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Save Money with Azure VMs by Using Azure Hybrid Use Benefit

Traditionally Windows VMs (virtual machines) in Azure would include a Windows Server Datacenter license.  The cost of this license was built into the hourly/monthly fee for that VM.  This made systems easy to roll out using the GUI wizards and made licensing a cinch.  If you are moving existing virtual machine workloads to the cloud, this can be expensive since you paying again for licenses you’ve already purchased.

According to their new announcement, Microsoft says “now you can move your existing Windows Server licenses to Azure when you extend your datacenter to the cloud. With the Azure Hybrid Use Benefit, you can use on-premises Windows Server licenses that include Software Assurance to run Windows Server virtual machines in Azure at the base compute rate.”

With this new option, new VMs can be up to 40% less expensive as long as you are providing the proper licensing.  So the big question: What is the proper licensing?  The new Azure Hybrid Use Benefit requires Windows Server licensing with SA (Software Assurance).  In case you’re not familiar with it, Software Assurance can only be attached to one of Microsoft’s volume licensing models.  So this is not for servers running retail or OEM licensing.

For every 2 processor/16-core Windows Server volume license with SA, Azure Hybrid Use Benefit allows you to run either a single VM with 16 cores; or two VMs with 8 cores each.

To make use of this benefit, either:

  • Upload your own custom Windows Server image to Azure
  • Migrate an existing VM using ASR (Azure Site Recovery)
  • Build a new VM from the Azure Marketplace
    Use your own SA licensing when building a new Azure VM

For more information, see Microsoft’s announcement Save up to 40 percent on Windows Server virtual machines with the Azure Hybrid Use Benefit

About the author

Robert Borges

About Robert...

I have been in the IT industry since 1993 focusing mainly in networking. Though I got an early start as an amateur computer enthusiast, and wrote my first database app at age 12, I started my professional career working in the MIS department of one of the largest liquor distributors in the northeast. I started out there as a systems operator on the company’s two mainframe systems. From there I moved into PC support, and help design and implement the company’s first client-server network… This was back in the days of Win NT 3.51. I also worked on my first migration to NT 4.0 back then.

From there I went on to work with Novell 3.x and 4.x along with Windows domains and active directory environments. Working my way up from technician, to specialist, to administrator, and eventually all the way up to Sr. Engineer. I spent many years working for consulting firms, 9 of which I owned and operated my own firm.
Over the years, I have worked with (at an expert level) various versions of: Windows client and server operating systems (including Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2);various virtualization technologies (Hyper-V, Virtual Server, Virtual PC, VMware, etc…); MS-SQL server 6.5- 2008 R2; Exchange 4-2010, and much more.

I am now Director of Information Systems at Bay State Integrated Technology focusing on cloud computing and IT service, with expertise in: IT Infrastructure & Architecture, IT Security, and Cloud Computing platforms & technologies (SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS).

I am in a constant state of learning about new products, and new versions of products. Many of which we end up implementing in lab environments and sometimes for our clients. I have a pretty broad range of expertise and experience. It is my goal to share some of this experience on this blog to help enrich the IT community.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.robertborges.us/2017/06/windows/save-money-with-azure-vms-by-using-azure-hybrid-use-benefit/