Azure Reservations for the Azure SQL Database service became available earlier in August 2018 (see our blog post here: http://bit.ly/2KROzpp). If you want to understand more about how the reservation discount is applied automatically to running Azure SQL Databases then this is a useful article: http://bit.ly/2vX61UR.
Third-party services purchased through the Azure Marketplace are typically invoiced separately in an Enterprise Agreement, outside of Monetary Commitment. From 1 March, 2018 there were some Linux Support options and Linux virtual machines that were changed to consume Monetary Commitment.
Find the announcement and list of relevant services here: http://bit.ly/2Nn74Ed.
You can buy an Azure Reservation to save money on the infrastructure charges (compute) for virtual machines or Azure SQL Databases. After purchase you can make adjustments to that reservation: change the Subscription it applies to, split a single reservation into two reservations, add or change users who can manage a reservation, and optimise for VM size flexibility or capacity priority.
Find a useful article with instructions here: http://bit.ly/2PnMOUC.
This not-too-long guide from Microsoft might be useful if you’re starting to think about taking Windows Server workloads to Azure. It outlines possible benefits, how to decide whether to migrate or extend a server farm, and of course the cost savings associated with the Azure Hybrid Benefit. Find it here: http://bit.ly/2KZtwCp.
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.
We’ve found some more Academic Program Guides and added them to our Licensing Guides emporium. Find a September 2017 Academic Select Plus guide, an August 2015 Academic Open guide, and a March 2017 School Enrollment guide here: http://bit.ly/MSLicensingGuides.
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 Reserved Instances first became available in November 2017 as a cost-effective way to purchase base instance virtual machines.
If you’ve got a question or two as to how these work, then the FAQ at the bottom of this page (http://bit.ly/2fV95bC) is worth a read.
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.
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.