Windows Server on Azure
Discover the trusted cloud for Windows Server
Azure meets you where you are today
Azure is the best destination for Windows Server. Whether you're migrating as is or modernizing applications, Azure offers native support for SQL, .NET, Remote Desktop Services, and other Windows Server workloads. Take advantage of more than 200 Azure services and unique capabilities such as Azure Automanage, Windows Admin Center in Azure, Azure Arc enabled servers, and App Service to boost efficiencies for Windows Server.
Join the startups, governments, and Fortune 500 companies that run Windows Server on Azure
of customers believe that Microsoft Azure provides a hybrid cloud environment "extremely well".1
Unparalleled innovation for Windows Server workloads
Take advantage of new and improved features and applications when you move your workloads to Azure. Accelerate the modernization of your infrastructure with these services.
Simplify IT management with optimized, automated operations across the entire life cycle of dev/test and production virtual machines (VMs).
Perform Windows Server OS management, configuration, monitoring, and troubleshooting on VMs in Azure, right from the Azure portal.
Modernize your Windows Server apps on Azure with Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) and AKS on Azure Stack HCI.
Quickly build, deploy, and scale .NET web apps and APIs on a fully managed platform, on your own terms.
Azure is the best destination for Windows Server
Reduce costs with unbeatable offers
Optimize costs by taking advantage of unique offers only available on Azure:
Help protect workloads with unmatched security
Help secure your hosted Windows Server workloads with multi-layered, built-in security. Maintain your security posture with native controls, and detect and respond to evolving threats at cloud scale with intelligent solutions:
- Get high availability by applying security patches automatically and without downtime using Hotpatch in Azure Automanage.
- Proactively manage and strengthen your cloud security posture across Azure and hybrid resources with Azure Security Center.
- Get built-in threat protection for your hybrid cloud resources with extended detection and response (XDR) from Azure Defender.
- Modernize security operations across your enterprise with Azure Sentinel, the first cloud-native SIEM on a leading public cloud with built-in AI and automation.
- Protect data-in-use with industry leading confidential computing.
Extend on-premises environments to Azure with seamless hybrid capabilities
Operate seamlessly across your on-premises datacenter and the cloud with Azure, the only cloud with end-to-end hybrid infrastructure and consistent security, identity, and management features:
- Universally manage and secure identities across environments using Azure Active Directory.
- Extend Azure management and Azure services to any infrastructure with Azure Arc.
- Quickly and easily enable Azure services such as Azure Backup, Azure Site Recovery, and Azure Monitor with Windows Admin Center.
Run your mission-critical workloads on the trusted cloud
Choose from a broad range of compute options and tap into a diversified range of Azure Virtual Machines to accommodate and scale every workload you create.
Estimate the cost savings of migrating your Windows workloads to Azure
Use this calculator to compare the total cost of ownership (TCO) of running Windows on Azure versus on-premises.
Migrate your Windows Server apps and workloads to Azure
Use familiar tools—like Windows Server Active Directory, Windows Admin Center, PowerShell, and Storage Migration Service—and get quality support from a single cloud provider across your hybrid environment. Accelerate your Azure migration with proven guidance, documentation, best practices, and tools from the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure.
Find the right Windows Server migration tool—and tools for all of your workloads—on Azure Migrate, a central hub for migration tools and services.
Get step-by-step guidance from the Microsoft product team on moving your VMs to Azure in this video tutorial.
Implement a quick, low-impact migration to Azure with The Ultimate Guide to Windows Server on Azure.
Find out how to deploy and manage Windows Server on Azure for improved scalability, security, and privacy in these online learning paths from Microsoft.
Learn to optimize the efficiency and costs of your cloud-based architecture in this free online course.
Optimize the reliability, security, performance, and cost of your Azure deployments with Azure Advisor.
Accelerate your Windows Server migration with experienced partners
Join customers who are transforming their businesses with Windows Server on Azure
Jeff Thomas, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Sentara Healthcare
"Even as technology changes rapidly, we can respond and deploy what the organization needs thanks to the agility we gained with Azure, which leads to better clinical outcomes and more patient-first services."
