Azure Reservations

Azure Reservations are a way of pre-paying for an Azure resource over a one or three-year term to get the most cost-effective pricing. The Reservations family continues to grow: it started with Reserved Instances, a way of pre-paying for Azure virtual machine base compute, and was extended with Reserved Capacity, a way of pre-paying for Azure SQL Database compute capacity. Today the family also includes Software Reservations for SUSE Linux software, and Reserved Capacity for Azure Cosmos DB throughput.

This page (http://bit.ly/2Q3vm7J) gives you an overview of Reservations and if you expand the “Buy a reservation” link at the left you can get details on the current four members of the Reservations family.

Windows Virtual Desktop on Azure

Microsoft announce Windows Virtual Desktop, which will allow customers to run a full Windows 10 desktop that’s optimised for Office 365 ProPlus, delivered on Azure. Access to Windows Virtual Desktop will be included in the following User SLs: Microsoft 365 E3, E5 or F1, and Windows 10 E3 or E5, with the only additional costs being storage and compute consumption from the virtual machines themselves.

The service will be in preview soon – use this page to stay up to date: http://bit.ly/2zQJD22, and find the original announcement here: http://bit.ly/2xYfHzo.

How Azure Reservations work with Azure SQL Database

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.

Azure Marketplace Invoicing

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.

Managing Azure Reservations

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.

The Ultimate Guide to Windows Server on Azure

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.

Azure SQL Database Reserved Capacity

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.

To find out more, find the Microsoft announcement here: http://bit.ly/2vJP2oZ and information on how to buy Reservations here: http://bit.ly/2P8Pjdp.

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.