End of Azure support plan offer

Customers buying their Azure services through an Enterprise Agreement or via the MCA-E have long been eligible for free Azure Standard Support, but Microsoft announce that this offer is coming to an end on 30 June, 2024. After that time, customers will need to purchase one of the paid-for support plans.

Find the announcement here: https://bit.ly/4cASdBh (search for “Azure support”), and details of the available support plans here: https://bit.ly/44i3x1h.

Azure Standard Support plan offer extended

Customers buying their Azure services through an Enterprise Agreement or via the MCA-E have long been eligible for a free 12-month Azure Standard Support plan, and Microsoft confirm that this offer will be extended from 1 July, 2023 to 31 December, 2023.

Find the announcement here: https://bit.ly/3JA2cuD, terms of the offer here: https://bit.ly/3CTFrhq, and a useful comparison of all the Azure Support plans here: https://bit.ly/44i3x1h.

Microsoft Azure Customer Solution Licensing Brief

There’s an updated (March 2023) Microsoft Azure Customer Solution Licensing Brief. There’s just one change of note – confirmation that if you’re an on-premises hoster you can use the Azure services under your own agreement to protect the on-premises servers with Microsoft Defender for Cloud. The table on page 3 is updated, and an extra FAQ is added on page 5. Find this updated guide here: http://bit.ly/3U6VNLz.

Microsoft Azure Customer Solution VL Brief

There’s an updated (April 2022) Microsoft Azure Customer Solution VL Brief. This is a useful document detailing the rules for ISVs when creating customer solutions built on Azure: essentially, ISVs should purchase the Azure services through an EA or (and this is the addition to this new document version) direct from Microsoft via the Microsoft Customer Agreement. Partners intending to just resell the Azure services should use the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program.

Find this updated document here: https://bit.ly/39sdBgW.

Azure VMware solution

Microsoft announce the General Availability of the Azure VMware solution enabling customers to seamlessly move VMware-based workloads from their data centres to Azure and integrate their VMware environment with Azure.

What’s interesting from a licensing perspective is that if customers are running Windows Server and SQL Server workloads then they can use the Azure Hybrid Benefit to reuse existing on-premises licences, and they can also save money on the infrastructure by purchasing Reserved Instances.

Find the announcement here: https://bit.ly/34IRm1H, and information on the solution itself here: https://bit.ly/3ow1DWH.

15 ways to optimise your Azure costs

There are lots of different ways to optimise costs in Azure, but this list is great to remind you of the basics (Reservations, Azure Hybrid Benefit etc) as well as newer options specific to running SQL in Azure, or using Azure Backup solutions.

Find the full list here: https://bit.ly/2J7pVWR.

Azure Monetary Commitment is now Azure prepayment

Azure Monetary Commitment is the upfront payment an Enterprise Agreement customer makes for use of the Azure consumption services, which is then decremented on a monthly basis as the services are used. This is now renamed to Azure prepayment but there are no other changes in terms of how it works. Find the Azure prepayment section starting on page 53 of the July 2020 Product Terms, and download the document itself here: http://bit.ly/MSproductterms.

Control Azure spending and manage bills: Microsoft Learn course

If you want to increase your knowledge around Azure Cost Management then there’s a new Learning Path in Microsoft Learn. Snazzily entitled “Control Azure spending and manage bills with Azure Cost Management + Billing” it consists of three modules: Design for efficiency and operations in Azure, Predict costs and optimize spending for Azure, and Analyze costs and create budgets with Azure Cost Management.

Find this free Learning Path here: https://bit.ly/2ylYh3j.

Azure Cost Management: preventing unexpected charges

If you want a good overview of how you can prevent unexpected charges for the Azure services then this article has some useful information: https://bit.ly/2WiZcte. It’s a 12 minute read with the following sections: getting estimated costs, monitoring costs, optimising and reducing costs, and analysing unexpected charges.