Azure Dedicated Host
A dedicated physical server to host your Azure VMs for Windows and Linux
Deploy your Azure VMs in a dedicated environment
Azure Dedicated Host provides physical servers that host one or more Azure virtual machines. Your server is dedicated to your organisation and workloads – capacity isn’t shared with other customers. This host-level isolation helps address compliance requirements. As you provision the host, you gain visibility into and control over the placement of your Azure VMs, and you determine the host’s maintenance policies.
Provides visibility into, and control over, the server infrastructure running your Azure VMs
Helps address compliance requirements by deploying your workloads on a dedicated server
Features Dedicated Host SKUs with the number of processors, VM series and VM sizes you need
Offers pricing and benefits for Windows Server and SQL Server available only on Azure
Your very own private cloud in Azure
Control your maintenance window and gain visibility into the underlying infrastructure. Place your Azure VMs on a single-tenant server to satisfy specific compliance or regulatory requirements.
Increase control with Azure IaaS and Dedicated Host
Simplify the deployment of business-critical applications in a single-tenant environment. Increase control and scalability, without limiting your options.
Schedule maintenance operations on your terms
Deploy Windows, Linux and SQL Server virtual machines on Azure. Select the server and CPU type, number of cores and additional features. The underlying hosts that you provision are single-tenant and dedicated to your Azure VMs and workloads. You determine the timing of all platform-initiated maintenance operations, such as OS patching, or hardware or software restarts. Select Azure VM sizes and operating systems on the same host.
Address compliance requirements
Comply with corporate policies and industry-specific standards by taking advantage of the certifications Azure offers. Place your Azure VMs on a dedicated hosting server that only runs your organisation’s workloads to meet corporate compliance guidelines and standards. Get insights on the underlying cores to meet server-based software licensing requirements.
Reduce costs by using existing software licenses
Use your on-premises Windows Server and SQL Server licences with Software Assurance benefits, or subscriptions with equivalent rights, when you migrate your workloads to Dedicated Host. Azure Hybrid Benefit licensing terms are available only on Azure. You'll also get free extended security updates for Windows Server and SQL Server 2008/2012 and 2008/2012 R2.
Apply your existing Windows Server Datacentre or SQL Server Enterprise edition licences to the physical cores available to you on the host, utilise dual-use rights while migrating from on premises, and get unlimited virtualisation rights.
Embrace a trusted cloud environment
Microsoft invests more than USD 1 billion annually on cybersecurity research and development.
We employ more than 3,500 security experts dedicated to data security and privacy.
Azure has more certifications than any other cloud provider. View the comprehensive list.
Dedicated Host pricing
Dedicated Host is charged at the host level regardless of the number of Azure VMs you run on the host. Software licences are billed separately from compute resources at a VM level based on usage. Use Azure Hybrid Benefit for additional savings, if you’re eligible. Estimate the costs for your Dedicated Host with the pricing calculator.
Get started with Dedicated Host
Developer documentation and support
Community and Azure support
Migrate to Azure
Visit the Azure migration and modernisation centre to move your on-premises workloads to Dedicated Host.
Frequently asked questions about Dedicated Host
You can deploy Dsv3, Esv3 and Fsv2 Azure VM series and more. You can also deploy multiple VM sizes within a VM series on the same host. However, there are some exceptions, such as the NVasv4_Type1 Dedicated Host SKU. For more information, read the documentation.
Dedicated Host is available in most Azure regions. For detailed regional availability, select your region from the Dedicated Host pricing page.
No. It provides a virtualised environment that’s architected to run Azure VMs, and it gives you control and visibility over the underlying physical server.
Dedicated Host currently supports Azure Standard HDDs, Standard SSDs and Premium SSDs. Learn more about Azure Disk Storage.
Microsoft can’t provide guidance or opine on whether you’re able to consider Dedicated Host a capital lease financial expense. You must consult your own legal or accounting department to make that determination. The service provides dedicated physical servers and lets you keep the same asset IDs for the underlying hardware. In the event of a hardware change, the asset ID for the host will be a new asset ID when the physical hardware is changed. The host ID for the host resource won’t change, even in the event of a change of physical hardware.
