Microsoft Azure extension of complimentary support promotion

From July 1, 2021, until June 30, 2022, all customers with Azure in new or renewing Enterprise Agreements (EA), Enrollments for Education Solutions (EES), or Microsoft-led Microsoft Customer Agreements (MCA) will receive Azure Standard support.

This offer provides access to expert technical support from Microsoft that will help customers with their Online Services journey at no additional charge.

This will apply to Microsoft Azure customers who meet all the following eligibility qualifications:

  • Purchased Microsoft Azure services under an EA, EES, Server Cloud Enrollment, or MCA from a Microsoft representative.
  • Have an agreement for Azure, Azure government, or Azure Germany, excluding accounts for Premier Support, Advanced Support for Partners, and Microsoft Azure that are operated by 21Vianet accounts in China.
  • Sign or renew the agreement within the qualification period from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022.

For existing standard customers, you’ll continue to have access to Standard support for an additional 12 months after your upcoming anniversary date.

Find the details on the benefits included with Standard support, please visit: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/support/plans/standard/.

For details on the promotion, please visit: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/offers/enterprise-agreement-support/ from July 1, 2021.

Cygna Auditor for Microsoft 365, Azure AD and Microsoft Teams available

Effective immediately, Cygna Labs’ Cygna Auditor offers organizations that adopt Microsoft 365 and continue to have on-premises infrastructure an audit and compliance reporting solution that can monitor all activity and changes in a single console. The solution provides comprehensive change auditing and alerts on critical activity, reports risky sign-ins and tracks role changes to enable companies with audit-readiness. Cygna Auditor is available for Microsoft 365, Microsoft Azure Active Directory (AAD) and Microsoft Teams. It is approved for government and the financial services industry.

For more information on Cygna Auditor for Microsoft 365, please visit: https://cygnalabs.com/en/office-365-auditing/.

For more details on Cygna Auditor for Azure Active Directory (AAD), please visit: https://cygnalabs.com/en/azure-ad-auditing/.

To learn more about Cygna Auditor for Microsoft Teams, please take a look at: https://cygnalabs.com/en/microsoft-teams-auditing/.

More information on its use on government and financial services industry can be found under: https://cygnalabs.com/en/government-industry/ and https://cygnalabs.com/en/financial-services-industry/.

Microsoft Azure Hybrid Benefit for Linux available

Effective November 17, 2020, Microsoft Azure Hybrid Benefit for Linux is generally available after a preview phase. This means that customers can bring their own Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server subscriptions to a virtual machine in Azure and just pay for the infrastructure charges. Customers can apply this Azure Hybrid Benefit to either existing or new virtual machines.

For the announcement, please visit: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/azure-hybrid-benefit-now-generally-available-for-linux/.

For details on how the Microsoft Azure Hybrid Benefit applies to Linux Virtual Machines, please visit: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-machines/linux/azure-hybrid-benefit-linux.

Microsoft Azure DevOps Server 2020 available

Effective October 6, 2020, Microsoft Azure DevOps Server 2020 is released. Previously known as Team Foundation Server (TFS), Azure DevOps Server is a set of collaborative software development tools, hosted on-premises. Azure DevOps Server integrates with your existing integrated development environment (IDE) or editor, enabling your cross-functional team to work effectively on projects of all sizes.

A direct upgrade to Azure DevOps Server 2020 is supported from Azure DevOps Server 2019 or Team Foundation Server 2015 or newer. There are no changes to the existing Server/Client Access License (CAL) licensing model, according to the Microsoft Product Terms of October 2020.

For more information, please refer to the announcement: https://devblogs.microsoft.com/devops/azure-devops-server-2020-rtw-now-available/.

For the release notes of the product, please visit: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/devops/server/release-notes/azuredevops2020?view=azure-devops.

For more details on Microsoft Azure DevOps Server requirements, please visit: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/devops/server/requirements?view=azure-devops-2020.

For general information on Microsoft Azure DevOps Server, please visit: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/services/devops/server/.

Microsoft Azure VMware solution

Effective September 29, 2020, the Microsoft Azure VMware solution is generally available (GA). This enables customers to seamlessly move VMware-based workloads from their data centers to Azure and integrate their VMware environment with Azure.

From a licensing perspective, customers running Microsoft Windows Server and SQL Server workloads can use the Azure Hybrid Benefit to reuse existing on-premises licenses and can also save money on the infrastructure by purchasing Reserved Instances.

