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Azure Disk Pricing: Understanding Your Options

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 a comparison of Azure disk types, and provide pricing for the most common scenarios. 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 Overview

Azure managed disks are block-level storage volumes which are utilized by Azure Virtual Machines. Managed disks are just like a physical disk in an on-premises server; however they are virtualized resources. You can define the disk size and type, and instruct Azure to provision the disk; the Azure cloud manages the rest.

Azure provides several types of managed disks: regular HDD drives, standard solid state drives (SSD), premium solid state drives, and ultra disks. Below we provide a comparison of these types, and their respective pricing.

Benefits of Azure Managed Disks:

  • Durable and accessible—managed disks provide 99.999% availability, with three replicas of the data maintained at all times. Azure consistently delivers a zero % failure rate for managed disks.
  • Integration with Azure availability sets—managed disks can be distributed across availability sets to avoid a single point of failure. Disks are automatically placed in various storage scale units, in such a way that if one unit fails, only the VM instance with disks running on that unit fail, and other VM instances can continue running.
  • Integration with Availability Zones—safeguards applications from datacenter failures by spreading disks across Azure availability zones, separate physical locations within an Azure region, with independent power, networking, and cooling.
  • Scalable VM deployment—Azure enables creation of up to 50,000 VM disks per subscription per region, and up to 1,000 VMs participating in a VM scale set.
  • Azure Backup—managed disks can be combined with the Azure Backup service, to create time-based copies of disks and backup retention policies (supports disks up to 3TB). This allows you to restore VM data at scale whenever you need.

To understand other Azure storage options and their pricing structure, see our in-depth article on Azure Storage Pricing. To understand the features and benefits of Azure’s block storage vs object storage services, see Azure Block Storage and Object Storage.

Azure Managed Disks Comparison

Premium SSD disk
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 disksSource for this and following images: Microsoft Azure

Standard SSD disks
Conventional SSDs are suitable for 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
Conventional HDDs based on magnetic drives are the cheapest solution, suitable for dev/test and backup or disaster recovery setups.

Standard HDD disks

Ultra Disk
Azure ultra disks provide high throughput, high IOPS storage with consistent low latency. With ultra disks, you can modify the performance of the disk without needing to restart virtual machines. Ultra disks are appropriate for data-intensive workloads such as SAP HANA, very high throughput databases, and transaction-heavy workloads. Ultra disks should be used for data only, not as operating system disks.

Ultra disks provide configurable capacity and performance features. They provide storage capacity ranging from 4 GB to 64 TB, with flexible IOPS and throughput that can be modified at runtime, without detaching the disk from the virtual machine.

Ultra disk sizes:

Ultra disk sizes:Source: Microsoft Azure

Azure Managed Disk Pricing

Azure Managed Disks is priced in accordance with the following criteria:

  • 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.

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.

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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