Windows Azure Introduces Per Minute Billing and Monetary Credits for MSDN Subscribers
Microsoft recently introduced per minute billing system for Windows Azure whereby you will be charged for running a VM, web site, cloud or mobile service based on the actual consumption per minute. Moreover, you will not be charged any compute time when you stop a VM and also preserves the deployment state and configuration. This feature enables developers to stop a VM when they are not active to avoid excess billing charges.
With the help of the latest update, you will have the capability to use your MSDN dev/test software licenses on Windows Azure thus enabling you to install MSDN dev/test server images for SQL Server, SharePoint, BizTalk at no extra charge within Windows Azure VMs.
The latest release also enables developers to spin up any number of Windows Server, SQL Server, SharePoint and BizTalk Server VMs for Dev/Test scenarios using Windows Azure with the need to pay 6 cents per hour when running them.
The above mentioned feature is available to all MSDN customers and can be applied to any number of Windows Server VMs being used for dev/test purposes. Microsoft automatically apply the changes when you create a VM using one of the standard VM images in the Windows Azure VM gallery and run it using a new Azure activated MSDN subscription.
Microsoft also introduced monetary credits for MSDN subscribers that can be used to run any Windows Azure resource such as Virtual Machines (both Windows and Linux), SQL databases, cloud services, web sites, mobile services, hadoop clusters, BizTalk services, storage and media for dev/test purposes.
While MSDN Professional subcribers will be eligible for $50 credit per month, MSDN Premium Subscribers will have $100 per month credit for their disposal. On the other hand, MSDN Ultimate subcribers will be eligible for $150 per month credit.
Windows Azure Management Portal has also been updated to enable customers to quickly check and monitor their monetary credit status by selecting Credit Status UI option and is available for both MSDN subscribers and free trial users.