Azure for Microsoft software FAQ

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

Azure Hybrid Use Benefit for Windows Server

  • Microsoft offers various programs and benefits to help you get the most value from licenses on-premises and in the cloud. The Azure Hybrid Use Benefit lets you apply your Windows Server licenses covered with Software Assurance to use Azure Virtual Machines at the base compute rate, starting February 1, 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 program. The main customer requirement is to have an active Software Assurance.

  • The Azure Hybrid Use Benefit is applicable to Windows Server Standard and Datacenter Editions. Each 2-Processor license or each set of 16-Core licenses are entitled for two instances up to 8 cores, or one instance up to 16 cores. Once Azure Hybrid Use Benefit is assigned to Azure, Standard Edition licenses can only be used once either on-premises or in Azure. Datacenter Edition’s benefits allow for the simultaneous usage 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-us/azure/virtual-machines/virtual-machines-windows-hybrid-use-benefit-licensing for additional details.

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

Azure Compute pre-purchase plan

  • The Azure Compute pre-purchase plan offers you discounts up to 63 percent 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 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, and who are looking for pricing that reflects their deployment profile, are best suited for the Azure Compute pre-purchase plan.