New Azure Backup Pricing Description – With Examples

Microsoft has corrected and changed the description of the new pricing for Azure Online Backup that comes into effect on April 1st. This is after the owners of the website royally screwed the pooch in February with a confusing and incorrect posting.

NOTE: I am redacting this post because no one is able to explain what a “protected instance” is. Until then, while Azure Backup is great technically, and could be cheap, I have no idea how much it will cost.

As with all posts regarding licensing or pricing on this site, I will not be answering questions. Ask your reseller, distributor or LSP – they’re the people you are paying so they are the people who can do the work.

With the new pricing you no longer pay (using North Europe pricing in Euros) €0.149 per GB stored in Azure per month. Instead the pricing is broken into 2 pieces:


Think of an instance as The block of data that has to be protected. I

The charge per instance depends on the size of the instance. Sigh!  This charge is based on the size of the protected instance. I do not know if this is based on data protected or the total amount of disk space in the instance. Another sigh!

  • Less than 50 GB:€3.7235 per instance
  • 50 GB to 500 GB: €7.447 per instance
  • Larger than 500 GB: Multiples of the 50-500 GB charge


Azure Online Backup will use Block Blob Storage. You can use either LRS (3 copies in 1 data center) or GRS (3 copies in 1 data center, and 3 async copies in another region) at a higher cost.



The end result is that for most customers, the pricing will come way down.

1 File Server with 30 GB on LRS Storage

  • 1 instance: €3.7235
  • Storage: 30 GB * €0.0179 (LRS) = €0.54

Total = €4.26

4 Machines with 80 GB each on LRS Storage

  • 4 instances: €7.447 * 4 = €29.788
  • Storage: 30 GB * 4 * €0.0179 (LRS) = €5.73

Total = €35.52

1 Machine with 1400 GB on GRS Storage

  • 3 instances (3 * 50-500 GB): €7.447 * 3 = €22.341
  • Storage: 1400 GB * €0.0358 (GRS) = €50.12

Total = €97.52


As I have told some people in Redmond, the added complexity to Azure Online Backup pricing is indicative of everything that is wrong with Azure pricing. The only blocker I’m seeing in Azure sales is that sales people cannot get their heads around the wildly varied and complicated pricing. I really don’t care what AWS does – I don’t work with AWS and what they do to limit their own sales is their issue. Microsoft needs to fix the pricing structure of Azure to grow it the way they want, and need, to.

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6 Comments on New Azure Backup Pricing Description – With Examples

  1. Aren’t you missing the actual backup set data storage? your examples seem to be based solely on the storage capacity of the VM? By this I mean you seem to be assuming it will be a fixed cost per VM per month – which is the sum of the instance cost + the storage consumed by the VM disk…

    The language on the site does NOT match your example (IMO). It says “Storage consumed” and by that they seem to be talking about the storage consumed by the backup set(s), not solely the VM’s hard drive size.

    A better example would be a file server where the initial backup consumed 30GB (maybe it had a 100GB disk, but compression and dedupe brings it down to 30). The daily delta of this server is ~10GB we will say, and assume we can dedupe / compress it by 50% each day. that would mean at the end of the month, we are going to be consuming 180GB (150 in changes + 30 base), and our price almost doubles because of the storage usage.

    Maybe everyone assumes the above?

    Honestly, their FAQ on the page points towards my example based on the first question (what will I be billed for in the new pricing model), but then their examples in the FAQ are completely wack (how much savings can I expect)… Look at those per instance prices – they don’t even match up with what they are saying above for the per instance price! I mean a 100GB protected instance is $20 for the instance azure backup price??? shouldn’t that be $10!??

    Good game Microsoft!

    • I don’t anymore, Christopher. I’ve had conversations on-going since the original announcement. All I know is that on April 1st, April Fools Day, Azure Backup pricing will be fooling everyone.

      • Solid idea, piss poor delivery by Microsoft so far!

        Working on trying to go to Ignite, so maybe I will see you there!
        (each additional breakout session I watch from TechEd Europe makes me want to go that much more).

  2. On the FAQ they list examples for backing up data to Azure from DPM. The first example i do understand, the rest, not so much.

    A 25GB files/folder backup on Windows 8 cost seven times as much as 120 GB on Windows Server 2012. Azure VMs cost less than Hyper-V VMs even though they are bigger.

    I don’t get it.

  3. Seems the faq had a couple of typos and errors in it which got fixed. The examples make a lot more sense now.

    The definition of an instance still feels strange. A sharepoint farm counts as one instance, a sql cluster does not. I guess if you are protecting both you have to pay both, even if the cluster is only hosting sharepoint databases.

    As someone administrating both, i can get my head around that , i doubt that someone in a sales department can.

    • There’s still some stuff that needs to be improved. I’ll have to write about this when I get a chance.

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