Managing Your Azure Subscription and Pricing
This page provides instructions for:
- Changing from your trial account to a Pay-as-You-Go Free site
- Correcting “Site Currently Unavailable” issues
Note: The directions on this page should be followed by anyone on a free trial who needs to switch to Pay-As-You-Go. After following these directions, you should review the Azure Pricing Check page to ensure your site is properly configured to avoid unexpected charges.
Azure free account management
This is not about Nightscout per se, but about maintaining your free Azure account.
Read on to understand why Azure/Microsoft charges for these “free” accounts…
This is useful in understanding how Azure charges for free accounts. These kinds of pricing/billing procedures are common among “cloud providers,” let this serve as a detailed guide of Azure services.
Your Azure service, even free usage, is paid for using something Microsoft calls a “subscription”. The Nightscout project walks you through and gets you going with a free introductory subscription. That only lasts for 30 days.
Before your trial ends, you MUST transition to the pay-as-you-go subscription, or your account may be cancelled and your website may be deleted if you wait too long!
Our usage aims to be at the free “scale” inside the pay-as-you-go paradigm. Even though our usage remains within Microsoft’s freebie policy, their subscription model requires having a credit card on file.
What Does It Cost After Your Free Trial?
As long you don’t change anything after you have set up the Pay as You Go plan (free tier), it remains FREE, AND as long as you don’t exceed 165MB of Outbound Data Transfer per day on your site, your site will keep running (See section below for “Your Site is Currently Unavailable“).
Outbound Data Transfer occurs when someone is viewing the website or getting data from it. This would be whenever you open a browser on your PC, on your phone or tablet, also the Pebble watch connecting to the site to get the data it needs.
Under normal use with multiple devices, the 165 MB per day should be more than enough, based on the thousands of users that use this already.
How To Switch to Pay-As-You-Go
- Log into your Azure Portal via https://manage.windowsazure.com
IF your site is disabled/suspended, click on the link next to the site name that has been suspended. This takes you to the screen to change it to the Pay-as-You-Go plan at the FREE tier. (keep reading for step-by-step directions)
TO CHANGE YOUR ACCOUNT BEFORE IT IS DISABLED
- On the top right corner of the Portal page, click on your user account name and from the drop down, select VIEW MY BILL
- In the middle of the page you should see your active FREE TRIAL, and in the yellow banner it should say something like “Your Free Trial expires in XX day(s). Click here to upgrade now.”. Click on the banner to proceed.
- A dialog window will pop up (see below) for “Fully enable Windows Azure”. Select the bullet next to “Yes, upgrade my subscription”, if you wish, you can change the Subscription Name field from the default, and then click on the check mark on the lower right of the box.
- After this is completed, you should see the following yellow information bar showing the PENDING state
- After a few minutes, you should see the following if you refresh the page.
- You now will be safeguarded from your site being deleted when the trial ends.
Your Site is “Currently Unavailable”
What Happens If I Go Over My 165 MB Outbound Data Transfer?
Well, you probably will see a big blue web page that says “This Site Is Currently Unavailable“.
To get your site back up and running temporarily, for just pennies, follow the below steps:
- Log into your Azure Portal at https://manage.windowsazure.com
- Click on WEB SITES
- Click on your web site to bring up the Dashboard
- Click on SCALE on the top navigation menu
- Then look for the Web Hosting Plan Mode. You will want to switch from FREE to SHARED and then click SAVE at the bottom.
DO NOT SELECT THE BASIC OR STANDARD! They are expensive!
Also…do not change anything in the CAPACITY section. Changing this will incur additional costs.
After you have made it past the time reset time limit when you get your 165 MB back to use again, go back into your site, following the same steps above, and switch back to the FREE option and SAVE.
PRICING for the SHARED Plan (Currently under preview – prices subject to change – refer to the Azure Websites Pricing link below for all accurate pricing – this info is accurate as of 9/12/2014).
Websites Shared (Preview): The price for the Shared tier during preview is $0.013 per hour per website instance (~$10/month). This price reflects a 33% preview discount.
EXAMPLE: If your data cap was hit with still 12 hours left out of a 24 hour day, this would calculate to just over $0.15 (so less than 25 cents for 12 hours, and if you left it set this way for a day, it would cost you about 30 cents a day). So, if you find you are hitting your data cap daily, think of the small cost of just leaving the shared plan active. Under the current preview pricing, leaving at the SHARED plan would cost approximately $7.50 per month.
REGION NOTE: Currently the JAPAN and BRAZIL regions charge a small amount more – only 1-2 cents more per hour.
More pricing info -> Azure Websites Pricing