Microsoft Windows Azure Puts an End to Free AppFabric Caching
Earlier this year, Microsoft announced a promotional introductory offer for the Windows Azure AppFabric Caching service — ISVs leveraging the Microsoft Windows Azure PaaS cloud could take advantage of unlimited caching when using the AppFabric middleware. But effective this week, developers will have to pay for the privilege.
From now on, AppFabric caching usage will be charged at the following monthly rates for the billing period starting Aug. 1, 2011, according to a Microsoft blog entry:
- $45 for a 128MB cache
- $55 for a 256MB cache
- $75 for a 512MB cache
- $110 for a 1GB cache
- $180 for a 2GB cache
- $325 for a 4GB cache
Of course, some packages for the Windows Azure platform include that 128MB of caching for free, but that’s only included in specific offers, so it’s safest to not assume.
That same explanatory blog entry contains the following nugget of guidance:
If you are using caching and do not desire to be billed, please be sure to stop using caching in excess of what is included with your offer immediately.
And speaking of free, Microsoft Windows Azure still offers new customers a 90-day limited free trial, following the apparent success of a promotion that was supposed to end July 1.
Frankly, given Microsoft’s recent shows of commitment to its ISV base, I was halfway expecting Windows Azure to keep all of these free offers going indefinitely. But I suppose Windows Azure has to turn a profit somewhere.