Windows Azure TCO Calculator

November 13, 2009
By manchester

Next week, Microsoft is announcing the release of their Windows Azure platform at the PDC09 conference in Los Angeles. In doing some prepwork for the conference, I ran across the Windows Azure TCO calculator. So, I figured that I would try it out and report the results.

Inputs to the TCO Calculator

The calculator requires a few inputs, so I presented that:
- I’m a company with an ERP application that runs on .NET that I want to move to the cloud
- I’m using SQL server for database support
- My application needs to be highly integrated with other apps (since it’s an ERP application)
- I have a “big” application
- My application needs would grow steadily over time

Prediction

Based on that info, the calculator predicted:
- I would need 30 Windows Azure “instances” (an instance is basically a virtual server)
- I would need 2 10GB databases
- I would need 3GB of outbound bandwidth per hour
- I would spend $49,902 per year hosting my application

Can I get a discount?

Not wanting to part with $50,000, I decided that I could live with 3 “instances” (I guess I should not have picked “big” for my application type) – and that got me to $21,520/year. Not bad, especially if that means that I do not need to hire somebody to manage my infrastructure.

But don’t forget about …

Migration Costs ($17,319 according to the TCO calculator)
Application Support (my ERP application is not going to answer user questions)

Bottom Line

So the cost of putting my application (after I purchase the software) on the web, would be $17,000 plus $21,500 per year according to the TCO calculator. Of course, my actual costs would vary according to usage and my actual customization and migration costs could be wildly different that $17K, but at least I have a baseline for comparison.

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