Microsoft Azure Reservations

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Purchasing a Microsoft Azure Reservation saves you money on the infrastructure charges (compute) for virtual machines or Azure SQL Databases. After purchase you have the following options for adjusting your Microsoft Azure Reservation:

  • Changing the Subscription it applies to
  • Splitting a single reservation into two reservations
  • Adding or changing users who can manage a reservation
  • Optimizing for Virtual Machine Size Flexibility or Capacity Priority.

For further information on the Microsoft Azure Reservations, please visit https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/billing/billing-manage-reserved-vm-instance and https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/billing/billing-understand-reservation-charges.

Microsoft Azure SQL Database Reserved Capacity available

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Microsoft announced the General Availability of Microsoft Azure SQL Database Reserved Capacity for single and elastic pool databases. Microsoft Azure SQL Database Reserved Capacity is based on the same principal as Microsoft Azure Reserved Instances for virtual machines and allows you to save money by prepaying for SQL Database vCores for a one or three-year term. Additionally, you can bring your own SQL Server licenses (either via active Software Assurance (SA) or the new Server Subscriptions) for an even more cost-effective solution.

SQL Database Reserved Capacity shares other similarities with Reserved Instances too: a Reservation can be assigned to either a single Azure Subscription or shared, and there’s vCore Size Flexibility as well where the Reservation can be applied dynamically to any databases and elastic pools within a performance tier and region.

For more information about Microsoft Azure SQL Database Reserved Capacity, please visit: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/announcing-general-availability-of-azure-sql-database-reserved-capacity/.

Microsoft Azure Instance Size Flexibility for Azure Reserved Virtual Machine available

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Microsoft announced the General Availability of Microsoft Azure Instance Size Flexibility for Azure Reserved Virtual Machine Instances. In the past, when purchasing a Microsoft Reserved Instance, you had to define the size of the virtual machine and the data center. Changing those properties was only possible by using the Exchange function to get a credit for the existing Reserved Instance to use against a new Reserved Instance with the required attributes.

This has changed now and you are no longer prepaying for base compute of a particular virtual machine type, instead you’re now prepaying for a certain amount of compute for a particular family in a specific data center. Now, a Reserved Instance can be applied to any virtual machine in that family, covering all or part of the base compute costs.
For further information on Microsoft Azure Instance Size Flexibility for Azure Reserved Virtual Machine, please visit https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/general-availability-of-instance-size-flexibility-for-azure-reserved-virtual-machine-instances/ or https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-machines/windows/reserved-vm-instance-size-flexibility for some more examples.

Microsoft Azure Monetary Commitment Overage Payments

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Microsoft announced changes to when customers are invoiced for overage on their Azure Monetary Commitment. Historically, this has been quarterly or annually, dependent on agreement type, which was changed to quarterly for all customer and agreement types in December 2017. Now all overage of new and renewing Enterprise Agreement (EA) customers will be charged at the end of each month. This change will not affect current enrollments before end of their term.

Affected programs:

  • Enterprise: Enterprise Agreement (EA), Enterprise Agreement Subscription (EAS) and Server and Cloud Enrollment (SCE)
  • Academic: Enrollment for Education Solutions (EES)
  • Government

This will impact both Direct and Indirect EA customers.

Microsoft Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server

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Microsoft announced the launch of the Microsoft Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server. The Microsoft Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server will allow customers to use their existing SQL Server licenses with active Software Assurance toward Azure SQL Database Managed Instance(s) and pay only for the underlying compute and storage.

To find out more about the Microsoft Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server, please visit: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/migrate-your-databases-to-a-fully-managed-service-with-azure-sql-database-managed-instance/

Microsoft Azure Advanced Threat Protection available

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Microsoft announced the general availability of Microsoft Azure Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) to help organizations detect advanced attacks in a hybrid environment. Microsoft Azure Advanced Threat Protection is available as a standalone User Subscription License (USL) and is also added to Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) E5 USLs.

For more information about Microsoft Azure Advanced Threat Protection, please visit: https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/enterprisemobility/2018/03/01/introducing-azure-advanced-threat-protection-2/

Microsoft Azure Hybrid Benefit Savings Calculator

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The Azure Hybrid Benefit allows customers with Windows Server licenses with Software Assurance (SA) to use those licenses in Azure to license a base virtual machine for Windows Server.

To identify the potential savings this benefit can offer, please find the Azure Hybrid Benefit Savings Calculator here: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/hybrid-benefit/#ahub-calculator.

Please note that it still works on Processor-based licenses so if you’ve got Core licenses then divide the number of licenses by 16 when you input the number of existing licenses with SA.

Microsoft Azure Monetary Commitment Changes

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In December 2017, Microsoft introduced two changes to the way Azure Monetary Commitment works in an Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA).

Historically, Monetary Commitment was an amount paid upfront annually for the Azure consumption services which was decremented as services were used, with any unused Monetary Commitment being forfeited at the end of the year. This remains as an “Annually Prepaid Option” but now there’s a “Fully Prepaid Option” too. Under this option a customer pays for 36 months of Monetary Commitment upfront but the funds are available for the whole of the Enrolment term. This means there are also some changes in the minimum amount of Monetary Commitment required: € 3,035.88 under the Enterprise Enrolment and € 30,358.80 under the Server and Cloud Enrolment.

The second change is the removal of the Consumption Allowance: previously customers with a Direct EA could pay for any Azure overage at anniversary if they remained within the Consumption Allowance (50% of the original Monetary Commitment). Now all new and renewing EA customers will pay for overage on a quarterly basis.