Microsoft Azure DevOps Server 2019 available

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Microsoft announced the availability of Microsoft Azure DevOps Server 2019, previously called Visual Studio Team Foundation Server. There are no changes to the licensing of this version, and you can buy Server and Client Access License (CAL) licenses through a Volume Licensing agreement. Alternatively, Visual Studio standard subscriptions include rights to the Server license and one User CAL, and all users licensed for Azure DevOps Services have CAL rights too.

Azure DevOps Server 2019 brings the power of Azure DevOps into your dedicated environment. You choose when to apply updates, and you can install them into any datacenter or into sovereign clouds.

For further information about Microsoft Azure DevOps Server, please visit https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/now-available-azure-devops-server-2019/.

Microsoft Azure N & H Series Promotion

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Microsoft announced the Microsoft Azure N & H Series Promotion, valid until August 1st, 2019. Customers receive a discount of 56% for NCv1 and 40% for NVv1 and Hv1 virtual machines. This offer applies to all customers (New/Renewal/Mid-Term) in the licensing programs according to the categories.

The following link provides an overview of the different series of virtual machines in Microsoft Azure: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/details/virtual-machines/series/.

Microsoft Identity and Threat Protection available

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Microsoft announced the availability of the Microsoft Identity & Threat Protection license, which includes the following products:

  • Microsoft Cloud App Security,
  • Azure Active Directory Plan 2,
  • Azure Advanced Threat Protection,
  • Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection and
  • Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection Plan 2 (Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection + Office 365 Threat Intelligence).

Available in the licensing programs according to the categories.

For more information about Microsoft Identity and Threat Protection, please visit https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/blog/2019/01/02/introducing-new-advanced-security-and-compliance-offerings-for-microsoft-365/.

Microsoft Information Protection & Compliance available

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Microsoft announced the availability of the Microsoft Information Protection & Compliance license, which includes the following products:

  • Azure Information Protection P2 and
  • Office 365 Advanced Compliance (Advanced eDiscovery, Advanced Data Governance, Customer Key, and Privileged Access Management).

Available in the licensing programs according to the categories.

For more information about Microsoft Information Protection & Compliance, please visit: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/blog/2019/01/02/introducing-new-advanced-security-and-compliance-offerings-for-microsoft-365/.

Microsoft Azure Reservations

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Microsoft Azure Reservations are a way of pre-paying for an Azure resource over a one or three-year term to get the most cost-effective pricing. The Reservations family continues to grow: it started with Reserved Instances, a way of pre-paying for Azure virtual machine base compute, and was extended with Reserved Capacity, a way of pre-paying for Azure SQL Database compute capacity.

Now the family also includes Software Reservations for SUSE Linux software and Reserved Capacity for Azure Cosmos DB throughput.

The following link gives you an overview of Reservations and if you expand the “Buy a reservation” link at the left you can get details on the current four members of the Reservations family: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/billing/billing-save-compute-costs-reservations.

Microsoft Visual Studio Team Services becomes Microsoft Azure DevOps

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Microsoft announced that Microsoft Visual Studio Team Services becomes Microsoft Azure DevOps. To read the full announcement, please visit the site: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/devops/release-notes/2018/sep-10-azure-devops-launch. In this context you might also be interested in the Azure DevOps billing FAQ: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/devops/organizations/billing/billing-faq?view=vsts&tabs=new-nav.

Microsoft Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server Options

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The Microsoft Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server allows you to choose where you use a Microsoft SQL Server license: either on-premises or in Microsoft Azure. Not only that, you’re allowed to choose between a Microsoft Azure virtual machine (Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)) or the Microsoft Azure SQL Database service (Platform as a Service) (PaaS)). This article describes the details of the two options: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/sql-database/sql-database-paas-vs-sql-server-iaas. Customers are eligible for the Microsoft Azure Hybrid Benefit by having active Software Assurance on their licenses or buying a Server Subscription.

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.