HomeWinBuzzer NewsMicrosoft Fabric Introduces Unified Pricing to Challenge Google and Amazon

Microsoft Fabric Introduces Unified Pricing to Challenge Google and Amazon

The new pricing model for Microsoft's Fabric suite is based on total compute and storage usage, marking a shift from the traditional pricing structures in the data analytics field.


Microsoft has unveiled a unified pricing structure for its data and analytics platform, Microsoft Fabric. The move is anticipated to disrupt the current market dynamics and exert pressure on competitors such as Google and Amazon. The new pricing model is part of Microsoft’s commitment to providing a simpler and more efficient pricing structure for its Microsoft Fabric suite, a comprehensive platform for analytics and data workloads.

Streamlined Pricing Structure

The new pricing model is based on the total compute and storage utilized by a customer, thereby eliminating the need for customers to pay for separate compute and storage for each of Microsoft’s multiple services. This strategy is expected to intensify competition with Google and Amazon, who currently charge customers multiple times for the various analytics and data tools used on their clouds.

Microsoft has recently amalgamated its various data and analytics tools into the single Fabric suite. This suite integrates six separate tools, including Azure Data Factory (a data integration service that allows creation of data-driven workflows in the cloud for orchestrating and automating data movement and data transformation), Azure Synapse (a fully managed cloud data warehouse) Analytics, and Power BI, into a unified experience and data architecture. The suite is delivered as a software as a service (SaaS), and is designed to enable engineers and developers to extract insights from data more efficiently and present them to business decision-makers.

OneLake as a Centralized Data Lake

At the heart of Microsoft Fabric is a centralized data lake known as Microsoft OneLake that stores a single copy of data in one location. OneLake is built around the open-source Apache Parquet format, providing a unified method to store and retrieve data natively across databases. All Fabric workloads are automatically integrated into OneLake, just as all Microsoft 365 applications are integrated into OneDrive.

Microsoft Fabric capacities “provide the compute resources for all the experiences in Fabric – from the Data Factory to ingest and transform to Data Engineering, Data Science, Data Warehouse, Real-Time Analytics and all the way to Power BI for data visualization”, according to the company. This means that a “single capacity can power all workloads concurrently and does not need to be pre-allocated across the workloads. Moreover, a single capacity can be shared among multiple users and projects, without any limitations on the number of workspaces or creators that can utilize it”.

Pricing Details and Availability

The pricing sheet, which outlines set pricing for compute and storage across Fabric, is expected to be published on Microsoft’s blog. An example of the pricing for U.S. west 2, which covers part of the West Coast, was obtained early by VentureBeat.

Fabric capacities are available in SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) sizes from F2 – F2048, representing 2 – 2048 Capacity Units (CU). When you provision a Fabric capacity, you will see two distinct types of charges on your bill – for compute provisioned (which is the size of the capacity you choose) and for OneLake storage which is charged for the data stored in OneLake.

Future Plans for Microsoft Fabric

In the upcoming months, Microsoft plans to introduce more capabilities to Fabric capacities, including Azure-Reservations that will provide comparable pricing to Power BI Premium per capacity 1-year subscription, autoscale that lets the system take control of your scaling needs, configurable surge protection to prevent unintentional overload of your capacities, and cross charging to allow better cost management of shared capacities.

Enabling Microsoft Fabric for Your Organization

Microsoft Fabric is currently in preview and organizations using Power BI can opt into Microsoft Fabric. The Microsoft Fabric admin switch allows organizations to enable Microsoft Fabric for their entire tenant or for a specific capacity. Security groups can be used to provide Microsoft Fabric access to a specified group of users. Unless an admin makes changes to the Microsoft Fabric admin switch settings, Microsoft Fabric will be turned on for all Power BI users on 1 July 2023. (Learn more here)

Starting a Fabric (Preview) Trial

Microsoft Fabric has launched as a public preview and is temporarily provided free of charge when you sign up for the Microsoft Fabric (Preview) trial. The Fabric (Preview) trial lasts for a period of 60 days, but may be extended by Microsoft, at their discretion. The Microsoft Fabric (Preview) trial experience is subject to certain capacity limits.

For public preview, the Fabric (Preview) trial requires a Power BI license. Once you have a Power BI license, you can start the Fabric (Preview) trial. The trial includes access to the Fabric product experiences and the resources to create and host Fabric items.

Trial Capacity and Capacity Units

A trial capacity is a distinct pool of resources allocated to Microsoft Fabric. The size of the capacity determines the amount of computation power reserved for users of that capacity. The amount of compute resources is based on the SKU.

When you start a Fabric (Preview) trial, Microsoft provisions one 64 capacity unit (CU) trial capacity. These CUs allow users of your trial capacity to consume 64×60 CU seconds every minute. Every time the Fabric trial capacity is used, it consumes CUs. The Fabric platform aggregates consumption from all experiences and applies it to your reserved capacity.

You may cancel your trial from the Account manager. When you cancel your free Fabric (Preview) trial, the trial capacity, with all of its workspaces and their contents, is deleted. If you cancel your trial, you may not be able to start another trial. If you want to retain your data and continue to use Microsoft Fabric (Preview), you can purchase a capacity and migrate your workspaces to that capacity.

The innovative pricing model is predicated on the total compute and storage utilized by a customer, thereby eliminating the need for customers to pay for separate compute and storage for each of Microsoft’s multiple services.

Markus Kasanmascheff
Markus Kasanmascheff
Markus is the founder of WinBuzzer and has been playing with Windows and technology for more than 25 years. He is holding a Master´s degree in International Economics and previously worked as Lead Windows Expert for Softonic.com.