If you’re running full-time virtual machines in Azure then pre-paying for the compute power via an Azure Reserved Instance is a good way of saving money. The pre-paid amount is automatically applied to your running virtual machines and if you want to find out more about how this (apparently magic) process works, then this article is worth a read: http://bit.ly/2HKvLsA.
Microsoft announce Azure Reserved VM Instances (RIs). There’s no word on launch date, but customers will be able to make big savings on Azure virtual machines by committing to 1 or 3 year terms for a particular VM type in a particular Azure region.
There will be flexibility for customers too with the ability to cancel the RI, or exchange it for another VM type in another data centre. Scott Guthrie’s blog post is here (see second to last paragraph): http://bit.ly/2ybA0dZ, and there’s useful information on azure.com too: http://bit.ly/2fV95bC.