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Last week at Ignite, our customers and partners like UPS, HSBC, Ernest & Young, and more shared incredible stories of how they are transforming their IT and businesses with Azure – revamping dev/test processes, modernizing applications, running mission critical workloads such as SAP, and taking their cloud investments to the next level with machine learning and AI. We also had an opportunity to share the latest Azure innovations and roadmap.

As customers look to do more with Azure, they want to know how they can lower, optimize and manage their cloud spend. To address this need, we are working hard to save you money on Azure with our existing billing model, new free cost management capabilities, and compelling offers.

Better than per-second billing for VMs

In Azure, we bill all virtual machines (VMs) running Linux and Windows on a per-minute basis, rounded down to the nearest minute. We only charge for the full minutes you use. This saves you money and simplifies your bill. Imagine a Linux VM or Windows VM that ran for 10 minutes and 59 seconds (659 seconds). On Azure, we would bill you only for 600 seconds while other cloud providers would charge for 659 seconds. In fact, we have been doing this for years.

In addition, Azure led the industry with a new service called Azure Container Instances (ACIs) that realizes the true value of a per-second billing model. ACI offers containers that start in seconds and are billed per-second without any infrastructure management. Customer interest of this innovative service is incredibly high, especially due to its ability to extend container orchestration offerings such as Kubernetes.

Free cost management solution

Beyond how we bill, we enable you to easily manage and optimize your cloud spend. Azure is the only cloud provider that offers robust cloud cost management and optimization without any additional charge. Azure Cost Management, also known as Cloudyn, empowers you to monitor, allocate, and optimize cloud spend so you maximize resource utilization and reinvest cost savings to further accelerate your business priorities in the cloud. For example, when you first deploy cloud projects you may not necessarily understand the capacity requirements, and as a result you may provision more resources than you need. Azure Cost Management is available for free for managing Azure spend.


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Best savings for Windows Server workloads

Finally, if you are using Windows Server, Azure offers cost savings of up to 82%. This cost saving comes from the combination of Azure Hybrid Benefits, that enable customers with software assurance to use their existing Windows Server licenses in Azure, and the newly announced Azure Reserved VM Instances (RIs). We are also working to bring similar Azure Hybrid Benefits to SQL Server and expand RIs to additional Azure services.

Other cost savings in Azure

The above are just a few examples of the cost savings features in Azure. We also recently announced the general availability of Azure Batch (low priority VMs), Azure RIs for Windows and Linux VMs, Partial Core Sizes for Oracle and SQL Licensing, and Burstable VMs. These offers will make your deployments on Azure more cost effective without compromising your cloud experience.

We are committed to helping you save money with a great billing and cost management experience so you can continue to do even more with Azure. For more information on Azure, please visit

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