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 modernising 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 Azure App Service to boost efficiencies for Windows Server.
Join the start-ups, governments and Fortune 500 companies that run Windows Server on Azure
Unparalleled innovation for Windows Server workloads
Take advantage of new and improved features and applications when you move your workloads to Azure. Accelerate the modernisation of your infrastructure with these services.
Simplify IT management with optimised, 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.
Modernise 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
Optimise costs by taking advantage of unique offers available only on Azure:
- Save 40 per cent or more when you apply Azure Hybrid Benefit to your existing Windows and SQL Server licences.
- Save even more with three years of free extended security updates for Windows Server 2012/R2 and SQL Server 2012, only in Azure.
- Get industry-leading price performance with SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines (Windows).2
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.
- Modernise 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 Azure confidential computing.
Extend on-premises environments to Azure with seamless hybrid capabilities
Operate seamlessly across your on-premises data centre and the cloud with Azure, the only cloud with end-to-end hybrid infrastructure and consistent security, identity and management features:
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 – such as 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 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 a video tutorial.
Learn how to implement a quick, low-impact migration to Azure by reading The ultimate guide to Windows Server on Azure.
Discover how to deploy and manage Windows Server on Azure for improved scalability, security and privacy in learning paths from Microsoft.
Learn how to optimise the efficiency and costs of your cloud-based architecture in a free online course.
Optimise the reliability, security, performance and cost of your Azure deployments with Azure Advisor.
Accelerate your Windows Server migration with experienced partners
See how customers 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."
Frequently asked questions about Windows Server on Azure
You can migrate a range of guest operating systems to Azure. This includes all of the supported Windows Server versions and VMs from VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V environments with Azure Site Recovery. VMs migrated from these on-premises virtualisation platforms run as native Azure infrastructure as a service (IaaS) VMs and are not dependent on the on-premises hypervisor.
We’ll meet you where you are, whether you decide to stay on premises or adopt 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, and ensure that you’ve upgraded to the latest version to take advantage of all the innovations.
Yes. Azure Hybrid Benefit lets you use your existing Windows Server licences 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 licences covered with Software Assurance or Windows Server subscriptions.
Depending on your edition of Windows Server, you can convert or reuse your licences to run Windows Server VMs on Azure and pay a lower base compute rate. For each licence, 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, including Azure Hybrid Benefit and Azure Reserved VM Instances, for all your cloud scenarios. Azure also offers a comprehensive set of tools to help you manage your cloud spend, including Azure Cost Management and Billing. Use the pricing calculator to determine your total cost of ownership (TCO), and learn more about Azure pricing.
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.