Azure Purchase FAQ

 In which countries/regions is Azure commercially available?

Azure is commercially available in the following 89 countries/regions: Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Korea, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia (FYRO), Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

 What currencies can be used to purchase Azure?

The following currencies will be used for these countries/regions: Algeria $ USD, Argentina ARS, Australia $ AUD, Austria € EUR, Azerbaijan $ USD, Bahrain $ USD, Belarus $ USD, Belgium € EUR, Bulgaria € EUR, Canada $ CAD, Chile $ USD, Colombia $ USD, Costa Rica $ USD, Cyprus € EUR, Czech Republic € EUR, Denmark kr DKK, Dominican Rep. $ USD, Ecuador $ USD, Egypt $ USD, El Salvador $ USD, Estonia € EUR, Finland € EUR, France € EUR, Germany € EUR, Greece € EUR, Guatemala $ USD, Hungary € EUR, Iceland € EUR, Indonesia IDR, Ireland € EUR, Israel $ USD, Italy € EUR, Japan ¥ JPY, Jordan $ USD, Kazakhstan $ USD, Kenya $ USD, Korea KRW, Kuwait $ USD, Latvia € EUR, Liechtenstein CHF, Lithuania € EUR, Luxemburg € EUR, Macedonia (FYRO) $ USD, Malta € EUR, Montenegro $ USD, Morocco $ USD, Netherlands € EUR, New Zealand $ NZD, Nigeria $ USD, Norway kr NOK, Oman $ USD, Pakistan $ USD, Panama $ USD, Paraguay $ USD, Peru $USD, Philippines $ USD, Poland € EUR, Portugal € EUR, Puerto Rico $ USD, Qatar $ USD, Romania € EUR, Russia RUB, Saudi Arabia SAR, Serbia $ USD, Singapore $ USD, Slovakia € EUR, Slovenia € EUR, South Africa ZAR, Spain € EUR, Sri Lanka $ USD, Sweden kr SEK, Switzerland Fr CHF, Taiwan TWD, Thailand $ USD, Trinidad and Tobago $ USD, Tunisia $ USD, Turkey TRY, United Arib Emirates $ USD, Ukraine $ USD, United Kingdom £ GBP, United States $ USD, Uruguay $ USD, and Venezuela $ USD.

 Can I try Azure for free, without any risk of being charged?

Yes. With our new Spending Limit feature, customers who sign up for a Free Trial, MSDN or Cloud Essentials offer can utilize Azure without any fear of getting charged as long as they keep the Spending Limit feature turned on.

 If I turn off the Spending Limit can I turn it back on?

For the initial release of this feature, once you turn off the Spending Limit feature, it cannot be re-enabled.

 Can I adjust the amount of the Spending Limit?

For the initial release of this feature, the Spending Limit is set at $0 and cannot be adjusted. It is designed to enable customers on our Free Trial, MSDN and Cloud Essentials offers to utilize Azure with complete assurance of not being billed.

 How do I optimize my Azure applications around billing charges?

There are several ways to optimize your Azure applications:

  • Deploy two or more instances to qualify for the SLA
  • Allocate a compute instance of the right size as per the applications requirements
  • Make use of our free inbound data transfers to upload data to Azure
  • Allocate compute and storage in the same region. All data transfers within a sub region are free
  • Use Content Distribution Network (CDN) to reduce cost and improve performance
  • Delete your test application immediately after your test concludes. Azure staging environment is not free. Whenever an application is deployed (even in staging), you will get charged. You can also deploy the application locally using the Azure SDK until you are comfortable deploying to production.
  • Allocate the right sized SQL Database based on your needs.
 I have server licenses. Can I transfer them to Azure and run them on Virtual Machines?

Yes, through license mobility if you have SA you can "bring-your-own-license" for all Virtual Machines supported server products except Windows Server.

 Are Azure and SQL Database available through SPLA?

There are currently no plans to offer Azure or SQL Database through SPLA.

 What is the Azure SLA agreement?

Azure has separate SLA’s for compute and storage. For Cloud Services, we guarantee that when you deploy two or more role instances in different fault and upgrade domains your Internet facing roles will have external connectivity at least 99.95% of the time. Additionally, we will monitor all of your individual role instances and guarantee that 99.9% of the time we will detect within two minutes when a role instance’s process is not running and initiate corrective.

For Storage, we guarantee that at least 99.9% of the time we will successfully process correctly formatted requests that we receive to add, update, read and delete data. We also guarantee that your storage accounts will have connectivity to our Internet gateway.

For CDN, we guarantee that the cached objects will be delivered with 99.9% availability on a monthly basis.

For SQL Database, we will maintain a "Monthly Availability" of 99.9% during a calendar month.

