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Selecting a Pricing Tier in Azure: Don't Forget About Bandwidth

Selecting a Pricing Tier in Azure: Don't Forget About Bandwidth

Microsoft Azure is an enterprise-grade cloud service platform: a complete set of secure application services for computing, storage, data, networking, and app development. When considering your specific needs, the Azure Pricing Calculator is a great tool to estimate in advance how much you might expect to spend on an Azure solution. Not immediately obvious is that the calculator doesn’t automatically include pricing for bandwidth. 

In many cases, bandwidth pricing won’t have much effect because:

  • Bandwidth going into an Azure region (ingress) is free
  • Bandwidth within the same Azure region is free
  • The first 5 GB of bandwidth out of Azure (egress) are free
  • Bandwidth beyond 5 GB will cost < 20 cents per GB, so small overages add little cost

Screenshot of Azure Pricing Calculator - Price and configure Azure features for your scenarios 
Azure Pricing Calculator

So, if there are so many instances when bandwidth isn’t going to be an issue, why should you still ask yourself if bandwidth cost is something you need to consider?

It may be that if you spin up a website on Azure and your users download 10 GB of data, your bill will only increase by about $1. However, if you’re placing large files in a storage account that your users download frequently, you’ll want to keep an eye on your bandwidth – 1 TB will cost you close to $100, depending on your region. 

Azure Pricing Products Menu of Storage features and benefits: Storage, Data Lake Store, StorSimple, Backup, Site Recovery

You will also want to make sure to keep bandwidth in mind when using Azure for backup. The nice thing is that since backups to Azure are free, you don’t need to worry about costs when it comes to selecting your backup schedule. However, if you’re going to restore back to on premise, you could be facing some bandwidth costs, since your data will be coming back out of Azure.

To summarize, bandwidth is unlikely to be your biggest Azure cost, but if your solution calls for pulling a lot of data down from the cloud, don’t forget to include it in your pricing estimate so you don’t get surprised.

Learn more about our Microsoft Azure Cloud Solutions and Services.

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