For further information, please find the announcement here: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/the-new-azure-vmware-solution-is-now-generally-available/.

For details on the solution itself, please visit: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/services/azure-vmware/.

Microsoft Azure Cost Management enables Amazon Web Services (AWS) connector

Effective September 1, 2020, an Amazon Web Services (AWS) connector for Microsoft Azure Cost Management is available for all customers.

This new connector enables customers to easily analyze their Microsoft Azure and AWS spend from the Microsoft Azure Management Portal. There is no cost for the connector for the first 90 days, and thereafter Microsoft Azure Cost Management for AWS is charged at 1% of the total AWS managed spend.

For the announcement and instructions for setting up and using the AWS connector in Microsoft Azure Cost Management, please visit: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/connector-for-aws-in-azure-cost-management-billing-is-now-generally-available/.

Microsoft Azure Hybrid Benefit with SQL Server expanded use rights

Effective August 1, 2020, Microsoft expands use rights for the Microsoft Azure Hybrid Benefit with SQL Server giving additional flexibility in using Microsoft SQL Server Standard and Enterprise Core licenses. This creates chances for cost reduction and enables access to a larger bandwidth of features.
Microsoft SQL Server Standard Core licenses may now be used for Microsoft SQL Server Enterprise virtual machines with 4 Core licenses required for each virtual core, and Microsoft SQL Server Enterprise Core licenses may now be used for Microsoft SQL Server Standard virtual machines with 1 Core license covering 4 virtual cores.
There are similar changes for the license requirements for the Microsoft Azure Data Factory SQL Server Integration Services Standard/Enterprise, and Microsoft SQL Server Standard Core licenses may now also be used for Microsoft Azure SQL Database Business Critical solutions with a requirement of 4 Core licenses to cover a virtual core.
For the announcement of expanded use rights for Microsoft Azure Hybrid Benefit with SQL Server, please visit: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/licensing/news/expanded-ahb-rights-for-microsoft-sql-server and have a look at the official documentation on pages 54/55 of the August 2020 Product Terms document: https://www.microsoftvolumelicensing.com/Downloader.aspx?documenttype=PT&lang=English.
For more information, please visit: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/hybrid-benefit/faq/.

Microsoft Azure HBv2 virtual machine 5-year Reservation available

As of June 22, 2020, a 5-year Reservation is available for the Microsoft Azure HBv2 virtual machine. The existing 1 and 3-year Reservations give an estimated 25% and 50% saving on the compute costs of the VM, and the new 5-year Reservation increases savings to approximately 67%.
The extended term reservation provides continuous access to HBv2 resources for all supported Azure regions. Terms and conditions are mostly the same as for all other types of Reserved Instances.
For further details on the 5-year Reservation option for the Microsoft Azure HBv2 virtual machine, please find the announcement here:
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/updates/announcing-extended-term-reservation-for-the-azure-hbv2-virtual-machine/.
For further information on Microsoft Azure Reserved VM Instances (RIs), please visit: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/reserved-vm-instances/.

Microsoft Azure Monetary Commitment renamed to Microsoft Azure prepayment

Microsoft Azure Monetary Commitment is the upfront payment a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA) customer makes for use of the Microsoft Azure consumption services, which is then decremented on a monthly basis as the services are used. This is now renamed to Microsoft Azure prepayment whilst there have been no changes to the product itself.
For further information on the name change to Microsoft Azure prepayment, please find the Microsoft Azure prepayment section starting on page 53 of the July 2020 Product Terms, and download the document itself here: https://www.microsoftvolumelicensing.com/Downloader.aspx?DocumentId=17811

Microsoft Azure Spot Virtual Machines available

Effective April 2, 2020 Microsoft Azure Spot virtual machines are generally available. Microsoft Azure Spot Virtual Machines let you access unused Azure compute capacity at large discounts compared to pay-as-you-go prices. These Microsoft Azure Spot Virtual Machines are evicted when Azure no longer has available compute capacity and must reallocate its resources. At that point, the virtual machine is deallocated, and no additional virtual machine-related changes are incurred, but other resources, such as disk or network, continue to run and accrue charges. Take advantage of Spot pricing for Azure Virtual Machines or Virtual Machine Scale Sets. Select the right deployment model based on your preferences and the characteristics of your application. Microsoft Azure Spot Virtual Machines are suitable to run workloads that do not need to be completed within a specific timeframe.

Please find the official announcement here: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/updates/azure-spot-virtual-machines-are-now-generally-available/.