The outsourcing software licensing terms applicable to Windows Server and SQL Server licences acquired before 1 October 2019 allow you to allocate your existing licences to Dedicated Host. If you’re eligible for Azure Hybrid Benefit, save more on Dedicated Host deployments. If you purchased new licences after 1 October 2019, you may only allocate them to Azure via Azure Hybrid Benefit. You’ll need Software Assurance or subscriptions with equivalent rights to apply those licences to Dedicated Host. Read the licensing FAQ for details.
Azure Hybrid Benefit applies to Windows Server Standard/Datacenter licences and SQL Server Standard/Enterprise Core licences with Software Assurance or subscription licences with equivalent rights.
Yes, you’ll get three years of free extended security updates for Windows Server, SQL Server 2008/2012 and 2008/2012 R2 running in Dedicated Host after the end of support.
Yes, you do. Under Azure Hybrid Benefit programme, when you apply your existing Windows Server Datacenter licences or SQL Server Enterprise edition licences with Software Assurance to all the physical cores available to you on any given Dedicated Host server, you are granted unlimited virtualisation rights. For example, if you have 32 existing Windows Server Datacenter licences with Software Assurance on premises, you can use the same 32 licences to install on a Dedicated Host as many Azure VMs running Windows Server as you want, subject to the physical capacity of the underlying server. You should only license the available physical cores on each Dedicated Host that you plan to provision (for example, 32 cores for a Dsv3 Type 1 Dedicated Host).
The available physical cores are calculated by dividing the available vCPUs in the host (listed on the pricing page) by the vCPU:core value for each VM series (see the Azure compute unit documentation). Most Azure VMs available on Dedicated Host offer a vCPU:core ratio equal to 2. For example, an Esv3 series Type 1 Dedicated Host has 32 available physical cores and a vCPU:core ratio equal to 2 and can host up to 64 vCPUs.
With unlimited virtualisation rights, you can substantially reduce your Windows Server and SQL Server licensing costs. Instead of licensing each Azure VM based on the number of vCPUs that each VM has or using Azure Hybrid Benefit on each VM that you deploy on Azure Dedicated Host, you can license the entire set of available physical cores on each dedicated host. For example, if you have 32 existing Windows Server Datacenter licences purchased before 1 October 2019, and you need to deploy 32 Dsv3 VMs each with 2 vCPUs on Azure Dedicated Host Type 1, you’d need:
- 256 Windows Server Datacenter licences if you took advantage of Azure Hybrid Benefit while applying the benefits at the VM level.
- 40 Windows Server Datacenter licences if you applied the outsourcing rule and licensed the entire number of physical cores that Azure Dedicated Host Type 1 has.
- Only 32 Windows Server Datacenter licences if you use Azure Hybrid Benefit unlimited virtualisation rights on the same host.
Additionally, you can use concurrently on Azure Dedicated Host and your on-premises licensed servers the same licences for up to 180 days.
For SQL Server, you’ll need the Enterprise edition and active Software Assurance or subscription licences to be eligible for unlimited virtualisation. For Windows Server, you’ll need the Datacenter edition, and, if you use licences acquired after 1 October 2019, you’ll also need active Software Assurance or subscription licences to be eligible for unlimited virtualisation on Dedicated Host.
Windows Server Datacenter licences purchased before 1 October 2019 have unlimited virtualisation rights based on licence-only rights. Licences acquired after that date have unlimited virtualisation rights only by virtue of Azure Hybrid Benefit.
When allocating SQL Server or Windows Server licences to a Dedicated Host using Azure Hybrid Benefit, you only have to license the available physical cores on the host (for example, 32 cores for an Esv3 series Type 1 Azure Dedicated Host).
When allocating Windows Server licences purchased prior to 1 October 2019 to the host, without using Azure Hybrid Benefit, you must license all of the physical cores of the host (for example, 40 cores for an Esv3 series Type 1 Azure Dedicated Host).