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.
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.
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 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 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 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.
- Enterprise: Enterprise Agreement (EA), Enterprise Agreement Subscription (EAS) and Server and Cloud Enrollment (SCE)
- Academic: Enrollment for Education Solutions (EES)
This will impact both Direct and Indirect EA customers.
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 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 launched Azure Reserved Instances in November 2017 giving customers a more cost-effective way of buying Azure base instance virtual machines. The existing Azure Calculator has been updated to show relative pricing between the regular pay-as-you-go option for virtual machines and 1-year or 3-year Reserved Instances.
Find the Azure Calculator here: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/calculator/.
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.