Microsoft reveals pay-to-Ping plan for advanced Azure availability testing

Does charging for Ping pong? Maybe not in this case, as Microsoft's plan covers 'Standard Ping tests' that are quite advanced


Microsoft has done two very characteristic things: create a new type of Ping and signalled it will charge to use it.

Microsoft currently offers a "URL Ping test" that it admits is "a bit of a misnomer" as it has nothing to do with the Internet Control Message Protocol's "Ping" command, which Reg readers will know is a fine way to test whether an IP address is available.

The URL Ping test is a feature of Azure Monitor, a tool Microsoft suggests as a fine way to improve observability of your infrastructure, networks, and applications. The test uses "more advanced HTTP request functionality to validate whether an endpoint is responding". But at core, it's a Ping.

Now Microsoft has introduced a "Standard Ping test" and labelled its old test as lacking "complexity to meet all single request test needs".

The Standard Ping test will tell you if the endpoint you ping is working, but also check SSL certificate validity, allow you to specify HTTP request verbs including GET, HEAD, and POST, offers custom headers and the chance to specify the data associated with your HTTP request.

The Standard Ping test is currently a tech preview and free to use. However, Microsoft plans to charge for the privilege of using its fancy super-Ping.

"Pricing for features that are in preview will be announced in the future and a notice provided prior to start of billing," states documentation for the Standard Ping test. "Should you choose to continue using Standard tests after the notice period, you will be billed at the applicable rate." ®

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