Extended Security Updates

Windows Server 2012/2012 R2 and SQL Server 2012 are now out of support but it’s possible to purchase Extended Security Updates licences to receive security updates for a further three years for these products. The idea of ESUs isn’t new, but what IS new is that 1-year ESUs are now available through CSP (rather than just an EA/EES) and there’s a new PAYG option for ESUs through Azure Arc. This is a great page to learn more: https://bit.ly/3QBfgnn, and to get links to further information.

Azure Container Apps now eligible for Azure Savings Plan discounts

Microsoft announce that Azure Container Apps are now eligible for Azure Savings Plan discounts. Customers able to commit to a 1-year plan can expect savings of 15%, and 17% for a 3-year plan, compared to Pay-As-You-Go costs. You can find the announcement here: https://bit.ly/40oG9P3, and a reminder of how Azure Savings Plans work on our blog here: https://bit.ly/3tQVCe9.

Teams Essentials and Teams Phone bundle offers

Microsoft announce promotional pricing for Teams Essentials and Teams Phone bundles for customers in the US, Canada, and the UK. Organisations can choose Teams Essentials with just Teams Phone Standard, or with a Domestic or International Calling Plan, or PAYG calling. Equally, customers could choose to add these Teams Phone options on to their existing Teams Essentials licences at a promotional price. Find the announcement here: https://bit.ly/3QidSXf, and details of the promotional offers here: https://bit.ly/3rKyDjZ.

Reservation utilisation alerts

Reservations are a great way of saving money in Azure if you can commit to a 1-year or 3-year term for services such as virtual machine compute. However, savings are only made if the Reservations are used, stopping Pay-As-You-Go charges. Administrators have historically been able to view utilisation rates in the Azure Management Portal, but there’s now a new alert feature which sends an email whenever a Reservation exhibits low utilisation.

See the announcement article here: https://bit.ly/3qZSxah, and find information on how to set these alerts up here: https://bit.ly/44ocFRN.

SQL Server 2022 licensing

There’s a new SQL Server 2022 Licensing Guide (http://bit.ly/3OeDYqT) and Datasheet (http://bit.ly/3V0dETI), and the Product Terms is also updated (http://bit.ly/3prduoo) for SQL Server 2022. Here are the key licensing changes to be aware of:

  • Licensing by virtual machine with Core licenses is now an SA/Software Subscription benefit
  • When licensing by virtual machine a customer can run SQL Server in any number of containers in the virtual machine
  • Customers with active SA/Software Subscriptions may now use Azure SQL Managed Instance as their preferred fail-over server option in Azure for disaster recovery

SQL Server 2022 licenses with SA or purchased as Software Subscriptions are also eligible for the Flexible Virtualization Benefit, introduced in October 2022, enabling customers to use their licences with any Authorized Outsourcer’s shared hardware. Find the Flexible Virtualization Benefit Licensing Guide here: http://bit.ly/3hGOJ9l.

And finally, there’s the new PAYG option where customers can pay for SQL Server on a consumption basis from $0.1 per hour for a Standard Core, and $0.375 for an Enterprise Core for Azure Arc-enabled servers. Find out more about how that all works here: http://bit.ly/3Arq2UP.

SQL Server 2022 is generally available

Microsoft announce that SQL Server 2022 is generally available. Volume Licensing customers can download it immediately, and customers purchasing via CSP, OEM, and SPLA will be able to begin purchasing SQL Server 2022 in January 2023. This announcement article (http://bit.ly/3GmU8ww) gives lots of detail on the new features, as well as introducing a new PAYG purchasing model for SQL Server. The new licensing model is enabled by Azure Arc, and allows customers using either Standard or Enterprise edition to pay only when they use SQL Server.

Find out more about how it all works in this article: http://bit.ly/3Arq2UP.

Preview of PAYG option for Power Automate

Microsoft announce that the preview for the PAYG option for Power Automate is now available.

This means that rather than paying $15 per user every month (regardless of whether they run any flows) or $100 per flow every month (regardless of whether the flow is run), customers can choose to simply incur charges of $0.60 each time a cloud flow or attended desktop flow is run, or $3 when an unattended desktop flow is run.

As with many of the other new PAYG options, these flow consumption charges are associated with a nominated Azure Subscription.

You can find the announcement here: https://bit.ly/3czvxry, a useful set of docs articles here: https://bit.ly/3SCC6u8, and the pricing page here: https://bit.ly/3ooVJb2.

Future Power Automate PAYG option

Microsoft announce the ability for ISVs to embed Power Automate inside of a SaaS application, and the future option to use a Pay-As-You-Go meter to support these embedded scenarios. We’ll hear more in July 2022 at the time of the Microsoft Inspire conference. In the meantime, find the announcement here: https://bit.ly/3x3yzLs.

General Availability of Capacity Reservations

Microsoft announce the General Availability of Capacity Reservations for virtual machines.

A Capacity Reservation is linked to a specific virtual machine type running in a specific Azure data centre and ensures that there is always capacity available when you want to run a virtual machine of that type in that data centre.

They are priced the same as the Pay-As-You-Go prices for the VM, and if you have a matching Reserved Instance, that will automatically be applied to cover the charges of the Capacity Reservation.

Find the announcement here: https://bit.ly/3kiL53J, and a video explaining this new option here: https://bit.ly/3LFqVNr.

Power Platform Licensing Guide

There’s an updated (March 2022) Power Platform Licensing Guide, amended for the General Availability of the Pay-As-You-Go option for Power Apps.

You can find out more about this licensing option on our blog here: https://bit.ly/3Dme1R1, and download the updated guide here: https://bit.ly/3tni4rJ.