Microsoft Azure provides a rich range of services. The most popular service available is Virtual Machines that allow you to run your infrastructure in the cloud. This offers a wide range of benefits and cost savings but one of the most overlooked costs in Windows Server licenses.

When you buy a virtual machine, you must have an operating system on the server to use it successfully. There are a few options available, but Windows Server is the main one. The cost of a windows server license for each virtual machine (VM) you run quickly adds up and is regularly forgotten when considering the move to the cloud.

Luckily there are a couple of options that can save anywhere from 80% to 100% of the cost of the Windows Server license.

Azure Hybrid Benefits

Azure Hybrid Benefits allows users with existing Windows Server licenses on-premise to use these licenses in Azure. In order to qualify you need to have an active software assurance agreement.

It is also worth noting that each VM requires a license and Azure. There are some rules around what license you have and how many servers/cores it can be used across.

For example, an Azure VM such as a D8v4 VM (8 vCPU 32GB) for Windows Server licenses would cost £2402.64 per annum. If you qualified for Azure Hybrid Benefits this would be free.

Licensing through CSP

Another option available for Windows Server licenses that allows you to save a significant amount of money is buying your license via a CSP. A CSP or Cloud Solution Provider is a company that is certified by Microsoft to sell licenses. They can provide a wide range of services, expertise and get access to preferential rates via Microsoft. Buying your Windows Server licenses through CSP offers significant savings.

For example, looking at the same VM a D8v4 (8 vCPU 32GB) as already mentioned a one-year Windows Server license is £2402.64 for this VM. Via CSP you can get this for £278. That’s a saving of almost 90% and over £2000 per annum.

Using this method for one of our customers with 15 VM’s we managed to save them £62,000 per annum.

Windows Server, the forgotten cloud cost but a critical factor that can easily have a huge impact on return on investment. There are several things you can do to reduce your costs by taking advantage of the routes discussed above. If you would like a quote or to find out how you could improve your Azure costs, please contact us today.