This announcement first appeared on the Microsoft Azure blog.
Based on Microsoft’s extensive experience engaging and working with the academic community, we strongly believe educational institutions of all types and sizes can benefit from cloud services, for research as well as for teaching and learning environments. Microsoft also understands the need for academia to better manage costs when transitioning from traditional licensing to a consumption-based model, and we are always looking for ways to make the transition to the cloud easier for the community.
Academic customers constantly worry about unknown costs and their liability under variable financial structures. One of the concerns we hear most often, is the cost of data egress fees. In order to enable our educational customers to achieve even more with the cloud, we are excited to announce an Internet egress fee waiver for qualified customers1 North America and Europe. This makes moving to the cloud a much more predictable expense. Even more importantly, it paves the way for researchers to accelerate the pace of the important work they’re doing.
“We are working closely with Microsoft to understand how Azure can best support our university. One specific area of interest is to make more use of Azure to support research and the concern with this has always been the cost of retrieving the data. This announcement today from Microsoft is a fantastic recognition of this challenge and will help us to find new ways to build Azure into our research infrastructure.” - Liz Bailey, director of IT at the University of Leicester.
Azure customers who have an enrollment in Education Solutions (EES) agreement are eligible for this program. These EES customers don't have to do anything to get this benefit – there is no special contract to sign or agreement to enter into. Once the benefit becomes active in May we will automatically remove the egress charges for our EES customers, as long as they make up less than 15%2 of their total Azure consumption bill.
Microsoft partnerships: In addition to reducing the cost of moving to the cloud, Microsoft is working with key National Research and Education Network partners such as Internet2 in the US, and Géant in Europe, to allow data to flow from our cloud services to our academic customers across this new connection, and to further strengthen our network. We have been working closely with these organizations along with Jisc in the UK, SURFnet in the Netherlands and HEAnet in Ireland to provide a superior cloud experience for our customers.
"We welcome this development that Microsoft is offering data egress fee waivers for all academic customers. This is an important positive step forward in ensuring predictability and stability in cloud costs, and together with our direct network connectivity to Microsoft, UK education and research is in a great position to make the most of the opportunities available through the many cloud services available within Azure." - Dan Perry, director of product and marketing, Jisc.
To learn more about how technology is transforming the way we conduct academic and scientific research, click here.