The Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server can be used with Azure resources such as SQL Databases or Managed Instances, or SQL Server running in a virtual machine. This means that customers can bring their own licences with SA (or Server Subscriptions acquired through CSP) to pay for the SQL Server part of the resources. Historically, the Azure Hybrid Benefit has always been activated at the resource level, but a new option means that customers can now manage it for a single Azure Subscription or for a whole Billing Account.
This new feature is enabled in the Azure Management Portal where you specify the number of eligible SQL Server licences you have which are then converted to Normalized Core Licenses (NCLs). Because SQL Server Enterprise and Standard Core licences can be combined in Azure in the ratio of 4:1, this NCL number calculates (in effect) the total number of Standard Core licences you have available. So, 8 Enterprise and 16 Standard Core licences = 8 x 4 + 16 = 48 NCLs. These NCLs are then automatically allocated to SQL resources running in the chosen scope, rather than the Azure Hybrid Benefit having to be manually activated by a human on each resource.
Scope-level management of the Azure Hybrid Benefit can be used with SQL Databases, SQL Managed Instances, SQL Elastic Pools or SQL Server running in an Azure VM, but only resource-level management is available for Azure Dedicated Hosts and Azure Data Factory SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS). Note too that it’s not an option currently available for Web Direct or CSP customers, only those buying through an Enterprise Agreement or direct from Microsoft via the Microsoft Customer Agreement.
Find tutorials, how-go guides and an FAQ at the docs site here: https://bit.ly/3n2IfAO.
There’s a change to the status of Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise when it’s purchased through an Enterprise Agreement. It’s now designated as an Enterprise Online Service which means that it doesn’t need to be purchased enterprise-wide and 500 licences can be acquired to start an Enterprise Online Services-only enrolment.
Find the relevant page of the Product Terms site here: https://bit.ly/3ABfP5K.
There’s an updated (October 2021) Power Platform Licensing Guide.
The main update is for the changes to Power Apps Per App licensing which is now just that – a single licence allows access to one app or one portal rather than the previous two apps and one portal. Entitlements for the new Intelligent Order Management are also added, and notice of end of support for WinAutomation at 31 December, 2021.
Find the updated Licensing Guide here: https://bit.ly/3uSHU7b.
There’s an updated (October 2021) Dynamics 365 Licensing Guide. There are just minor changes including the removal of Dynamics 365 Gamification which was deprecated on 1 October, 2021 (https://bit.ly/2YDHaqg).
Find the updated Licensing Guide here: https://bit.ly/3uU6WCK.
Office Home & Student 2021 and Office Home & Business 2021 are now available. These are the perpetually licensed editions of the next version of Office, priced at $149.99 and $249.99 respectively.
The Home & Business edition includes everything in the Home & Student edition as well as Outlook for the PC/Mac and commercial use rights. Unlike their Office LTSC 2021 business counterparts, these editions include Teams and some collaboration tools too.
Find the announcement here: https://bit.ly/3ArUlbr.
Microsoft announce that Windows 11 started to roll out across the world on 5 October, 2021 (https://bit.ly/3iBxzaI). It’s also available on Azure Virtual Desktop (https://bit.ly/3ar2ORr) and will be available to purchase on Volume Licensing price lists on 1 November, 2021 (https://bit.ly/3aszwly).
Microsoft announce that the next versions of the “traditional” Office products are available. This includes Office LTSC Professional Plus/Standard/Standard for Mac 2021, Project Standard/Professional 2021, and Visio Standard/Professional 2021.
You can find the announcement here: https://bit.ly/3iyCkSy, and useful deployment information here: https://bit.ly/3msgQaW.
When you purchase an Azure Reservation you choose a scope for it which defines where it may be used: within a specific Resource Group, a specific Subscription, or all Subscriptions. A Management Group is a group of Azure Subscriptions and Microsoft announce this as a new option for the scope of a Reservation.
Find the announcement on the public preview here: https://bit.ly/3iqyA5i and more information on Reservation scopes generally here: https://bit.ly/3ouf6AU.
There’s an updated (September 2021) Dynamics 365 Licensing Guide. There aren’t major changes and you can find a full list of the tweaks that have been made in the Change Log on page 58. If the Guides and Remote Assist mixed reality products are of interest you might want to take a look at pages 19 and 24 where additional tables have been added to show the functionality that could be used by users in different roles.
Find this updated guide here: https://bit.ly/3BNqLxV.
Microsoft announce that Windows 11 will start to become available on 5 October, 2021, and that it is now available in preview on Azure Virtual Desktop.
Find the availability announcement with 11 highlights of Windows 11 here: https://bit.ly/3yBK8YG, and information on the different Windows 11 images available for AVD here: https://bit.ly/2WVl0PM.