almost entirely in Azure (web server, SQLAzure, Azure storage) with data transfers in/out for user actions across the web. Although very low user activity, we incurred very high storage transaction charges and data transfer charges. Millions of storage transactions and Gigabytes of data transfers seemed completely at odds with the usage we had on the service. Through Microsoft support and other user experiences online (see URL below), we identified a number of areas that needed to be addressed in our application to ensure we minimised costs. Turning off Windows Azure Diagnostics and relocating frequently accessed data from Azure storage to SQLAzure were key areas. Also, ensure data and compute resources are located in the same geographical region, otherwise transfers within Azure does incur costs. We reduced our Azure costs by 2000% (yes, that's 2000%) after a couple of days of work on the application. One thing cloud computing has done is to really bring the cost of operating software to the fore, whether it is in the cloud or on your own infrastructure, costs are incurred. Cloud computing explicitiy presents these costs to us and forces us to confront them.
(Useful reference user experience blog on Azure)
wely-lau.net/...

4/13/2012 12:37 PM | # re: Stung by Azure Data Transfer fees
@Declan - fascinating. blogs.msdn.com/... would have helped me a lot. Frankly, this should be on the sales site as an example scenario.
4/14/2012 11:31 AM | # re: Stung by Azure Data Transfer fees
Tim - have you had a chance to play with the VM Roles even though it is beta?
4/15/2012 2:23 AM | # re: Stung by Azure Data Transfer fees
Yup, azure is way too expensive. Amazon is killing ms on price.

The other kicker is that you can't host multiple sites independently in a single web role. You have to bundle them together in the same solution. Madness.

I'm sure azure is great for your average fortune 500 company, though...
4/16/2012 12:48 AM | # re: Stung by Azure Data Transfer fees
Tim, I am impressed that you [and MS?] have the courage to bring the real-world news that the Marketing shuxsters don't know/explain. As always Your Mileage May Vary (YMMV) and caveat emptor.
To be fair, the current 3-month free trial of Azure offers a bunch of free resources (compute, SQL, IO) with set limits, ie a cap (exceed and [that] gets disabled without your card being dunned). I would heartily recommend that people take up this enticing invite [so just costs your time not $], but in addition to the functional tests ALWAYS take serious note of the non-functional (incl migration & sync, performance, concurrency, MTBF & HA, maintenance & support, and PRICING) that the monthly billing and diag logs reveal.
Yes go to the oasis and drink from the sweet water, but keep checking for crocodiles.
4/16/2012 11:24 AM | # re: Stung by Azure Data Transfer fees
@Sean - I have not had a chance to play with them. I'll be using my MSDN credits to take a look at these later this month.

@Piersh - I'm not sure Amazon's prices are killing MS. I use Amazon services as well and (as you can see in my link in my first paragraph) they can get expensive as well. For cloud services it is really all about planning for things you may not have thought about before (bandwidth, # transactions, etc.). Better planning tools I think are needed for us little guys :-)

@Dick - good point on the trial. I wonder if the trial shows what billing *would* have been -- now that would be a great service!
4/21/2012 4:22 PM | # re: Stung by Azure Data Transfer fees
FYI, I know you said the risk is the essence of yor concern, but I think the solution to your particular issue is called an affinity group. If you have all your services (compute, SQL Server) use the same affinity group, that ensures they all reside in the same data center, which should prevent you from being charged for data transfer between them. Rather than creating an affinity group, you also have the option of assigning your services to general regions (e.g., central US), which is what you want to avoid, as that doesn't ensure your services will reside at the same data center.
4/25/2012 6:17 PM | # re: Stung by Azure Data Transfer fees
Totally agree with your post. For the home project site, you have to be really careful or you'll get hit with fees you didn't count on. I got charged for some Amazon virtual machine costs when I was just tinkering and having a look. Decided if they are not going to give you a mechanism to shape or cap your cost (ie shut down the service to control the cost) then you might as well be sitting in the back of a taxi being taken the long way round. Needs to be capped to put you in control of the bottom line.
I hesitate to use my free access of Azure thats included with MSDN because there's no apparent way to control things to keep it free. One slip up while learning could cost me hundreds!
6/6/2012 5:37 AM | # re: Stung by Azure Data Transfer fees
Definitely and most of work done by sitting in home so we have to be careful what speed of internet we have and how much we pay for it.
9/16/2012 3:35 AM | # re: Stung by Azure Data Transfer fees
The model certainly does not allow a user to become comfortable with and establish trust in the azure billing cycle. Also, I imagine that many companies would prefer to release to a small set of users to determine whether it is even worthwhile pursuing the web application without exposing themselves to unexpected charges. What if there is a bug in a third-party client application that causes a continuous download of data from my web application? Or a bug in my web application (bugs in my code are possible in theory) that causes the CPU to stick at 100%?

