Azure VMware solution

Microsoft announce the General Availability of the Azure VMware solution enabling customers to seamlessly move VMware-based workloads from their data centres to Azure and integrate their VMware environment with Azure.

What’s interesting from a licensing perspective is that if customers are running Windows Server and SQL Server workloads then they can use the Azure Hybrid Benefit to reuse existing on-premises licences, and they can also save money on the infrastructure by purchasing Reserved Instances.

Find the announcement here: https://bit.ly/34IRm1H, and information on the solution itself here: https://bit.ly/3ow1DWH.

Private Azure Marketplace

Microsoft announce the public preview of the Private Azure Marketplace.

This tenant level feature is built on top of the Azure Marketplace and enables an administrator to add apps from the Azure Marketplace into the Private Azure Marketplace that comply with their organisation’s policies and standards thus making it easy for users to deploy these pre-approved apps within the organisation.

Note that Microsoft apps are automatically added to the Private Azure Marketplace.

Find the announcement here: https://bit.ly/3ooTofb, and instructions on setting up the Private Azure Marketplace here: https://bit.ly/2J4wUjb.

Azure Cost Management – June 2020 update

Azure Cost Management is constantly evolving to help customers better understand where they’re accruing costs in the cloud, to identify and prevent bad spending patterns, and to optimise costs.

Updates to the tools for June 2020 include more flexibility for budget notifications, the ability to subscribe to active cost recommendations with Advisor digests, and improvements in the transfer of Subscription ownership. There are also some new ways to save money with Azure, as well as some new videos to learn more about Azure Cost Management.

Find the detail on all of these enhancements in the Azure Cost Management June 2020 update here: https://bit.ly/2CRFIGl.

5-year Reservation available for the Azure HBv2 virtual machine

Microsoft announce that a 5-year Reservation is now available for the Azure HBv2 virtual machine. The existing 1 and 3-year Reservations give an estimated 25% and 50% saving on the compute costs of the VM, and the new 5-year Reservation increases savings to approximately 67%.

The announcement (https://bit.ly/32EWfI9) states that terms and conditions are mostly the same as for all other types of Reserved Instances, and page 54 of the July 2020 Product Terms confirms that the early termination fee for a 5-year Reservation is 35%, rather than the usual 12%.

Azure Dedicated Hosts now support additional VM types

Microsoft announce that Azure Dedicated Hosts now support M-series and NV v3 and v4-series virtual machines so that customers can run memory-intensive and graphics-intensive applications.

Find the announcement here: https://bit.ly/2XYnuK3, and the main Azure Dedicated Host page here: http://bit.ly/2KkxB6m which details the full range of VMs supported and has some useful configuration examples.

Control Azure spending and manage bills: Microsoft Learn course

If you want to increase your knowledge around Azure Cost Management then there’s a new Learning Path in Microsoft Learn. Snazzily entitled “Control Azure spending and manage bills with Azure Cost Management + Billing” it consists of three modules: Design for efficiency and operations in Azure, Predict costs and optimize spending for Azure, and Analyze costs and create budgets with Azure Cost Management.

Find this free Learning Path here: https://bit.ly/2ylYh3j.

Azure Cost Management: enhanced budget capabilities

Microsoft announce that budget evaluations in Azure Cost Management now include Reservations and Marketplace purchases rather than just usage information.

Find the announcement here: https://bit.ly/2KWjqDW, some examples on how you might implement the new features here: https://bit.ly/2WgjUtO, and a tutorial on creating budgets here: https://bit.ly/2Whw8lU.

Azure dev/test discounts for Windows Virtual Desktop

Microsoft announce that special discounts are now available for Windows Virtual Desktop used within an Azure dev/test Subscription. Find the announcement here: https://bit.ly/2K0C6Sg. There’s also language added to page 56 of the April 2020 Product Terms document detailing the use rights of Windows Virtual Desktop in dev/test environments. Find the Product Terms documents here: http://bit.ly/MSproductterms.

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.