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.
Microsoft announce that a monthly payment option is now available for some Azure Reservations. There aren’t any additional costs for choosing to pay monthly rather than upfront, although if you’re in a non-US-dollar market the actual monthly payment may vary dependent on the exchange rate. Monthly payments are available for the following services: virtual machines, SQL Database, SQL Data Warehouse, Cosmos DB, and the App Service stamp fee, and it’s an option you select when you buy the Reservation from the Azure Management Portal.
Find some good pictures of the process and some FAQs here: http://bit.ly/2maim6g.
The original announcement is here: http://bit.ly/2lILGR0.
If you provision an all-inclusive SQL Server virtual machine from the Azure Marketplace then you’ll be charged a single fee which includes the cost of SQL Server. If you want to bring your own SQL Server licences to that virtual machine via the Azure Hybrid Benefit, then you need to change the licence type of the virtual machine. You do this in the Azure Management Portal and simply change the licence type from Pay As You Go to the Azure Hybrid Benefit in the Configure settings of the VM. You can find instructions for that here: http://bit.ly/2Pd6miy.
If you’ve self-installed SQL Server on an Azure virtual machine, then again, you’re probably intending to bring your own licences. The Product Terms states that you need to indicate when you’re using the Azure Hybrid Benefit – which is what happened above – but this time you need to first register the SQL Server VM with the Resource Provider, and then activate the Azure Hybrid Benefit as before. You’ll find instructions for the process of registering a SQL Sever VM in Azure with the SQL Server VM Resource Provider here: http://bit.ly/324kGLx.
If you’re responsible for the management of Azure resources then you’ll be familiar with the Azure Management Portal. Are you using its baby brother – the Azure mobile app? The idea is that you can keep track of your Azure resources while on-the-go, whether it’s keeping informed of alerts and health issues, or taking corrective action like starting and stopping VMs and web apps.
Find out more with links to download the app here: http://bit.ly/2ZcEdf9.