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 server infrastructure, 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 an isolated server
Lets you choose the number of processors, server capabilities, VM series and VM sizes within the same host
Offers pricing and benefits for Windows Server and SQL Server available only on Azure
Increase control without compromising choice
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 you provision are single-tenant and dedicated to your Azure VMs and workloads for greater placement control. Determine the timing of all platform-initiated maintenance operations, such as OS patching, or hardware or software reboots. 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 an isolated and dedicated physical server that only runs your organisation’s workloads to meet corporate compliance guidelines and standards. Gain visibility into 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 only available on Azure. You’ll also get free extended security updates for Windows Server and SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2.
Apply your existing Windows Server Datacenter or SQL Server Enterprise edition licences to all of the physical cores available to you on the host, and get unlimited virtualisation rights.
Embrace a trusted cloud environment
Microsoft invests over USD 1 billion annually on cybersecurity research and development.
Microsoft employs more than 3,500 security experts focused on securing your data 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.
Get started with Dedicated Host
Developer documentation and support
Community and Azure support
Migrate to Azure
Visit the Azure migration center to move your on-premises workloads to Dedicated Host.
Frequently asked questions about Dedicated Host
On Azure Dedicated Hosts, you can deploy Dsv3, Esv3 and Fsv2 Azure VM series. You can also deploy multiple VM sizes within a VM series on the same host. For more information, read the documentation.
Dedicated Hosts are available in most Azure regions. See the documentation for detailed regional availability.
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, but it’s not a bare metal as a service offering.
Dedicated Host currently supports Azure Standard HDDs, Standard SSDs and Premium SSDs. Learn more about Azure Disk Storage.
Microsoft can’t issue specific guidance given the large number and diverse set of local laws and regulations, but your accounting department should be able to determine the best way to expense Dedicated Host. The service gives you access to dedicated physical servers and lets you assign asset IDs to the underlying hardware, and Microsoft will never replace the hardware without your permission.
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 purchase 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 and SQL Server 2008 and 2008 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 of the physical cores available to you on any given Azure 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 an Azure 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 Azure 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 Dedicated Hosts pricing page) by the vCPU:core value for each VM series (see the Azure compute unit documentation). Most Azure VMs available on Azure Dedicated Hosts offer a vCPU:core ratio equal to 2. For example, an Esv3 series Type 1 Azure 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 individual Azure VM based on the number of vCPUs each VM has or using Azure Hybrid Benefit (AHB) 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 would need:
- 256 Windows Server Datacenter licences if you took advantage of AHB 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 AHB 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 prior to 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 (e.g. 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 (e.g. 40 cores for an Esv3 series Type 1 Azure Dedicated Host).