Ralph Feltis, Senior Software Engineer, Alaska Airlines
"With Azure, we scale when needed and avoid huge overprovisioning costs."
Grant Barrans, Senior Vice President and Actuary, MetLife
"Working with Microsoft has consistently paid dividends. They have proved to be reliable, innovative partners."
Mike Mellor, Senior Director of Technical Operations, Adobe
"Using Azure frees us to focus on where we add value—developing great software and delivering great customer experiences."
Younhyung Nam, Director of Platform and System Management, Pearl Abyss
"We chose Azure because of its stability. It had all the functions we needed, and Azure delivered them more reliably and at a lower cost than many of the other options we assessed."
Randy De Meno, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Commvault
"We decided to use Microsoft as our foundation, trusting we could deliver what we intended to deliver using the reliability, scalability, and security of the Microsoft infrastructure. We literally bet our company on Microsoft."
Frequently asked questions about Windows Server on Azure
Azure supports most Windows Server versions. For more details, see the Azure Guest OS releases compatibility matrix.
You can migrate a range of guest operating systems to Azure. This includes all of the supported Windows Server versions and VMs from these VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V environments with Azure Site Recovery. VMs migrated from these on-premises virtualization platforms run as native Azure infrastructure as a service (IaaS) VMs and are not dependent on the on-premises hypervisor.
We are ready to meet you where you are at, which includes you deciding to stay on-premises or adopting a hybrid model. In the meantime, check the end-of-support date for your version of Windows Server and keep Windows Server running with extended security updates. Also ensure that you’ve upgraded to the latest version of Windows Server to take advantage of all its new innovations.
Yes. Azure Hybrid Benefit lets you use your existing Windows Server licenses with Software Assurance or Windows Server subscriptions for significant savings on Azure. You can use Azure Hybrid Benefit with Windows Server Datacenter and Standard edition licenses covered with Software Assurance or Windows Server subscriptions.
Depending on your edition of Windows Server, you can convert or reuse your licenses to run Windows Server VMs on Azure and pay a lower base compute rate. For each license, Azure will cover the cost of the OS for up to two VMs while you only pay the base compute VM costs.
Yes. There's no upfront cost and you only pay for what you use. Azure provides flexible purchasing and pricing options for all of your cloud scenarios, including Azure Hybrid Benefit and Azure Reserved VM Instances. Azure also offers a comprehensive set of tools to help you manage your cloud spend, including Azure Cost Management and Billing.
The official term is "Windows Server on Azure".
1IDC White Paper, sponsored by Microsoft, “Addressing Enterprise Cloud Priorities with Microsoft Azure”, June 2020
2Price-performance claims based on data from a study commissioned by Microsoft and conducted by GigaOm in February 2020. The study compared price performance between SQL Server 2019 Enterprise Edition on Windows Server 2019 Datacenter edition in Azure E32as_v4 instance type with P30 Premium SSD Disks and the SQL Server 2019 Enterprise Edition on Windows Server 2019 Datacenter edition in AWS EC2 r5a.8xlarge instance type with General Purpose (gp2) volumes. Benchmark data is taken from a GigaOm Analytic Field Test derived from a recognized industry standard, TPC Benchmark™ E (TPC-E). The Field Test does not implement the full TPC-E benchmark and as such, is not comparable to any published TPC-E benchmarks. Prices are based on publicly available US pricing in West US for SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines and Northern California for AWS EC2 as of January 2020. The pricing incorporates three-year reservations for Azure and AWS compute pricing, and Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server and Azure Hybrid Benefit for Windows Server, and Licence Mobility for SQL Server in AWS, excluding Software Assurance costs. Actual results and prices may vary based on configuration and region.
Get started with an Azure free account
Try Windows Server on Azure and get 12 months of popular free services—plus a $200 credit to explore Azure for 30 days.
Contact an Azure sales specialist
Get answers to questions about your unique scenario by talking to an Azure sales specialist.