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January 15, 2016updated 31 Aug 2016 10:08am

Cloud price war: Microsoft slashes Azure price, takes pop at AWS hybrid strength

News: Does AWS have a weakness in its ability to offer hybrid cloud capabilities?

By James Nunns

The latest round of the cloud price war has seen Microsoft Azure weigh in with its own price cuts and criticism aimed at AWS.

Azure, which is the main challenger to AWS in the public cloud market according to Gartner’s magic quadrant, revealed that it is cutting prices by up to 17% on its Azure D-series virtual machines, specifically the Dv2 class.

At the beginning of the year, AWS lowered prices for EC2, which was followed by Google claiming that its prices are up to 41% less expensive than AWS and now we have price cuts from Azure.

The cuts from Azure come as part of its commitment to make its prices comparable on commodity services such as; compute, storage and bandwidth relate to AWS.

While making the announcement on the Azure blog, Nicole Herskowitz, director of product marketing, cloud platform, wrote: "It is worthwhile to note that the Azure Dv2 instances – unlike AWS EC2 instances – have load balancing and auto-scaling built-in at no additional charge. This means you get even more value from Azure."

Following on from this, the post went on to say how Azure is better than AWS, which is unsurprising to hear from a competitor.

One area in particular that drew focus was that of hybrid cloud capabilities, particularly bridging the gap between on-premises environments and the public cloud.

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While AWS can offer these capabilities it is typically referred to as a public cloud company, something that Stephen Orban, head of enterprise strategy, AWS disputes.

Orban told CBR: "Public, private – those words mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. We consider ourselves a cloud company."

The challenge for AWS will be to match and surpass the hybrid cloud capabilities that Azure can offer; one way is to have partnerships with other companies.

This is something that Azure has achieved with the likes of HPE, AWS itself also has connections to on-premise players but it is less known for this.

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