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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 are 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 Centre in Azure, Azure Arc–enabled servers and Azure App Service to boost efficiencies for Windows Server.

Join the startups, 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.

Azure AutomanagePREVIEW

Simplify IT management with optimised, automated operations across the entire lifecycle of dev/test and production virtual machines (VMs).

Windows Admin Centre in AzurePREVIEW

Perform Windows Server OS management, configuration, monitoring and troubleshooting on VMs in Azure, right from the Azure portal.

Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS)

Modernise your Windows Server apps on Azure with Azure Container Service (AKS) and AKS on Azure Stack HCI.

Azure App Service

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 percent or more when you apply Azure Hybrid Benefit to your existing Windows and SQL Server licenses.
  • 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 multilayered, 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 Centre.
  • 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 datacenter and the cloud with Azure, the only cloud with end-to-end hybrid infrastructure and consistent security, identity and management features:

  • Universally manage and secure identities across environments using Azure Active Directory.
  • Extend Azure management and services to any infrastructure with Azure Arc.
  • Quickly and easily enable services such as Azure Backup, Azure Site Recovery and Azure Monitor using Windows Admin Centre.

Run your mission-critical workloads on the trusted cloud

Resilient

Simplify app and data protection with cost-effective backup and disaster recovery on Azure supported by highly available infrastructure.

Scalable

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.

Efficient

Run your core apps by integrating your VMware environments with Azure VMWare Solution or moving your single-tenant workloads to Azure Dedicated Host.

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—like Windows Server Active Directory, Windows Admin Centre, 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.

Determine how ready you are to migrate with the Strategic Migration Assessment and Readiness Tool.

Learn how to analyse your IT resources and plan for a smooth migration with the Azure Migration Guide for Windows Server.

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

Movere
UnifyCloud
Cloudamize
Zerto
Dimension Data

See how customers are transforming their businesses with Windows Server on Azure

"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."

Jeff Thomas, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Sentara Healthcare
Sentara Healthcare

"With Azure, we scale when needed and avoid huge overprovisioning costs."

Ralph Feltis, Senior Software Engineer, Alaska Airlines
Alaska Airlines

"Working with Microsoft has consistently paid dividends. They have proved to be reliable, innovative partners."

Grant Barrans, Senior Vice President and Actuary, MetLife
MetLife

"Using Azure frees us to focus on where we add value—developing great software and delivering great customer experiences."

Mike Mellor, Senior Director of Technical Operations, Adobe
Adobe

"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."

Younhyung Nam, Director of Platform and System Management, Pearl Abyss
Pearl

"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."

Randy De Meno, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Commvault
Commvault

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 will 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 have upgraded to the latest version to take advantage of all the innovations.
  • Explore Azure Virtual Machines and the pricing calculator to choose the VMs that best suit your needs.
  • Yes. Azure Hybrid Benefit lets you use your existing Windows Server licenses with Software Assurance or Windows Server subscriptions for significant savings on Azure. You can use Azure Hybrid Benefit with Windows Server Datacentre and Standard edition licenses covered with Software Assurance or Windows Server subscriptions.

    Depending on your edition of Windows Server, you can convert or reuse your licenses 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 pay only the base compute VM costs.

  • Yes. There is no upfront cost and you pay only 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 Datacentre edition in Azure E32as_v4 instance type with P30 Premium SSD Disks and the SQL Server 2019 Enterprise Edition on Windows Server 2019 Datacentre 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 recognised 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 License Mobility for SQL Server in AWS, excluding Software Assurance costs. Actual results and prices may vary based on configuration and region.

Get started with an Azure free account

Try Windows Server on Azure and get 12 months of popular free services—plus a $200 credit to explore Azure for 30 days.

Contact Azure sales

Get answers to questions about your specific scenario from an Azure sales specialist.