Azure Hybrid Benefit for AKS

Microsoft announce that there will be a new benefit for customers who have Windows Server licenses with active SA or bought as Software Subscriptions through CSP. This is an extension to the Azure Hybrid Benefit and will allow customers to use the Azure Kubernetes Services (AKS) on Windows Server and Azure Stack HCI at no extra cost.

You can find the announcement article here:, and this page has a great diagram explaining all the different flavours of the Azure Hybrid Benefit and how they might work together:

Azure Hybrid Benefit for Azure Stack HCI

Microsoft introduce a new benefit for customers with Windows Server Datacenter licences with SA purchased through an Enterprise Agreement. It’s an extension to the Azure Hybrid Benefit and waives the fees for the Azure Stack HCI host service and Windows Server guest subscriptions, as long as all physical cores of the Azure Stack HCI cluster are licensed with Windows Server Datacenter Core licences.

You can find the announcement article here:, and this is a good place to find out more, such as how the benefit is activated:

Extended Security Updates for Windows Server

Extended Security Updates are critical if you want to continue safely running Windows Server workloads on versions that are out of support. They’re free for customers running Windows Server in Azure and available to purchase through an EA for on-premises workloads.

Servers in Azure receive ESUs by default, and there’s an excellent article here ( on how it works for on-premises servers where it’s not automatic and you need to register your servers.

If you’re running Azure Stack HCI then ESUs are free but you need to turn on Azure Benefits – and this article ( is useful for explaining that process. If you’re new to Extended Security Updates, then this article is a good place to start:

Windows Server Subscriptions for Azure Stack HCI

Azure Stack HCI is a virtualisation platform for Windows and Linux virtual machines, and customers have a choice as to how they license the Windows part of the VMs. Firstly, they can bring their own licences, and there’s no Software Assurance required when Azure Stack HCI is running as an on-premises solution dedicated to the customer.

From 1 April 2022 there’s a new option with the launch of special Windows Server Subscriptions specifically to license the guest (VM) operating systems on Azure Stack HCI. As is usual with Windows Server, you license at the physical core level, and a Windows Server Subscription costs $23.30 per physical core per month, with the first 60 days free.

Find the announcement here:, and a useful page comparing the Windows Server licensing options for Azure Stack HCI here: