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.
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.
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.
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.
The Azure Hybrid Use Benefit datasheet is updated to cover both Windows Server 2012 R2 Processor-based licences and Windows Server 2016 Core licences, as well as for the availability of Windows Server images that can be chosen to deploy a VM with this benefit.
Find this datasheet in the Core Infrastructure section of our Licensing Guides emporium: http://bit.ly/MSLicensingGuides.
Microsoft announce that from 1 February 2017 new customers will not be able to buy Azure consumption services through the MPSA, but confirm that existing customers are unaffected.
Advice to partners is that they should recommend the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) channel for any new pay-as-you-go Azure customers going forward.
Read the blog post here: http://bit.ly/2j0dACN.
The Azure Cost Estimator is now deprecated (http://bit.ly/AzureCostEstimator).
What are your alternatives to get estimated pricing for Azure? The public Azure Pricing Calculator (http://bit.ly/AzurePricingCalculator) is a good option or, if you’re a Microsoft partner, then you can request access to the Azure Channel Calculator (http://bit.ly/AzureChannelCalculator).
Want to know where the Microsoft Azure data centres are and what services are available in what region?
This is a useful page showing the current 30 regions including the two newest UK ones: http://bit.ly/2cIXMTG.
Microsoft announce that Azure Active Directory Premium P2 is generally available from 15 September 2016: http://bit.ly/2d4ZJvV.
Azure AD Premium P2 includes all the capabilities of Azure AD Premium P1 as well as the new Azure AD Identity Protection and Azure AD Privileged Identity Management services.
This page is a good resource if you want to compare the services available in the P1 and P2 plans as well as AD Free and Basic editions: http://bit.ly/2cjdExc.
The new P2 plan will also be part of the Enterprise Mobility + Security E5 plan: http://bit.ly/29Cc0Er.
Microsoft announce that Azure RemoteApp is to be retired: new purchases will end as of 1 October, 2016 and the service will finally be wound down on 31 August, 2017. The recommended alternative is the Citrix XenApp “express” solution, or perhaps using Remote Desktop Services deployed on Azure virtual machines.
Read the full Microsoft announcement here: http://bit.ly/2aUsXNg.