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.

Azure Services Available in CSP

Not all Azure services are yet available in CSP and if you want to check exact availability then here’s a useful article to peruse: http://bit.ly/2q8aTmy. It covers availability of the general Azure services, as well as what can be purchased through the Visual Studio Marketplace and charged to a CSP account, and which Azure Marketplace items are available in CSP Subscriptions.

Azure for Students

Microsoft announce Azure for Students. This plan, aimed at university students, gives users a Subscription with $100 of Azure credit and access to certain Azure services for free. This includes 750 hours of Azure B1S General Purpose VMs for Windows Server or Linux, and 5GB of LRS-Hot Blob Storage. The Subscription lasts for 12 months or until the free credit is all used, and then students need to upgrade to a paid Subscription within 90 days to continue using their resources.

There’s also an Azure for Students Starter plan aimed at secondary school students which includes access to some Azure services but no free credit.

Find the Microsoft announcement here: http://bit.ly/2pDbfSD and a useful FAQ here: http://bit.ly/2IRTFlW which covers available services, eligibility criteria and some other useful FAQs on Azure for Students. The corresponding FAQ for Azure for Students Starter is here: http://bit.ly/2IOQSKk.

Microsoft Azure Regions

Microsoft announce an expansion of their cloud services in Europe and the Middle East with new data centres planned for Switzerland (Switzerland North and Switzerland West) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE North and UAE Central).

In addition, Azure and Office 365 are now available in the new French data centres with Dynamics 365 following in early 2019. And finally, two new data centres in Germany (Germany West Central and Germany North) are planned for Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics 365, to complement the existing offerings available through the Microsoft Cloud Germany.

Find the announcement here: http://bit.ly/2pGq3PQ.