Windows Virtual Desktop on Azure

Microsoft announce Windows Virtual Desktop, which will allow customers to run a full Windows 10 desktop that’s optimised for Office 365 ProPlus, delivered on Azure. Access to Windows Virtual Desktop will be included in the following User SLs: Microsoft 365 E3, E5 or F1, and Windows 10 E3 or E5, with the only additional costs being storage and compute consumption from the virtual machines themselves.

The service will be in preview soon – use this page to stay up to date: http://bit.ly/2zQJD22, and find the original announcement here: http://bit.ly/2xYfHzo.

Switching an Azure CSP Subscription to another Partner

If a customer has bought Azure services through a CSP partner then there’s an Azure Subscription set up and charging for the consumed services is done via the partner. However, can an Azure Subscription be switched from one partner to another if need be? It can indeed – it’s not a particularly elegant process involving a form and action required from both partners and the customer, but if you need to do it you can find instructions here: http://bit.ly/2PxC19J.

How Azure Reservations work with Azure SQL Database

Azure Reservations for the Azure SQL Database service became available earlier in August 2018 (see our blog post here: http://bit.ly/2KROzpp). If you want to understand more about how the reservation discount is applied automatically to running Azure SQL Databases then this is a useful article: http://bit.ly/2vX61UR.

Azure Marketplace Invoicing

Third-party services purchased through the Azure Marketplace are typically invoiced separately in an Enterprise Agreement, outside of Monetary Commitment. From 1 March, 2018 there were some Linux Support options and Linux virtual machines that were changed to consume Monetary Commitment.

Find the announcement and list of relevant services here: http://bit.ly/2Nn74Ed.

Managing Azure Reservations

You can buy an Azure Reservation to save money on the infrastructure charges (compute) for virtual machines or Azure SQL Databases. After purchase you can make adjustments to that reservation: change the Subscription it applies to, split a single reservation into two reservations, add or change users who can manage a reservation, and optimise for VM size flexibility or capacity priority.

Find a useful article with instructions here: http://bit.ly/2PnMOUC.

Azure SQL Database Reserved Capacity

Microsoft announce the General Availability of Azure SQL Database Reserved Capacity for single and elastic pool databases. If you’re familiar with Reserved Instances for virtual machines, then this is the same kind of thing for the Azure SQL Database service. Essentially, you can save money by prepaying for SQL Database vCores for a one or three-year term. In addition, you can bring your own SQL Server licences (either via active SA or the new Server Subscriptions) for an even more cost-effective solution.

SQL Database Reserved Capacity shares other similarities with Reserved Instances too: a Reservation can be assigned to either a single Azure Subscription or shared, and there’s vCore Size Flexibility as well where the Reservation can be applied dynamically to any databases and elastic pools within a performance tier and region.

To find out more, find the Microsoft announcement here: http://bit.ly/2vJP2oZ and information on how to buy Reservations here: http://bit.ly/2P8Pjdp.

Azure Monetary Commitment Overage Payments

Microsoft make changes to when customers are invoiced for overage on their Azure Monetary Commitment. Historically, this has been quarterly or annually, dependent on agreement type, which was changed to quarterly for all customer and agreement types in December 2017. Now all overage will be charged at the end of each month.

See page 50 of the May 2018 Product Terms for the official wording.

Azure Reserved Instances and Server Subscriptions

Microsoft announce that Reserved Instances are immediately available through the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program and that Server Subscriptions will be available in the near future. These two offerings will be perfect partners since they will allow customers to enjoy the very best prices for virtual machines running in Azure.

Reserved Instances are a way for customers to pay for the compute part of a virtual machine and Server Subscriptions for Windows Server and SQL Server will enable customers to acquire a subscription for the software to run in their virtual machines. Both offerings are paid for upfront for a 1 or 3-year term, and used together may enable customers to save up to 80% compared to the price of an equivalent virtual machine paid for on a consumption basis.

There are plenty of resources available if you want to find out more and this page (http://bit.ly/2jYx23P) includes links to an FAQ, an overview presentation, a webinar and a sales sheet. It’s definitely worth a look!

Understanding Reserved Instance Pre-Payment

If you’re running full-time virtual machines in Azure then pre-paying for the compute power via an Azure Reserved Instance is a good way of saving money. The pre-paid amount is automatically applied to your running virtual machines and if you want to find out more about how this (apparently magic) process works, then this article is worth a read: http://bit.ly/2HKvLsA.