Updated Azure Calculator

Microsoft launched Azure Reserved Instances in November 2017 giving customers a more cost-effective way of buying Azure base instance virtual machines. The 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: http://bit.ly/AzurePricingCalculator.

Azure Reserved VM Instances

Microsoft announce Azure Reserved VM Instances (RIs). There’s no word on launch date, but customers will be able to make big savings on Azure virtual machines by committing to 1 or 3 year terms for a particular VM type in a particular Azure region.

There will be flexibility for customers too with the ability to cancel the RI, or exchange it for another VM type in another data centre. Scott Guthrie’s blog post is here (see second to last paragraph): http://bit.ly/2ybA0dZ, and there’s useful information on azure.com too: http://bit.ly/2fV95bC.

AHUB and Windows Server Marketplace Images

Changes to the Windows Server Azure Marketplace images means it’s easier to deploy a virtual machine when you want to use the Azure Hybrid Use Benefit (AHUB). Now you don’t have to choose a special image, you just confirm you have Windows Server licences with active SA as part of the process – see the diagram below. And, even better, this is available for all customers, not just EA customers.

Azure Marketplace

The AHUB Datasheet and FAQ documents are updated for this change and you can find them in the Core Infrastructure section of our Licensing Guides emporium: http://bit.ly/MSLicensingGuides.

Azure StorSimple in CSP

Azure StorSimple became available through CSP in February 2017.

A reminder of what StorSimple is: a hybrid storage solution which can be deployed as a physical device or a virtual appliance, where active data is stored on-premises and cool data is pushed to the cloud.

It’s currently just the StorSimple Virtual Array that’s available through CSP and there’s an excellent article from Microsoft that explains all: http://bit.ly/2oQTnDT.

If you’ve got a particular question you may find your answer in the useful FAQ here: http://bit.ly/2oY5ayO.

Azure Hybrid Use Benefit FAQ

There’s a new (April 2017) Azure Hybrid Use Benefit FAQ from Microsoft. It’s a jolly useful document with information on the three ways to use the benefit, the different Marketplace gallery images that are available, and a host of other interesting questions.

Find it in the Core Infrastructure section of our Licensing Guides emporium: http://bit.ly/MSLicensingGuides.

Azure TCO Calculator

There’s an Azure TCO Calculator from Microsoft in preview so that you can evaluate potential cost savings if you migrate on-premises application workloads to Azure. You specify the details of your existing infrastructure, various cost assumptions you want the tool to work with, and then you’re given a report that shows on-premises v Azure costs breakdown summaries.

Find the tool here: http://bit.ly/2nmH2qS.

Azure Stack Licensing

Microsoft release more details about how Azure Stack will be licensed when it’s available in mid 2017. And what is Azure Stack? Think Azure Services running on on-premises hardware. This useful Microsoft blog post (http://bit.ly/2nmBL2q) explains that Azure Stack will be charged on a consumption basis (like Azure Services normally are) but prices will be lower since customers are providing their own hardware and facilities.

Azure Stack hardware will be available from Dell, EMC, HPE and Lenovo and this too will be available on a pay-as-you-go basis if required.

Moving Azure Subscriptions to CSP

There are benefits to acquiring Azure Services through CSP – your Azure resources (virtual machines etc) can all be managed by a partner and you can pay monthly for what you’ve actually consumed. So, can you migrate an existing Azure Subscription (and all your resources) in an EA or Open agreement, for example, to CSP? The short answer? No. You need to move resources from the old Subscription to the new one manually.

For more information – and instructions – this Microsoft blog post is well worth a look: http://bit.ly/2lvwn9l.

Azure Hybrid Use Benefit

If you have Windows Server licences with Software Assurance then you have the Azure Hybrid Use Benefit. This means that you can choose to use your licences to license the Windows Server part of an Azure virtual machine and so just pay for the compute cost of the VM.

If you have an EA you can deploy VMs from specific Marketplace images that are pre-configured with the Azure Hybrid Use Benefit. Without an EA you can upload a custom VM and deploy using a Resource Manager template or Azure PowerShell.

This article explains all and has some useful illustrations http://bit.ly/2lbjIbe.