Now that the pricing have been published, I have a question. It seems that the pricing for SSRS on Azure is cost prohibitive for many customers, including us. One instance costs actually more than any other machine on Azure, with
the cheapest cost of about $700 a month. Our company certainly cannot afford that, meaning we will have to got with Crystal likely because it is essentially free. Why is there no flexible pay scale for SSRS? Current pricing model
does not make sense at all.
I had an email exchange with a customer asking a similar question earlier today. Sharing this as it may be helpful context....
As is always the case when we introduce a new service, there are scenarios which are more vs. less optimal given the technology and the pricing model. Some customers want price
irrespective of volume (within bounds) while others want to pay by the drink with the smallest consumption unit possible. Our initial work on SQL Reporting is focused on
customers that need significant throughput and modular pricing. We recognize that may not be optimal for customers with lower volume needs or a desire to pay on a report by report basis regardless of volume. This scenario (pay by report) is something that
we have and will continue to consider as we evolve the service.
Thanks for sharing, Steven. I can see that a large customer would be happy with the pricing model, although in a way there is still no fixed cost because it is $700 for 200
reports if I am reading the pricing right. So under heavy load they could be looking for many times that, wouldn't they? My goal is to bring into the light the fact that many potential customers will not use the service that you no doubt worked hard on providing.Moreover, let’s take our app for example.At $700 a month I can buy aSQL Server license (standard edition), install it on a VM on Azure and run my own instance.Depending on SQL Server pricing, it could pay for itself in a year or two.At that point why sign up for a service?Again, I could use Crystal virtually free of charge, albeit I do not want to.But, my client is working on a SAAS solution, but their model / market will now allow them to charge the prices that would justify $700 a month.I hope that the pricing will change in the very near future to allow more users to use SSRS.
You bet, glad to provide the context.With respect to the fixed cost, the service was designed for customers with significant throughput who want a modular hourly charge instead of a per-report charge. $.88 per hour provides up to 200 reports per hour.I should have described that as a “base” cost with additional capacity added as needed.
For those who didn't catch this... The service was designed to scale when the needs of the customer go above that threshold (automatically).For example, if in a given hour a customer needs 240 reports, they would see a charge for 2 reporting instances for that hour at .88 each.When the load drops below 200 reports per hour, the reporting instance count drops back to 1.
With respect to using SQL Server in a VM instance and doing this yourself, there are a few things to keep in mind.License mobility (moving a license to a cloud provider) is an SA benefit, information on the requirements can be found
here. Reporting Services provides additional benefits over rolling your own (no OS management patching / management, scale up / down additional instances automatically, etc).As I mentioned above, we have and will continue to evaluate other pricing models which are more per-report centric which may more specifically address your scenario.
Proposed As Answer byVitor TomazMonday, June 18, 2012 8:33 AM
I have to agree with Sergey. This pricing model has just completely blocked me from considering or even experimenting with SQL Reporting. It is simply way out of our price range. Feels very 'Oracle' to me, unobtainable.
I have found the pay-per-use concept of the cloud to be very attractive, SQL Reporting very much goes against that and I find it a shame.
I have to agree that the SQL Reporting pricing is prohibitively expensive. Not at all the flexible 'pay for what you use' approach of the other services. Let's hope a more transactional approach is on the cards else I can see a lot of people moving to other
reporting tools, particularly when you only need on-demand reports.
A possible alternative approach is to fire up a VM (possibly using an alternative service like AWS while azure VMs are in Preview) and run SQL Server Express with Advanced Services - this lets you only use SSRS connecting to the local database - or run SQL
Server Standard - this lets you operate an SSRS server you could use to connect to different SQL Azure databases. From a quick look this works out to:
VM with SQL Express = 0.08/hr = $57.60/month (incl preview pricing discount) - with no SQL Azure costs
VM with SQL Standard = 0.63/hr = $453/month (incl preview pricing discount)
With the latter option it's getting close to the pricing of Azure Reporting Services but with a couple of significant advantages:
No additional volume charge if you run >200 reports/hr
You can stop & start the VM whenever you like, e.g. only running the reporting server 12hr/day and 5d/wk makes it about $162/month
With the first option you move your SQL database(s) to the VM instead of SQL Azure so you don't get the reliability etc advantages, but of course you do have additional cost saving. With both options you have the hassle of administering your VM but the ability
to easily run other things on the machine without additional cost.
Can anyone see any problems with this approach or suggest any variations? Personally I'm considering the two options above, or to rewrite our reports with an alternative tool that won't incur additional costs.
Edited byRory PSMonday, September 24, 2012 1:08 PM
Another alternative is to change your reports to RDLC (local reports) instead of regular RDL, and change your application to work with that. Then you don't need a Reporting Services server and therefore don't need to pay any licensing/runtime charges.
There will be others like myself, just exploring the Azure service casually, who will assume the reporting services have similar pricing to the other Azure services and just let it go and get surprised by an absurd $633 bill at the end of the month, even
when they have barely used the service. This kind of practical joke is going backfire against Microsoft.