A cap on the pay-as-you go model would encourage companies (especially SMB) to host an application on Azure because one of the concerns is that they will be stung by unexpected charges. Once the initial trials, alpha, beta tests have been done and the company is happy they understand the pricing and how it works, the company would raise or remove the cap.

I completed the 3 month trial and was quite impressed, but the lack of a cap on the pay-as-you-go is making me reconsider - I don't want to carry that kind of liability that I will suddenly get stung by unexpected azure usage.

As for using the azure API as suggested by some - sure it is good to implement controls in the application to guard against overuse or misuse. However, unless I am missing something, I don't think that there is any method like DenyFurtherConnectionsAndSendMeAnEmailWhenCostMoreThan($200.00) or anything that doesn't require monitoring a whole bunch of resources. I don't want to bloat my application with code to calculate bandwidth, database, CPU, etc. If I am mistaken here, please point me to the correct place to start.
2/23/2013 6:13 PM | # re: Stung by Azure Data Transfer fees
Azure is probably the best product I have ever seen, but that said, I won't use it because of the crazy pricing. I created a small web db and and a cloud service and started developing against it. Within a few weeks they said I had already reached by quota for the free setup.

If I met the quota that fast, imagine the cost of 200 users banging away at it from their iPhone apps.
2/18/2014 9:18 PM | # re: Stung by Azure Data Transfer fees
Azure is an amazing product. But these transfer/bandwith costs are asinine. You get 2TB with linode for $20. Azure price for outgoing 2TB is $240. I'll stick with my azure vm's for now, but as soon as bandwith grows it will be time to switch. In this day and age its just silly to charge so much.
2/24/2014 3:45 AM | # re: Stung by Azure Data Transfer fees
we have just had our first month's bill from MS Azure and have experienced enormous data charges. it seems like some of our network data is somehow being routed externally some of the charges come from our database which should only be connecting to the web server internally.

MS have not been helpful with their response, only confirming that the charges apply and have offered not help on diagnosing the problem. We think we will move back to Amazon
11/10/2014 1:58 AM | # re: Stung by Azure Data Transfer fees
Request for help in understanding Outbound data transfer and bandwidth even though azure has price docs.

We plan to implement a video portal website, with smaller clippings (say 10MB) .
Videos are uploaded and saved in storage .Both Storage and Azure website,media services will be in Same region (Ex: South East).
Lets Consider that 1000 users play videos via website per day .
I am just curious to know whether this is considered as "outbound data transfer" or bandwidth
I can see that "Outbound Data transfer" price is $0.13 per GB in that region.
this means $1.13 per 10GB .
( In the calculation if 1000 user play average 10MB files equals 10GB).
Then just by 1000 user visits, it costs a Dollar.
It is not affordable , We thought to earn 1 dollar by 1000 user visit by advt cpm.

(Or Is it this way?)
My assumption here is that, since Website and storage is in same (region = data center ?) which does not
consume any charge. When User (client) plays movie in his browser it constitute as Website
Bandwidth which is fairly cheap. ( 100GB almost 12$ which is OK.)

If anybody has better insight, please let me know the above is correct?

 
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