Harnessing Savings with Microsoft Azure: A Guide to Azure Savings Options

When transitioning to the cloud, businesses often contend with the challenge of managing costs effectively. Microsoft Azure, a prominent cloud service provider, offers a variety of options that allow users to harness significant savings on their cloud computing expenses. These savings go beyond the discounts of reserved and spot instances, offering further opportunities to optimize your Azure expenditure.

Leveraging Existing Licenses: Azure Hybrid Benefit

Designed for organizations that have pre-existing Microsoft licenses in their on-premise data centers, the Azure Hybrid Benefit program presents a cost-saving opportunity. If your organization already has Windows Server or SQL Server licenses in use locally, you can transfer these licenses to the cloud through the “Bring Your Own License” (BYOL) concept.

Why is this beneficial? When you run an Azure VM with Windows or SQL Server, the cost includes Microsoft software licensing. However, if you have existing licenses, you can reduce the VM per-hour cost. This benefit extends to Windows Server VMs, SQL Server VMs, and the Azure SQL Database service.

Additionally, coupling Azure Hybrid Benefit with reserved instances can grant you discounts of up to 85%. Plus, some versions of Windows Server and Microsoft SQL Server brought to Azure are eligible for three years of free security updates without requiring a license extension.

Discounts for Development: Azure Dev/Test Pricing

Developers working on Azure services for testing and development can also avail themselves of considerable discounts. This includes the advantage of running Windows VMs at the same cost as Linux VMs, effectively receiving the Microsoft license free of charge. Moreover, developers can achieve up to 55% savings on Azure SQL Database and up to 50% on Logic Apps, facilitating cost-effective cloud-based BizTalk server processing.

Cost Parity: Azure Price Matching

In a commitment to competitiveness and affordability, Azure pledges to match the cost of comparable services provided by AWS. This price adjustment occurs every three months to align with any AWS price changes.

This price matching promise applies to several services, such as Linux VMs (in comparison with EC2 compute instances), Azure Functions (relative to Amazon Lambda), and Block Blob Storage ZRS HOT / COOL tier (compared to S3 Standard / Standard-Infrequent Access tier).

In conclusion, Azure provides a multitude of ways to save on cloud costs, making it a viable and financially sound choice for businesses. By leveraging the Azure Hybrid Benefit, utilizing the discounts available for development and testing, and making use of Azure’s price matching, organizations can ensure they are operating in a cost-efficient and economically sustainable manner in the cloud.

Rodney Joyce

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