Q&A: I have a new business idea. How can I implement it cheaply using the Windows Azure Platform?

Note: Cross posted from IUpdateable from Eric Nelson.


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I have been asked this one a few times recently. The question is often driven by the realisation that that the Windows Azure Platform is actually a little more expensive that alternatives such as shared hosting/dedicated hosting in the early stages of a new application – i.e. when you have no/few users and you don’t need all that elasticity and high availability isn’t really a priority.  It turns out the Windows Azure Platform actually does a lot more than the alternatives – but I will stick firmly to the question, namely “What is the cheapest way?”.

There are two really great ways to solve this:

  • If you (or a member of your team) are an MSDN Subscriber:
    • You can take advantage of a great introductory offer that gives you 750 compute hours, 10GB storage and 3 RDBMS instances http://bit.ly/azuremsdnfree
  • If you are a privately held company, under 3 years old and making less than $1M annually: