So Microsoft are ditching Azure egress fees... Or are they?!

So Microsoft are ditching Azure egress fees... Or are they?!
Photo by Rayson Tan / Unsplash

So if you work in the Azure space, you may or may not have heard that Microsoft is ditching Azure egress fees:

Microsoft decides it’s done with Azure egress ransoms
Cloud exit toll booth bypass built by EU regulators
Now available: Free data transfer out to internet when leaving Azure | Azure updates | Microsoft Azure
Learn how to qualify for free egress when moving your data out of Azure.


"Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!!"

Now do not get too excited at this point as Microsoft has put restrictions around the "free" data transfer which is cumbersome to find, but it is there in the small print!

So what does "free" mean in this case? Well, it only applies when you want to leave Azure for another provider or back on-premises. AWS and GCP already have an offer like Microsoft just announced, so Microsoft is just following suit. Now, this is presumably because of some impending EU law/data act that will come to hyper scalers like Azure, AWS and GCP to allow customers to freely move their data whenever/wherever they want without feeling "locked in!".

OK, so now let's pretend that you have your data in Azure (and if you haven't, why not 😉) and you want to move to AWS (NOOOO!), and you think "ah great, well we don't have to worry about egress costs..."

Simpsons Wrong Answer GIF - Simpsons Wrong Answer Homer GIFs

Well, not quite... If you read this Microsoft Learn page:

Cancel and delete your Azure subscription - Microsoft Cost Management
Describes how to cancel or deleted your Azure subscription, like the Free Trial subscription.

You will see this little nugget buried away:

Only Azure Storage Data is eligible! My understanding/interpretation of this is if you want to migrate a VM from Azure to AWS using a migration tool, then that isn't eligible as part of this offer. Microsoft really needs to make this clearer, as I still don't really understand exactly what is included; does this include copying data from storage accounts? Copying data from a VM in Azure to a VM in AWS over a VPN? Migrating an AVS VM to AWS/GCP? The Learn article should explicitly state what is in scope, as otherwise it is open to interpretation!

It is worth noting that if you are eligible, you will still be charged and Microsoft will apply a credit back to the subscription. So ideally you need to migrate your "Azure Storage Data" first, and then any subsequent resources after that so that you can use up the credits.


It is easy to jump to conclusions from articles like I put at the top of this blog post and think "finally we get free egress for all our services". As ever, the devil is in the detail with these things and it's important that you read into the detail. As I said before, Microsoft should clearly define what is in scope and what quantifies as "Azure Storage Data". If you are thinking of leaving Azure, then I strongly recommend that you check with your Microsoft representative so that you can understand this and come up with a plan 😄.