What is Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server and am I eligible for it?

The Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server helps you maximise the value from your current licensing investments and accelerate your migration to the cloud. Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server is an Azure-based benefit that enables you to use your SQL Server licences with active Software Assurance to pay a reduced rate (“base rate”) on SQL Database. Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server is available to all vCore-based options: SQL Database Managed Instance, Single Database and Elastic Pool. You can apply this benefit even if the SKU is active but note that the base rate will be applied from the time you select it in the portal. No credit will be issued retroactively. You can activate the Azure Hybrid Benefit via the Azure Portal by confirming that you have sufficient active licences with Software Assurance. The Azure Hybrid Benefit works as follows:

  • If you have Standard Edition per core licences with Software Assurance, you can get 1 vCore in the General Purpose option for every 1 licence core you own on-premises.
  • If you have Enterprise Edition per core licences with Software Assurance, you can get 1 vCore in the Business Critical option (coming soon) for every 1 licence core you own on-premises. Note: The Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server for the Business Critical option is only available to Enterprise Edition customers.
  • If you have highly virtualised Enterprise Edition per core licences with Software Assurance, you can get 4 vCores in the General Purpose option for every 1 licence core you own on-premises. This is a unique virtualisation benefit available only on Azure.

Azure SQL Database

Related questions and answers

  • Managed Instance allows for scaling compute and storage independently. Customers pay for compute measured in vCores, storage and backup measured in gigabytes (GB).

    Managed Instance has two price options:

    • Licence included: Excludes Azure Hybrid benefit for SQL Server. This option is for customers who choose not to apply their existing SQL Server licences with Software Assurance to Managed Instance.
    • Base rate: Reduced price that includes Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server. Customers can opt into this price by using their SQL Server licences with Software Assurance.
  • Managed Instance is billed on a predictable, hourly rate based on the service tier, provisioned compute in vCores, provisioned storage and backup in GB per month. Backup storage up to 100 per cent of your total database storage is included; beyond this, you’ll be billed in GB per month.

  • You are billed for each hour that a Managed Instance exists and for storage applied during that hour, regardless of whether the server was active for less than an hour. If you’ve scaled your database, you’ll be billed based on the highest provisioned vCore during the hour. For example:

    • If you create a Managed Instance server and delete it five minutes later, you’ll be charged for one database hour.
    • If you create a Managed Instance in the General Purpose tier with 8 vCores, and then immediately upgrade it to 16 vCores, you’ll be charged at the 16 vCore rate for the first hour.
  • The virtualisation benefit is applicable to virtualised workloads on vCore-based Azure SQL Database. You can use it to convert 1 licence core of SQL Enterprise Edition with active Software Assurance to get up to 4 vCores of General Purpose at the base rate. This makes moving virtualised apps to vCore-based SQL Database options highly cost-effective. For example, if you have 4 core licences of SQL Enterprise Edition, you can receive up to 16 vCores of General Purpose at the base rate.

  • Your licences must be used either on-premises or in the cloud. However, you have a 180-day grace period during which you can use licences both on-premises and in the cloud to facilitate migration.

  • To use Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server, you need active Software Assurance. If your Software Assurance expires and you don’t renew it, you’ll be moved to the Licence Included pricing of the respective SKU.