March 8, 2012 News Thursday: Windows Azure Pricing, TechNet Radio Features SQL Server 2012, and more Server and Tools News

by STB Blogger

Announcing Reduced Pricing for Windows Azure Compute and Storage
In February, Microsoft announced significant price reductions and a new entry level database option to meet customer needs on both ends of the database spectrum. Today Windows Azure has announced a pricing reduction to its compute and storage offerings, in a continued effort to provide cost savings for customers. Here are the details:

  • Windows Azure Storage Pay-As-You-Go pricing has been reduced by 12% ($0.14 to $0.125)
  • 6 Month Plans for Windows Azure Storage have been reduced across all tiers by up to 14%
  • Windows Azure Extra Small Compute has been reduced by  50% ($.04 to .$02)

With these changes, a 24x7 Extra Small Compute instance with a 100MB SQL Azure DB costs less than $20 per month. The price of compute and storage continues to be consistent across all datacenters and Pay-As-You-Go customers will automatically see the reduced prices reflected (as of today) on their next bill; there is no action required. While we are delighted to pass along savings, we are just as focused on improving the developer experience and adding new capabilities to ensure the best overall value in the industry. 

More about the pricing changes is available on the Windows Azure Blog.

TechNet Radio: SQL Server 2012 Reviewers’ Workshop
Following the SQL Server 2012 Reviewers’ workshop in late February, we welcome Mike Otey from SQL Server Pro magazine, Stephen Wynkoop, CEO of Bits on the Wire, and Dandy Weyn Technical Product Manager from the SQL Server team as they give us a recap on the latest and greatest features found in this release in this episode. Tune in as they cover AlwaysOn, PowerView, Parallel Data Warehouse, the BI Semantic Model, Big Data and Hadoop, as well as much, much more.

Click here to watch the SQL Server 2012 Virtual Launch Event.

If you're interested in learning more about the products or solutions discussed in this episode, check out any of the below links for free, in-depth information:

• Microsoft Virtual Academy
Get started with SQL Server 2012! Download SQL Server 2012 RTM
• Learn about SQL Server 2012 at an event near you!

Websites & Blogs:
 STB News Bytes: Your all-access pass to Microsoft Server & Tools
• SQL Server Pro Magazine
• Bits on the Wire

• TechNet Radio Community Corner: Microsoft SQL Server MVP, Kevin Goff on SQL Server and Business Intelligence
• TechNet Radio: IT Time – What to Expect at the SQL Server 2012 Virtual Launch Event
• TechNet Radio: STB Tech Bytes: Talking Big Data with Microsoft
• TechNet Radio: Microsoft Virtual Academy Preview – Windows 8, SQL Server 2012 and System Center 2012

Virtual Labs:
• TechNet Virtual Labs: SQL Server 2012

Video: WMV | MP4 | WMV (ZIP) | PSP
Audio: WMA | MP3

StorSimple Chooses Windows Azure for Innovative Storage Offering
StorSimple, a Microsoft BizSpark One startup, has taken an innovative approach to storage design, turning early to Windows Azure to make a cloud-integrated storage solution a reality for enterprise companies. StorSimple’s storage approach quickly found traction with organizations worldwide because it combines on-premise and cloud capabilities in a more secure and transparent manner. Now providing storage solutions for a large number of Fortune 1000 companies, customers have found their storage costs to decrease often by 60 percent to 80 percent compared with strictly on-premise storage.
One StorSimple customer is the Sundance Institute, the organization that runs the annual Sundance Film Festival. The Sundance Institute’s need for storage capacity was growing faster than the organization’s existing storage area network could support. The Sundance Film Festival compounded the ongoing challenge, with increased storage demands. Looking for a new solution that had a cloud-tier, Sundance chose to move all its unstructured file storage to the StorSimple solution, freeing up IT staff resources.
You can read more about StorSimple’s cloud solution at Microsoft News Center.

Be the Next Microsoft Employee!
“Be the Next Microsoft Employee” is a show looking for an outstanding individual with Microsoft SQL Server chops to join one of our teams at Microsoft Corporation. The show will consist of five web-based episodes that feature a variety of activities and elimination challenges. The top three finalists will be flown to Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, WA, and one of them may walk away with a full-time job!

For more information on the show and how to enter this exciting opportunity, stop by the Microsoft Learning site!