Expansion of FastTrack for Azure

Microsoft announce that FastTrack for Azure is now available through the Middle East and Africa from 18 March, 2020 (https://bit.ly/3edU5Tn) and through Central and Eastern Europe from 31 March, 2020 (https://bit.ly/2K9djff).

There’s now availability through all Azure regions with just a few exceptions that you can find detailed here: https://bit.ly/2K9djff.

Find out more about FastTrack for Azure here: http://bit.ly/2kriyNO.

Discontinuation of Azure Information Protection Plan 2

Azure Information Protection Plan 2 is being discontinued as a standalone offering. Page 6 of the April 2020 Product Terms document confirms that existing customers will continue to have access to the service for the term of their Subscription, and customers with true-up rights will continue to have the option to true-up for the term of their Enrolment. Find the Product Terms documents here: http://bit.ly/MSproductterms.

Azure Dedicated Host Reservations

The Reservations family continues to grow with one and three years Reservations for Azure Dedicated Host available. Get the overview here: http://bit.ly/2VXbJ7b, understand how the discounts are applied here: http://bit.ly/2IMPUj3, and get pricing here: http://bit.ly/2KkxB6m.

If you want a review of Azure Dedicated Host licensing, then head over to this article on our blog: http://bit.ly/2OJ5Nwx.

Azure Reservations

Azure Reservations help customers to save money when they can make a duration commitment to an Azure service. Typically the duration is one or three years with, of course, the best savings to be made on a three-year commitment.

Today there are sixteen categories of Reservations ranging from Reserved Instances for virtual machines to Reserved Capacity for storage or database services, as well as Software Plans for Red Hat or SUSE Linux. Buying and managing Reservations, and understanding how discounts are applied can be confusing, but there’s some excellent Microsoft documentation available.

Find it here to dip into as you need to, or save it for the weekend and read it end-to-end: http://bit.ly/36W4KgJ.

Using SQL Server on Azure

There’s text added to page 30 of the January 2020 Product Terms document stating that customers must indicate their use of SQL Server on Azure when making use of the Azure Hybrid Benefit or Disaster Recover Rights. For details on how to do this see our blog post: http://bit.ly/2ZB6nwI.

Azure Advisor

Azure Advisor is a free tool which helps you to optimise your Azure resources for high availability, security, performance, and cost by providing free, personalised recommendations based on your usage and configurations. If you’re new to Advisor, find a nice overview video here: http://bit.ly/2KRYT2N. If you want to know more about the ways that Advisor can save you money – for example optimising virtual machine spend by resizing or shutting down underutilised instances, then this is a useful page: http://bit.ly/2ZdW6X0.

Azure Management Portal app

If you’re responsible for the management of Azure resources then you’ll be familiar with the Azure Management Portal. Are you using its baby brother – the Azure mobile app? The idea is that you can keep track of your Azure resources while on-the-go, whether it’s keeping informed of alerts and health issues, or taking corrective action like starting and stopping VMs and web apps.

Find out more with links to download the app here: http://bit.ly/2ZcEdf9.

Predict costs and optimise spending for Azure: Microsoft Learn Course

There are some useful tools available in Azure to help customers to get a better understanding of cloud spend which can be leveraged for significant cost savings. To get an overview of these tools and some great best practice tips and tricks for saving on infrastructure and licensing costs, then the “Predict costs and optimise spending for Azure” course from Microsoft Learn is a productive way to spend an hour and a quarter. Find this free course here: http://bit.ly/33zHHHU.