Windows Azure SQL Reporting – Great to see a dramatic price decrease for lower volume users

I was really excited about Windows Azure SQL Reporting being released. That lasted until I saw the pricing. If I just deployed a server and didn't use it, the price was 89c per hour for up to 300 reports per hour. What many people didn't understand is that the price applied whether or not you used the reporting server.

That meant that the minimum price for deploying a server was 89c x 24 hours x 365 days = $7796.40 per year.

That price was way more expensive than just deploying an Azure VM and purchasing a standard edition license for SQL Server to put on it. And the standard edition license had way more functionality, apart from the high availability provided by WASR.

At every session where I showed the product, the feedback was the same: "Love the idea, but have you seen the price?".

Many of us complained loudly (internally) to Microsoft about this, and I'm pleased to say that I just got an email that covers dramatic price reductions.

From February 1, 2013, the price drops to 16c per hour (all USD) for up to 30 reports per hour.

That means the minimum price for deploying a server is 16c x 24 hours x 365 days = $1401.60 per year, as long as you don't exceed 30 reports per hour. The pricing still isn't where I'd like to see it, but it's way more palatable now.

If you've been put off by the pricing of Windows Azure SQL Reporting, it's time to take another look at it.

6 thoughts on “Windows Azure SQL Reporting – Great to see a dramatic price decrease for lower volume users”

  1. Greg, this is really good news. A lot of clients throw up their hands when they hear the current pricing. The new pricing is much more palatable.
    Thanx, Mahesh

  2. What is the scale up factor? Is it not $0.16 for each additional 30 reports per hour? Or is there a big jump at 31 reports to the old pricing model?

  3. Looks like the scale up factor works the same way as before but now 16 cents per 30 reports within an hour.
    Yep, it's still not where I think it needs to be but dramatically better than before.

  4. I would echo the previous posters . . . this pricing model is nuts.
    One of the big pluses of Azure is very fast provisioning of micro-developments to respond to specific business needs right [i]now[/i].   Part of doing that is to provision a reports server quickly, even knowing it won't get used very much.
    The pricing model for Azure SQL Database is brilliant . . . I can create a little SQL Database and upload it via SSDT the same day.  (Haven't got a good fast solution for online data entry yet, though, any ideas?)
    But the Reporting guys have gone squirrely!  The pricing model of $/provisioned hour kills the whole concept of Azure SQL Reporting from little systems stone-dead.
    Donna Kelly

  5. the new pricing works for most high utilization scenarios too, you will simply pay a lot less for idle time. even high utilization scenarios have some idle time (middle of the night, weekends etc.) so the payment would be reduced significantly for these as well.

  6. Why not have a per report or per page pricing model or something?  I don't think per hour works with Reporting Service Azure. I think the reporting services model needs to be rethought to support this.  Essentially I just want a on-demand service that I send a report definition into (along with the datasources) and get a report back in the format I want.  Right?  Couldn't MS just wrap the existing renderer classes for this?

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