Azure Cost Management

Azure Disk Pricing: Understanding Your Options

[Azure, Cloud Volumes ONTAP, Cloud Storage, Elementary, 8 minute read, Azure Cost Management]

Azure provides several types of managed disks, which are virtual storage attached to Azure virtual machines (VMs). If you have a large number of VMs, virtual disks can be a major part of your spend on Azure.



When planning your Azure cost management strategy, it’s important to understand what each type of virtual disk provides, and the cost structure for virtual disks. Disks are priced at a flat monthly rate (depending on disk type), with a separate charge per 10,000 transactions.

In this post, we’ll provide pricing for the most common scenarios and show how Azure disk types compare. We’ll also show how NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP can help reduce your Azure storage costs, for virtual disks and other storage services.

In this article, you will learn:

Azure Managed Disk Pricing

Understanding how managed disk prices compare can help you narrow down your options to stay within budget. To understand this pricing, you should be aware of how the following criteria affect costs:

  • Disk size—disks are charged for their entire capacity, not actual usage.
  • Data transactions—a fee is charged per 10,000 transactions.
  • Data redundancy—prices vary depending on the redundancy option selected: LRS, ZRS, GRS, RA-GRS, GZRS, or RA-GZRS (learn more about redundancy options).

The table below illustrates monthly prices for three common types of each category of managed disks, with LRS redundancy, in the West US 2 region. You should note that each disk type has many more size options available. The options displayed below are meant to convey a spread of pricing.

Disk Category

Disk Type and Size

Monthly Cost

Cost for 10,000 Data Transactions

Premium SSD

P10, 128 GB

$17.92

N/A

P30, 1TB

$122.88

N/A

P70, 16TB

$1,638.40

N/A

Standard SSD

E10, 128GB

$9.60

$0.002

E30, 1TB

$76.80

$0.002

E70, 16TB

$1,228.80

$0.002

Standard HHD

S10, 128GB

$5.89

$0.0005

S30, 1TB

$40.96

$0.0005

S70, 16TB

$524.29

$0.0005

Ultra Disk

512 GB

$118.08
(priced per hour)

Per-hour, per-GB charges for provisioned IOPS and throughput

See the official pricing page for updated pricing and additional pricing options. 

Also refer to:

Azure Managed Disks Comparison

While you can make your decision by pricing alone, you are unlikely to get the best performance and return on your investment if you do. To optimize your value, you need to consider pricing in light of how disk performance and capabilities compare. Below you can learn about the specifications of each disk type and see what tradeoffs may be worthwhile.

Premium SSD disk
Premium SSDs are designed for performance sensitive and production workloads. You can only use these disks with VMs that are compatible with premium storage. However, when provisioning, you get reserved capacity and performance, unlike with standard disks. Each I/O operation that is 256KiB or lower is considered a single transaction. Larger operations are split in 256KiB increments.

You can also use Premium SSDs to provide burst capacity, up to 170Mbps and 3,500 IOPS for 30 minutes. This capability is based on renewable burst credits.

Premium SSDs are typically used for demanding applications like Dynamics CRM and high throughput, low latency databases like SQL Server, Cassandra and MongoDB.

Premium SSD disks

Standard SSD disks
Standard SSDs are designed for light to moderate use. You can use these disks with all Azure VMs. Performance and capacity thresholds are provided 99% of the time but are not guaranteed. Each I/O operation that is 256KiB or lower is considered a single transaction. Larger operations are split in 256KiB increments.

Standard SSDs are suitable for web servers, low-throughput application servers, big data applications, and enterprise applications that need consistent performance at lower IOPS levels.

Standard SSD disks

Standard HDD disks
Standard HDDs are designed for low priority or resource requirement workloads. These disks are based on magnetic drives and are the cheapest solution. Each I/O operation you perform with Standard HDDs is counted as a single transaction. You can use these disks in all regions with all Azure VMs. 

These disks are suitable for dev/test, backup, or disaster recovery setups.

Standard HDD disks

Ultra Disk
Azure ultra disks provide high throughput, low latency, high IOPS storage. You can use ultra disks to support data-intensive workloads, including SAP HANA, transaction-heavy workloads, and high throughput databases. However, you can only use these disks for data, not to support operating systems. 

Ultra disks provide configurable capacity and performance features. They provide storage capacity ranging from 4 GiB to 64 TiB and flexible IOPS and throughput that can be modified at runtime, without detaching the disk from the virtual machine. However, keep in mind you can only resize four times in 24hrs and the effects may be delayed by up to an hour.

Ultra disk sizes:

Ultra disk sizes:

Optimizing Azure Disk Pricing with Cloud Volumes ONTAP

NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP, the leading enterprise-grade storage management solution, delivers secure, proven storage management services on AWS, Azure and Google Cloud. Cloud Volumes ONTAP supports up to a capacity of 368TB, and supports various use cases such as file services, databases, DevOps or any other enterprise workload.

In particular, Cloud Volumes ONTAP provides storage efficiency features, including thin provisioning, data compression, and deduplication, reducing the Azure disk storage footprint and costs by up to 70%.

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