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Transactions

    Question

  • I'm interested in putting a file server in Azure. So far, through the Pricing calculator I have been able to figure out the cost of the virtual machine, the disk drives and the backup costs. What I can figure out is the transaction costs. What exactly is a file transaction? Is it a read, a write or a transfer and how big is it, byte, MB, GB, ??

    Using the performance monitor on my server I can collect information on reads, writes and transfer, all in bytes. But then what do I divide or multiple that number by to get a transaction?

    Thanks

    Monday, March 28, 2016 8:01 PM

Answers

  • A transaction is a read or write operations. Billing is for the transaction that reaches the backend VHD blob. When you set up a file share on the VHD, backend blob transactions will roughly mimic the reads and writes on the file share via a the VM; However, depending on the contents of the share and the usage patterns actual billable transactions can vary. E.g. if you have a 1 MB file on the share, and if you try to read the file, the application may fetch the whole file in one shot, as a single 1-MB transaction, in which case it is just one transaction; Or, it may read it with many smaller size read operations. In this case, you will have more than one billable transactions. Similar rules apply for writes as well.

    Have you considered using Premium Storage disks? You can get much better performance for the same VM In other words, you can use a smaller VM size and save the cost of the VM though the cost of the disk may be higher. Also, there is no cost for transactions on Premium Storage disks. Hence, if the File Share is expected to have a lot of transactions, then you may have a lower cost with Premium Storage disks.

    Wednesday, March 30, 2016 2:37 AM

All replies

  • Hi,

    You could refer the following link to understand how transactions are counted in Azure:
    https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/windowsazurestorage/2010/07/08/understanding-windows-azure-storage-billing-bandwidth-transactions-and-capacity/

    The document is a little old, however, it might still address your query.

    Regards,
    Malar.

    Tuesday, March 29, 2016 9:18 AM
  • You could also try Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit, an agentless inventory, assessment, and reporting tool that can securely assess IT environments for various platform migrations—including Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7, Office 2013, Office 2010, Office 365, Windows Server 2012 and Windows 2012 R2, SQL Server 2014, Hyper-V, Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track, and Windows Azure.
    Tuesday, March 29, 2016 10:15 AM
  • Malar,

    Thanks for the interesting article but not really relevant as I considering a file server with mountable drives where a person might be creating or modifying an Excel or Word file. The article you identified is more about blobs, tables and queues and I don't know if you can translate that into file activity.

    Tuesday, March 29, 2016 12:48 PM
  • Hi Ken,

    Thanks for passing along the toolkit however the question is about Azure and how they define a transaction and not about assessing my environment.

    Tuesday, March 29, 2016 12:49 PM
  • Hi Sam,

    If you access the file with in the same Vnet or in same region ( West US or East Us) there will be charges on read and write data as per my knowledge but if want to access the file in Azure VM from on-prem and you have VPN  setup, then the charges will as per data transferred between the gateway.

    VPN Gateway Pricing

    https://azure.microsoft.com/en-in/pricing/details/vpn-gateway/

    https://azure.microsoft.com/en-in/pricing/details/data-transfers/

    You have alternate for file server installed in Azure, it is feature ( Azure File share ). Here no need to build VM, you will reduce the price of VM but I think this works with in the Azure region.

    https://azure.microsoft.com/en-in/documentation/articles/storage-dotnet-how-to-use-files/

    Regards,

    Mahendranath


    Mahendranath Miryala


    Tuesday, March 29, 2016 1:23 PM
  • Mahendranath,

    Great article on getting around using a VM the only problem I see with my application is that since this is a shared file server I'm going to need to maintain file/folder permissions. That said it is certainly something to think about.

    Unfortunately I still have the issue of what is the definition of a transaction , is it a read, a write or something else?

    Tuesday, March 29, 2016 5:31 PM
  • A transaction is a read or write operations. Billing is for the transaction that reaches the backend VHD blob. When you set up a file share on the VHD, backend blob transactions will roughly mimic the reads and writes on the file share via a the VM; However, depending on the contents of the share and the usage patterns actual billable transactions can vary. E.g. if you have a 1 MB file on the share, and if you try to read the file, the application may fetch the whole file in one shot, as a single 1-MB transaction, in which case it is just one transaction; Or, it may read it with many smaller size read operations. In this case, you will have more than one billable transactions. Similar rules apply for writes as well.

    Have you considered using Premium Storage disks? You can get much better performance for the same VM In other words, you can use a smaller VM size and save the cost of the VM though the cost of the disk may be higher. Also, there is no cost for transactions on Premium Storage disks. Hence, if the File Share is expected to have a lot of transactions, then you may have a lower cost with Premium Storage disks.

    Wednesday, March 30, 2016 2:37 AM
  • I accept with sirius.

    I think there is no need worry on transaction, it will be minimum as compared to the compute charges. yes as suggested by Sirius you can try Premium storage but do think of pricing and disk size in premium storage. Permium disk is charged as per disk size not upon how much GB of data you store.

    Regards,

    Mahendranath Miryala


    Mahendranath Miryala

    Wednesday, March 30, 2016 10:06 AM
  • Thanks everyone, I appreciate the time spent on this discussion and your advice.
    Wednesday, March 30, 2016 1:14 PM