Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server

Microsoft announce the preview of Azure SQL Database Managed Instance, a new deployment option in SQL Database that streamlines the migration of SQL Server workloads to a fully managed database service in Azure. Interesting from a licensing perspective is that you can use your SQL Server licences with SA to pay a reduced rate on a Managed Instance via the new Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server.

Managed Instances are available in 8, 16, or 24 core flavours and existing on-premises Core licenses with SA can be allocated to these instances to pay the aforementioned reduced rate. SQL Server Standard Core licences cover one virtual core, and SQL Server Enterprise Core licences cover four virtual cores.

So, let’s take a look at The Papaya Hire Company’s existing SQL Server licences to see what SQL Database Managed Instances they could license. They have 16 Standard licences and 8 Enterprise licences – all with SA of course. If we work out the number of virtual cores these licences will cover we get (16 x 1) + (8 x 4) = 48 virtual cores. This means they could choose 6 x 8-core instances, or 3 x 16-core instances, or 2 x 24-core instances, or any combination of those.

If you don’t fancy doing the calculations yourself then you can use the Azure Hybrid Benefit Savings Calculator to do the mathematical heavy lifting. Find that calculator here: http://bit.ly/2pB61XH and don’t forget the usual Azure Pricing Calculator which will allow you to compare pricing for Azure SQL Database Manged Instances with and without applying the Azure Hybrid Benefit: http://bit.ly/AzurePricingCalculator. The Microsoft announcement is also useful for an overview of the features and the licensing and you can find that here: http://bit.ly/2u9SQ4D. If you’re interested in the documentation around the Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server then refer to page 51 of the March 2018 Product Terms document.

Azure Monetary Commitment Changes

There are two changes to the way Azure Monetary Commitment works in an Enterprise Agreement from December 2017.

Historically, Monetary Commitment was an amount paid upfront annually for the Azure consumption services which was decremented as services were used, with any unused Monetary Commitment being forfeited at the end of the year. This remains as an “Annually Prepaid Option” but now there’s a “Fully Prepaid Option” too. Under this option a customer pays for 36 months of Monetary Commitment upfront but the funds are available for the whole of the Enrolment term. This means there are also some changes in the minimum amount of Monetary Commitment required: $3,600 under the Enterprise Enrolment and $36,000 under the Server and Cloud Enrolment.

The second change is the removal of the Consumption Allowance: previously customers with a Direct EA could pay for any Azure overage at anniversary if they remained within the Consumption Allowance (50% of the original Monetary Commitment). Now all new and renewing EA customers will pay for overage on a quarterly basis.

If you want the official wording on the new rules then it’s all on pages 50 and 51 of the December 2017 Product Terms document.

Azure Stack Customer Licensing Guide

Microsoft release an Azure Stack Licensing Guide for end customers. If you want an overview of how Azure Stack is sold and how you can use existing licences to license workloads on Azure Stack then this document is worth a read.

Find it in the Online Services section with the rest of the Microsoft Licensing Guides here: http://bit.ly/MSLicensingGuides.