For Service Bus, we guarantee that at least 99.9% of the time Service Bus customers will have connectivity between a customer’s service endpoint and our Internet gateway; when our service fails to establish a connection from the gateway to a customer's service endpoint, then the service is assumed to be unavailable.

For Access Control, we guarantee that at least 99.9% of the time customers will have connectivity between the Access Control endpoints and our Internet gateway.

For Caching, we guarantee at least 99.9% of the time that customers will have connectivity between the Caching endpoints and our Internet gateway. In order to qualify for the SLA credit, customers must deploy at least two instances of their application.

For SQL Reporting we guarantee that at least 99.9% of the time your SQL Reporting instance will be available to upload, execute or delete reports.

Refer to our SLA page for the latest details

 What are the Azure SLA Credits?

Azure SLA Credits are calculated as a percentage of the bill for that service in the month the SLA was missed and then applied to the next month’s bill. Details are as below:

  • Compute connectivity: 10% credit if we fall below 99.95%, 25% credit if we fall below 99%.
  • Compute role Instance Monitoring: 10% credit if we fall below 99.9%, 25% credit if we fall below 99%.
  • Storage: 10% credit if we fall below 99.9%, 25% credit if we fall below 99%.
  • Content Delivery Network (CDN):10% below 99.9% monthly; 25% below 99.5%.
  • SQL Reporting:10% below 99.9% monthly; 25% below 99.5%.
  • In order to qualify for the SLA credit, customers must deploy at least two instances of their application.
 How will the Cloud Services, Storage, SQL Database, Caching, Service Bus, Access Control, and SQL Reporting SLA agreements work with current on-premises Microsoft licensing agreements?

Cloud Services, Storage, SQL Database, Caching, Service Bus, Access Control, and SQL Reporting are independent of our on-premises Microsoft licensing agreements. Our SLAs for Azure provide you a monthly uptime guarantee for those services you consume in the cloud, with SLA credits against what we have billed you in the event we fail to meet the guarantee.

 How do we know in advance about service downtime for planned maintenance?

Azure is designed to avoid downtime for customer applications, storage and service management capability during maintenance activities on the Azure platform. Our availability commitment applies to customer applications which use a minimum of two role instances. Customers with single instance applications can learn about Azure best practices for mitigating downtime by reading this MSDN article entry. The Azure SLA is documented here.

In the event of an unplanned service disruption on the Azure Platform, status updates will be made on our service dashboard page.

 What will be the VAT rate charged for Azure purchases in the EU?

For VAT purposes, sales of Azure are regarded as the supply of services from Ireland and the place of supply, e.g., where the VAT liability arises, depends on where the customer is located and the VAT status of the customer. Such sales are subject to the following VAT rules:

  • If the customer is located in Ireland and does not hold a VAT 13B exemption certificate, Irish VAT at the current rate of 23% will be applied to all invoices. VAT exempt Irish customers will be invoiced at 0% Irish VAT on receipt by Microsoft Ireland Operations Limited of a valid customer VAT 13B Certificate.
  • If the customer is located outside Ireland but within the EU and is VAT registered, 0% Irish VAT will be applied under the reverse charge procedure but only on receipt of the customer’s valid local VAT number during the purchase process.
  • If the customer is located outside Ireland but within the EU and is not VAT registered or is VAT registered but does not provide Microsoft Ireland Operations Limited with a valid VAT number during the purchase process, Irish VAT at the current rate of 23% will be applied.
  • If the customer is located outside the EU (except Switzerland and Liechtenstein), 0% Irish VAT will be applied.
  • If the customer is located in Switzerland or Liechtenstein, Swiss VAT at the current rate of 8% will be applied.
  • If no VAT number is provided during the purchase process, VAT will be charged as set out above and will appear on each invoice as appropriate. To amend and get a VAT ID added, contact customer support
  • Note: Any Irish or Swiss VAT applied may be recoverable from the appropriate tax authority, subject to conditions. Please contact your tax adviser, if required.
 Does Azure support IPv6?

Microsoft has played a leading role in helping customers to smoothly transition from IPv4 to IPv6 for the past several years. To date, Microsoft has built IPv6 support into many of its products and solutions like Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 R2. Microsoft is committed to expanding the worldwide capabilities of the Internet through IPv6 and enabling a variety of valuable and exciting scenarios, including peer-to-peer and mobile applications. The foundational work to enable IPv6 in the Azure environment is well underway. However, we are unable to share a date when IPv6 support will be generally available at this time. For more information on IPv6 technologies and IPv6 support available in the Windows operating system today, see Microsoft’s IPv6 information site which includes business, technical, and developer resources: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/network/bb530961