Azure for Microsoft software FAQs

Get answers to frequently asked questions on promos, offers and licensing options that provide you with the lowest-cost computing infrastructure for changing business priorities.

Azure Hybrid use benefit for Windows Server

  • Microsoft offers various programmes and benefits to help you get the most value from licences on-premises and in the cloud. The Azure Hybrid Use Benefit lets you apply your Windows Server licences covered with Software Assurance to use Azure Virtual Machines at the base compute rate, starting from 1 February 2016.

  • The base compute rate used to calculate the Azure Hybrid Use Benefit is equal to the Linux rate for virtual machines.

  • Every Windows Server Standard or Datacenter customer with Software Assurance is eligible for Azure Hybrid Use Benefit and can start deploying virtual machines using this benefit. Azure Hybrid Use Benefit is not restricted to any specific licensing programme. The main customer requirement is to have an active Software Assurance.

  • The Azure Hybrid Use Benefit is applicable to Windows Server Standard and Data Centre Editions. Each 2-processor licence or each set of 16-core licences are entitled for two instances up to 8 cores, or one instance up to 16 cores. Once Azure Hybrid Use Benefit has been assigned to Azure, Standard Edition licences can only be used once either on-premises or in Azure. The benefits of Datacenter Edition allow for simultaneous use both on-premises and in Azure.

  • Customers can deploy pre-built Azure Hybrid Use Benefit Windows Server images directly from Azure Marketplace for Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2012R2, Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2008SP1. Customers can also upload custom VMs and deploy them using Azure PowerShell or Resource Manager template. Customers migrating existing workloads can use Azure Site Recovery (which is free for the first 31 days).

    Please visit the site at https://docs.microsoft.com/en-gb/azure/virtual-machines/virtual-machines-windows-hybrid-use-benefit-licensing for additional details.

  • Visit https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/pricing/hybrid-use-benefit/ or contact your Microsoft account team.

Azure Compute pre-purchase plan

  • The Azure Compute pre-purchase plan offers you discounts of up to 63 per cent off standard prices on virtual machines in Azure, for an upfront pre-purchase of 12 months of a particular instance (instance family, size, region and operating system).

  • The Azure Compute pre-purchase plan is available for Enterprise Agreement (EA) customers. Contact your Microsoft sales team to take advantage of this plan.

  • The Azure Compute pre-purchase plan is available globally, including for US Gov., with the exception of China. However, we plan to introduce the offer in China in the near future.

  • Customers with steady-state or predictable workloads who are looking for pricing that reflects their deployment profile are best suited for the Azure Compute pre-purchase plan.