• Amazon offers free services for 1 year http://aws.amazon.com/free/, supports .NET
  • Google offers them free until you reach some limit, but does not support .Net
  • Azure costs $0.12/hour, you need at least two instances=>0.12x2x24x30=$172/month.

Question: Don't you think Azure is really expensive when you are just lunching and you need only the minimum number of instances? You can buy the same computing power that 2 instances offer for less than $30 as normal hosting.

Do I mistake or why this great differences in prices between azure and normal hosting?

  • 1
    The title of this question doesn't match the content. The content is subjective as it is. If someone wants to edit it so it meets the guidelines set forth in the faq it can be reopened. – John Conde Jul 28 '11 at 2:54

Regarding your one bullet point:

Azure costs $0.12/hour, you need at least two instances=>0.12x2x24x30=$172/month

You're only required to have one instance of a given VM, but if you want SLA in case your VM goes offline for any reason (like the underlying hardware failing, or the OS being updated), you'll need 2 or more instances. Same goes for Amazon. You don't magically get failover on a service running on a single VM. With Amazon, don't forget the cost of a load-balancer as well (which is built into the Windows Azure Compute pricing).

As Kevin Cloet pointed out, Extra Small instances are priced at 0.05 per hour, which would allow you to have a 2-instance deployment for $72 monthly, giving you SLA as well.

Be careful when comparing to "normal" hosting. Most discount hosting is shared hosting, and your app is placed on a box alongside potentially dozens of other tenants, with no consistent performance. If one of those tenants is abusive with CPU and bandwidth, your site will suffer.

One more thing: With Windows Azure, you have a compute+storage emulator that runs locally. While there are some differences, you can typically perform the majority of your development work locally.

  • +1 - the amazon load-balancer cost is one that I forget about – David Hoerster Jul 27 '11 at 18:02

There are some free trials or cheaper ways to get a subscription.

You can get a 30 free day pass from here:


If you have a MSDN/MPN/BizzSpark subscription you can get a free or cheaper deal aswell from here:


You can sign up for a free trial for 90 days aswell. But this has some dangerous limitations and you have to enter your credit card. If you go over the limit you will be charged.


The pricing your are talking about is for a small instance. You have a smaller instance aswell called 'Extra small instance'. This one goes for $ 0.05 an hour.



Amazon offers free services for 1 year http://aws.amazon.com/free/, supports .NET

Please bear in mind that the free instances are Linux - so you'll need to get Mono working for .Net within the free system.

Also, if your load is constant (e.g. if you just want to have 2 instances always running) then please look at the subscription rates for both AWS and Azure - if you pay upfront then both services offer cheaper rates.

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