One thing people always forget about when looking at Azure is the fact that the IaaS services such as Virtual Machines (VMs) require software to run on them, such as Windows or SQL server.

The cost of this software is regularly overlooked and can be a cause of friction when moving to the cloud. Enter Azure Hybrid Benefits.

What is Azure Hybrid Benefits?

Azure Hybrid Benefit is a cost-savings benefit that lets you bring your existing on-premises licenses to Azure. Meaning you do not have to pay for a new license for SQL or Windows Server on Azure. This lets you save money and provides a great incentive to move from on-premise to the cloud.

Additionally, Azure Hybrid Benefit provides 180 days of dual-use rights so you can maintain your on-premises operation while migrating to Azure. After the 180 days you will only be allowed to use the license in either on-premise or Azure.

How much could I save with Azure Hybrid Benefits?

Azure products are charged per hour, and this is normally for compute or storage but will normally include a license charge if you need it that can easily make up a large percentage of the total cost.

For example, a Windows Server license for a 2 core VM on Azure is £50 per month, so £600 per annum and this cost applies to each VM. In this case the total monthly cost of the VM is £318, so the license cost represents 15%. With even small organisations running 10+ VMs you can easily ramp up costs of £6000 per annum and more.

On Microsoft’s Azure Hybrid Benefits site they quote a 50% saving for Windows Server and a 85% saving for SQL Server.

Who can access Azure Hybrid Benefits?

Customers with an existing on-premises Windows Server or SQL server license with an active Software Assurance.

These include:

  • Windows Server Datacenter edition with Software Assurance.
  • Windows Server Standard edition with Software Assurance.
  • SQL Server Enterprise Edition core licenses with Software Assurance or qualifying subscription licenses.
  • SQL Server Standard Edition core licenses with Software Assurance or qualifying subscription licenses.

If you don’t have Software Assurance, it’s available for purchase with new licenses at list prices or with qualifying subscription licenses.

What Azure products can you cover with Azure Hybrid Benefits?

You can apply your Azure Hybrid benefits to any of the following products. This can be for either new or existing.

  • Azure Virtual machines
  • SQL on Azure
  • Azure Dedicated host

To find out more about if you qualify for Azure Hybrid Benefits, please contact us and one of our expert Azure license consultants will be in touch.

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