Microsoft Now Takes Reservations with Azure Reserved Virtual Machine Instances
In the ongoing quest for your cloud business, Microsoft has responded to Amazon Web Services’ Reserved Instances with their own Azure Reserved Virtual Machine Instances. In both cases, customers can save a significant amount, typically more than 70%, by committing to a long term contract for use of computing instances. The VM Instances can be reserved in one or three year terms, with greater discounts for longer reservations. Instances are paid for up-front but can be exchanged with the remaining pro-rated balance applied to new purchases or even cancelled for a prorated refund based on unused amount minus an early termination fee of 12 percent. Of course, CloudCheckr will continue to help organizations get the most out of their Reserved Virtual Machine Instances, to maximize savings. In fact, CloudCheckr already provides Right-Sizing reports for Azure Virtual Machines, App Service Plans, SQL Databases, and Redis Caches. Assign RI benefits at the enrollment or subscription levels, and easily change assignments post purchase, as necessary. Assignment allows you to decide whether the reservation is applied at the Azure account/enrollment or subscription level.
Microsoft has another way to save on such instances. Since they are the ones who sell the Windows Server licenses, they have a creative offering called “Hybrid Use.” For businesses moving to the cloud, one of the key concerns is software licensing. Applications that were tied, legally, to dedicated hardware now have to be licensed for virtual hardware. Cloud providers offer “Dedicated Hosts” as a way to lock down what hardware your instance will run on in the cloud, but you have to pay extra for that. This applies to any piece of software that is licensed to run on a particular set of hardware, including operating systems, specifically Windows Server.
Microsoft is sweetening the pot by allowing enterprises to establish a hybrid cloud strategy, essentially letting their Windows Server Datacenter Edition license play a dual role. Windows Server can be simultaneously licensed for local on-premise hardware and for servers in Azure. In fact, a single on-premise Windows Server license can cover two Virtual Machines. Microsoft estimates that this “Azure Hybrid Use Benefit” can save organizations up to 40 percent. There are some restrictions, such as their Software Assurance Maintenance Agreement is required, but it’s a good deal.
Todd Bernhard has been with CloudCheckr handling Product Marketing and Technical Evangelism roles since 2017. He holds multiple certifications including AWS Solutions Architect Associate, Microsoft Azure Fundamentals, Google Cloud Associate Engineer and FinOps Certified Practitioner. Prior to joining CloudCheckr, Mr. Bernhard was an award-winning, bestselling mobile app developer and entrepreneur and previously worked for Sun Microsystems, as an Evangelist, Sales and Technical Trainer and Product Marketing Manager for Sun’s high-end data center servers.
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