Azure Reserved VM Instances (RIs)

Reserve virtual machines in advance and save up to 82 percent

More cloud, less cost

Significantly reduce costs—up to 72 percent compared to pay-as-you-go prices—with one-year or three-year terms on Windows and Linux virtual machines (VMs). When you combine the cost savings gained from Azure RIs with the added value of the Azure Hybrid Benefit, you can save up to 82 percent*.

Lower your total cost of ownership by combining RIs with pay-as-you-go prices to manage costs across predictable and variable workloads.

What is more, you can now improve budgeting and forecasting with a single upfront payment, making it easy to calculate your investments.

Simplicity meets flexibility

Select and purchase RIs in three easy steps—specify your Azure region, virtual machine type and term (one year or three years)—that's it.

While RIs require making upfront commitments on compute capacity, they also provide flexibility should your business needs change. Easily exchange or cancel RIs at any time.

  • Exchange RIs across any region and any series as your workload or application needs change.
  • Cancel your RIs if you no longer need the capacity you purchased. Cancel at any time in the reservation term for an adjusted refund.

RIs can be assigned at the enrollment or subscription level, so you can manage RI usage at an organisational or individual department level. Assignments are easy to change post-purchase also.

Learn more

Set up your virtual machine in seconds.

Activate your Azure Hybrid Benefit.

Estimate your monthly bill with the pricing calculator.

Choose Azure for your Windows Server apps.


  • RIs purchased in one or three year terms with a single upfront payment.

  • For Enterprise Agreement (EA) customers, Azure Monetary Commitment can be used to purchase Azure Reserved VM Instances. In scenarios where EA customers have used all of their monetary commitment, RI's can still be purchased and those purchases will be invoiced on their next overage bill.

    For customers purchasing via, at the time of purchase, the credit card on file will be charged for the full upfront payment of the Azure Reserved Instances.

  • The RI will apply immediately to any existing running VMs that match the one-year or three-year terms of the RI, depending on if you scope the RI to a specific subscription or apply it at the enrolment level. In both cases, the period of the RI starts immediately after purchasing.

  • Assign RI benefits at the enrollment or subscription levels and easily change assignments post purchase, as necessary. Assignment allows you to decide whether the reservation is applied at the Azure account/enrolment or subscription level. This gives you flexibility for savings. For example, to simply buy reservations to save money for your organisation, you can assign all reservations to the account level. If a particular business unit, such as finance, wants to buy the reservation for its use only, it can be assigned to a subscription where only that group can take advantage of the savings.

  • Azure RIs provide a single price for each VM size in a region. There is no requirement to choose Windows or Linux VMs for the RI purchase. If Windows Server VM is selected, there is an option to use the Azure Hybrid Benefit or pay the Windows Server rate. For more information, visit the Azure pricing page.

  • There are two options for adding Windows Server to an Azure Reserved VM Instance. The first option is to use your Azure Hybrid Benefit. If you have Windows Server with Software Assurance on-premises, you can assign these licences to the Azure RI. There will be no charge within Azure for Windows Server. You’ll be responsible for continuing to pay for the Windows Server licence plus Software Assurance (called L/SA), Software Assurance (SA), or on-premises subscription as long as the Azure Hybrid Benefit is used. The second option is to add Windows Server using the Windows Server hourly meter. If you cannot take advantage of the Azure Hybrid Benefit, Windows Server will be charged when the VM is active, based on the number of cores the VM is using.

  • Select the Reservations menu on the left side of the Azure Portal to view all RIs associated with the account. All RIs will be displayed on the right.

  • An exchange allows you to receive a prorated refund based on the unused amount which applies fully to the new purchase price. A cancellation terminates your contract and you will receive a prorated refund based on unused amount minus and early termination fee of 12 percent.

  • Cancel a reservation at any time (up to $50000 per year). Cancelling allows you to return the remaining months of a RI back to Microsoft for an early termination fee of 12 percent. The remaining prorated balance, minus the fee, will be refunded to your original purchase.

  • Within the management portal, view the inventory of RIs. Click on an instance and two buttons will appear in the command bar stating “refund” or “exchange.” Once selected, a support ticket will open and prepopulate all of the RI details. Once submitted, the request will be processed and an email will be generated to confirm completion of the request.

  • Azure RIs are available for all VM families other than A-series, A_v2 series or G-series. Azure RIs are not available in Azure Government, Germany and China. EA customers can purchase reservations in all countries available in Azure today. For customers who have signed up through (Pay-As-You-Go customers), Azure RI offer is not available in India, Brasil, Taiwan, Russia, Korea, Argentina, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Turkey. Because of the flexibility we offer to exchange your RIs to a different region or VM family, we do not guarantee availability of capacity in a given region or VM family. In addition, RIs are not available for classic VMs.

  • Customers will receive email notifications 30 days prior to reservation and at expiration. Once the reservation expires, deployed VMs will continue to run and be billed at a pay-as-you-go rate.

  • No, reservations to start in the future are not available at this time.

  • Suppressed Core and PROMO VMs sizes are not eligible for RI benefit at this time.

  • Yes, RIs are supported for VM Scale Set VMs.

  • Azure Batch has two modes: User subscription and Batch service. RIs are available only with the User subscription mode. RIs will apply to the VMs deployed by the batch service.

  • While Azure RIs offer prioritised capacity, they do not guarantee capacity will be available for your VM. The prioritised capacity will be for a VM SKU in the region, but it does not prioritise capacity for a specific availability set or VM scale set. In the event you need to deploy in a different region or change the size or family of your RI, Azure RIs offer industry-leading flexibility with the ability to exchange your purchase for any other RI that we offer.

*Savings based on D4_v2 three year RI in West US 2 Region and Software Assurance cost (Level A) for Windows Server Standard edition (four 2-core licenses). Actual savings may vary based on region, instance type, usage or customer specific Windows Server licence cost. Prices as of November 2017.