Azure Billing per minute and No Compute Charge for a stopped IaaS VM

*Updated to account for Stopped (Deallocated) which means stopped from the portal, not just shutdown from inside the instance!!!

You asked for it Microsoft did it.  Billing per minute is pretty self-explanatory, prior to June 3 all IaaS compute hours billed by the hour and for the most part rounded up, no more, now you are billed per minute! 

However the best thing related to billing was the Stopped (Deallocated) VMs no longer incur compute charges.  This is very important for Dev/Test environments.  Many customers were exporting their VMs to a blob store nightly and over weekends to stop the charge per hour for a test machine.  Now you can stop the compute clock by stopping (Deallocating) the VM. If you only have your VM turned on for a few hours a day you will only pay for a few hours a day.  Keep in mind, you will still be charged for other resources that may be part of your deployment, for instance if you have 16 disks attached all at 50% capacity, you will continue to get billed for that as you are still occupying space.  This only applies to compute hours, I now this will make a lot of developers and testers very happy!




Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Comments (2)

  1. Sushil says:

    This is certainly good news. Feature much needed and a core feature which will benefit me and many others!

  2. RChander says:

    Pay attention to the fine print though of the "Stopped" status. To avoid the cost, be sure the status is "VM stopped, deallocated".…/stopped-deallocated

    "Stopped (Deallocated) is the new status that indicates the VM is stopped and you are not being billed the hourly compute time for the VM while it is in that state.

    Note that you can still have the VM go to the Stopped state where it stays allocated and you continue to be charged the compute time. To do this, you can shutdown the VM from within the VM (so within an RDP session for Windows, or via SSH for Linux). You can also use Stop-AzureVM -StayProvisioned, which is a new parameter available in Azure PowerShell June 2013 (0.6.15). And the current Azure CLI tool version, 0.6.16, will put it in Stopped if you run azure vm shutdown.

    It is when you click Shutdown in the management portal, or use Stop-AzureVM without the -StayProvisioned parameter, that the VM will go to Stopped (Deallocated)."

Skip to main content