Some time ago I wrote about Windows Azure and the experience of hosting configuring an website with a real domain in Azure. The information I posted in that blog post is a little outdated so I thought to update it a bit with more information about the experience I had with Azure since then.
I am using Azure for about 5-6 months now and I’m very pleased with what I get for my money. But let me start from the beginning.
When I started using Azure the only option to hook up a real domain name to a website hosted in Azure was to have a reserved instance and also the only WAY to hookup the domain was to use a CNAME. So to host my 2 personal apps that only I use and to host this blog meant that I have to pay around 60 €/month for 1 small reserved instance. Now that was a little high so I struggled a bit between paying that rate for a single, not much used website and having the ability to change and deploy the website in seconds.
I was half month paying for reserved instance when I when Scott Gu’s posted the new improvements for Windows Azure. The update consisted of several things, but the ones I cared were the introduction of Shared instance and the ability to hook up a domain name to Shared instance with a A-record. The Shared instance’s cost is 10€/month and the Reserved instance’s cost is around 60€/month. The trick is that with the Shared instance you pay 10€/month once-per-website and the Reserved instance you pay around 60€/month for all your websites. So if you have more than 6 websites on a Shared instances you may as well buy one Reserved instance for all of them.
With these changes I’m now paying around 10€/month for a Shared instance for my blog and all my personal apps are on free instances(which every account has a limit of 10). So for me the cost dropped from 60€ to 10€ month, and that’s a pretty nice deal for all the features that Azure offers like easy website creation and administration, one-click deployments from Git and Visual Studio and the one-click scaling of a website on multiple instances.
Windows Azure makes it cheap if you don’t have much traffic(Shared instance) and easy to scale when you start growing and start to become big(multiple Reserved instances). What more do you need?