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February 7, 2017updated 22 Feb 2017 4:48pm

UK cloud wars intensify as Microsoft lowers prices & releases Azure data centre services

Microsoft Azure UK customers now able to backup from data centres and Microsoft cuts costs.

By Hannah Williams

Microsoft’s UK Azure cloud customers are now able to back up and restore files from its UK-based data centres, while the company has also lowered prices.

The company says its Azure Backup and Site Recovery features are now available across all its cloud regions within the UK.

Its Azure Backup feature protects data on-premises and online, and the Site Recovery feature enables customers to replicate on-premises physical servers in the cloud.

The company says that this allows businesses to benefit from reliable, secure and cost-competitive ways to protect information.

Mark Smith, Senior Director of Cloud and Enterprise, Microsoft said: “With Azure Backup and Site Recovery, Microsoft customers can be confident that their information is safe, secure and available whenever and wherever they need it.”

Microsoft says that compared to other cloud solutions, Azure Backup customers are only expected to pay for the storage they use, with the option to increase and decrease the size when required.

Aure virtual machineIn a blog post, the company also announced that it has made price reductions on several Azure Virtual Machine families and storage types.  The idea behind this is said to be to lower the barrier for customer entry and boost cloud transformation.

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Prices have been reduced on its Compute optimised instances, F series, which were down by 23 percent for Linux VM and 18 percent on Windows VM.

The AI Basic saw a large reduction of up to 42 percent for Linux VM and up to 51 percent for Windows VM.

The price reduction comes just a few months after the company raised prices for some of its software and cloud services for UK customers. The company, which said it, was realigning prices with Euro levels, increased costs by up to 22 percent for cloud services.

Meanwhile, competitors such as Amazon Web Services and Google have continued to lower prices. For example, AWS recently lowered prices for some of its cloud services.

Read more:  AWS vs Google Cloud Platform vs Microsoft Azure: Cloud pricing continues to lack enterprise credentials

With no limit to the amount of data customers are able to transfer to the Backup solution, Microsoft provides two storage options for customers select from.

The first is the Locally redundant storage, which creates three backup copies of the users data that is then transferred to a data centre based in the same region and the second is the Geo-redundant storage that replicates customers’ data to a secondary region away from local data centres.

Smith said: “These features add to the fantastic services already being offered from Microsoft’s UK data centres, which are being utilised by the Government and other major organisations in this country because of the transparency, security and compliance they offer.”

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