The Windows Azure Billing FAQ:

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How does the Windows Azure billing work?
You develop and test your applications/ service(s). Be it a windows forms or WPF app consuming services or be it an application, you end up hosting it somewhere. Even if you application is totally client side focused you may still need some server side storage if not anything else. For any of these requirements you need to utilize the Windows Azure Compute and/or Storage. To host it on cloud you *azure enable* it- choosing the size of VMs, the power of VMs (processing power), the storage size etc. You get billed based on the storage size you need and the compute power you need.

How do I (individual or company) pay?
For hosting a service or using storage on Widows Azure you need to register and get a subscription. And when you subscribe you have to provide your credit card details on which you will get billed on a monthly basis. In few circumstances you can pay based on an invoice.

When does the billing start?
The clock is ticking right from the moment you host a service.


Will I be billed even if I host something in the staging region?
Yes, you will be billed irrespective of the region being staging or production. The regions are more to facilitate a process and have got nothing to do with billing cycle.

What are the parameters for billing?

What is Compute and what has it got to do with billing?
For what is compute, read my earlier blog post. When you deploy an application (Web role or Worker role), the compute hour starts ticking. And this has got nothing to do with users consuming the application or not. You deploy something and *compute* hours are started.

Virtual Machine Size CPU Cores Memory Cost Per Hour
Extra Small


768 MB




1.75 GB




3.5 GB




7 GB


Extra Large


14 GB


What is the minimum duration of billing for compute? Is it an Hour, Day, Minute, Month or Year?
The minimum duration for which you could be billed is a clock-hour. If you deploy something at 08:50AM and delete it at 09:10AM (it stays deployed for 20 mins). You get billed for two clock-hours. One hour for 08:50AM to 09:00AM and another hour for 09:00 to 09:10 AM.


What’s the deal with SQL Azure billing?
The billing for SQL Azure is done based on storage used. And duration is per month (not hour).

Database Size Price Per Database Per Month
0 to 100 MB Flat $4.995
Greater than 100 MB to 1 GB Flat $9.99
Greater than 1 GB to 10 GB $9.99 for first GB, $3.996 for each additional GB
Greater than 10 GB to 50 GB $45.954 for first 10 GB, $1.998 for each additional GB
Great than 50 GB to 150 GB $125.874 for first 50 GB, $0.999 for each additional GB

What would the bill look like of I utilize 4.3 GB storage on SQL Azure in a month?
Point 1,
4.3 GB will be rounded off to 5GB.
Point 2, for the 1st 1GB cost = $ 9.99 and for remaining 4GB cost = $ 3.996 = $ 15.984
Total bill = $ 25.974

What about the costing for Windows Azure Storage?
$0.125 per GB
stored per month based on the *daily average*. If you end up using 31GB of data on 1st day of the month and don’t end up using any data for the remaining 30 days, then the billing calculation would be done based on daily average- (31GB DIVIDED-BY 31Days) = 1GB which is $0.125 (1st part)

$0.01 per 10,000 storage transactions. So, if there are 20,000 transactions, then cost = 0.02.
Total cost = 0.02 + 0.125 = $ 0.145. The above is true for BLOB, Table storage and Queues as well.

What about In/Out bandwidth?
IN is free (upload data to windows azure). OUT is 0.12$ per month per GB.


What about transactions?
$0.01 per 10,000 storage transactions.



Is data-transfer between two different sub-regions also billable?
Data transfers between Windows Azure services located within the same sub-region are not subject to charge. Data transfers between sub-regions are charged at normal rates on both sides of the transfer.

Currently there are eight sub-regions in the world- North Europe, West Europe, East US, North Central US, South Central US, West US, East Asia and Southeast Asia.

Download the pdf version of the above FAQ here.



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