Here are some interesting changes to the Windows Azure services as of June 3, 2013:
- The following services to be billed by the minute versus being billed by the hour:
a. VMs, Web Roles and Worker Roles
b. SQL Server and BizTalk Server running in Virtual Machines (no longer rounding to the nearest hour and no minimums).
Windows Azure is the only cloud provider today that bills you by the minute!
- The billing will stop for stopped VMs. No need to delete instances to manage and reduce compute costs.
- Reduced rates for MSDN subscribers when they use Windows Azure VMs.
- Public Endpoint Access Control Lists (ACLs) for VMs
- More Gateway Device Options when setting up Windows Azure Virtual Network: Citrix, F5 and WatchGuard.
- Windows Server 2012 R2 will be available after preview (also to be added to Virtual Machines Image Gallery, as a pre-built image).
- SQL Server AlwaysOn will be demo’ed during TechEd- to be generally available later this year for Virtual Machines.