Azure Virtual Machines gives you the flexibility of virtualization for a wide range of computing solutions with support for Linux, Windows Server, SQL Server, Oracle, IBM, SAP, and more. All current generation Virtual Machines include load balancing and auto-scaling at no cost. For optimal performance, we recommend pairing your Virtual Machines with Managed Disks. Standard egress charges apply.
Choose from the following payment options for Virtual Machines. Combine either option with the Azure Hybrid Benefit for additional savings.
Pay as you go
Pay for compute capacity by the second, with no long-term commitment or upfront payments. Increase or decrease compute capacity on demand. Start or stop at any time and only pay for what you use.
- Users who prefer the low cost and flexibility of Azure Virtual Machines.
- Applications with short-term, spiky, or unpredictable workloads that cannot be interrupted.
- Applications being developed or tested on Azure Virtual Machines for the first time.
Reserved Virtual Machine Instances
An Azure Reserved Virtual Machine Instance is an advanced purchase of a Virtual Machine for one or three years in a specified region. The commitment is made up front, and in return, you get up to 72 percent price savings compared to pay-as-you-go pricing. Reserved Virtual Machine Instances are flexible and can easily be exchanged or returned.
- Applications with steady-state usage.
- Customers who want budget predictability.
- Customers who can commit to using a virtual machine (VM) over a one-year or three-year term to reduce computing costs.
Deploying SQL Server in Azure VMs combines the industry-leading performance and security, built-in artificial intelligence, and business intelligence of SQL Server, now available on both Linux and Windows, with the flexibility, security, and hybrid connectivity of Azure. This enables you to maintain full flexibility and control over the database and operating system, whether Windows or Linux, while enabling full compatibility for lift and shift, dev/test, and hybrid business continuity.
- Mission critical high availability
- Enhanced in-memory performance
- Faster performance with Adaptive Query Processing
- Unparalleled data security
- End-to-end mobile BI with rich visualizations on all major platforms
- In-database advanced analytics built-in at scale with R and Python
- End-to-end database security with Always Encrypted
- Enhanced in-memory performance for all workloads
- Basic reporting
- Basic analytics
- Development and management tools
- Free to use (no software costs)
- Build, test, and demo apps in non-production environments
- Free to use (no software costs)
- All Enterprise Edition features available
Example Virtual Machines pricing
Azure Virtual Machines are designed for all budgets and workloads, starting from our economical B-series to our newest GPU VMs optimized for machine learning. Explore popular categories:
Our B-series VMs provide an economical, low-cost solution for workloads that normally don't use a lot of CPU, but occasionally need to burst to handle higher workloads. Free for 12 months.
Raw compute power
Fsv2 is our newest compute-optimized VM family and uses the Intel Skylake processor. Fsv2 delivers the latest Intel CPU for raw compute power.
Balanced CPU and memory
Our Dv3 family is the latest generation of our general purpose VMs. It's appropriate for a variety of workloads.
High memory-to-core ratio
Ev3 is our latest generation memory-optimized VM. It's great for relational database servers, caches, and in-memory analytics.
IP address options
Every Azure Cloud service containing one or more Azure Virtual Machines is automatically assigned a free dynamic virtual IP (VIP) address. For an additional charge, you can also get:
- Instance-level public IP addresses—A dynamic public IP address (PIP) that is assigned to a virtual machine for direct access.
- Reserved IP addresses—A public IP address that can be reserved for your subscription, which can be used as a VIP address for any cloud service in the region.
- Load-balanced IP addresses—Additional load-balanced VIP addresses that can be assigned to an Azure Cloud Service containing one or more Azure Virtual Machines.
Dev/Test pricing available
Discounted Azure pricing is available for Visual Studio subscribers looking to run development and testing workloads, individually or as a team. Active Visual Studio subscribers can take advantage of a wide range of discounts when using an Azure subscription based on a dev/test offer. Learn more about dev/test offers and Visual Studio subscriptions.
Support and SLA
- Free billing and subscription management support.
- Flexible support plans starting at $29/month (Note—Microsoft support does not include support for Linux images in the Azure Marketplace, though in some cases Linux publishers offer support). Find a plan.
- Guaranteed 99.95 percent connectivity for multiple instances. Read the SLA.
No. All new virtual machines have an operating system disk and a local disk (or “resource disk”). We don’t charge for local disk storage. The operating system disk is charged at the regular rate for disks. See all virtual machines configurations.
Read our Azure Reserved Virtual Machine Instances FAQ.
A temporary disk is storage that’s attached directly to the deployed VM. Data on a temporary disk is lost once the VM is shut down. If you need persistent storage, there are a number of types and sizes of persistent data disks available that are charged separately. Please see storage pricing for information. For persistent VM storage, we recommend that you use Managed Disks to take advantage of better management features, scalability, availability, and security.
Maybe. If the status says “Stopped (Deallocated),” you’re not being billed. If it says, “Stopped Allocated,” you’re still being billed for allocated virtual cores (not the software license itself). Full details on virtual machine states are available here.
State Billed Details Starting Yes The initial starting state of virtual machines as they’re going through the boot cycle. This period is billed as the virtual machines are running. Running (Started) Yes The running state of the virtual machine. Stopped Yes You are billed for allocated cores, but not software license.
Note—To put a virtual machine in “Stopped” status, use the power option within the virtual machine, not from the Microsoft Azure classic portal.
Deleted (Deallocated) No Cores are no longer allocated to the virtual machine, and are no longer billed.
Note—The only way to stop all virtual machines in a cloud service is to delete both the staging and production deployments.
Virtual machine prices include local disk storage only. You can see the cost to attach Premium (SSD based) and Standard (HDD based) disks to your virtual machines on the Managed Disks pricing page.
Previously, all usage for A0, A2, A3, and A4 Standard and Basic virtual machines was emitted as fractions (for A0) or multiples (for A2, A3, and A4) of A1 virtual machines meter minutes. We heard this caused some confusion for our customers, so we’ve implemented a change to assign per-second usage to dedicated A0, A2, A3, and A4 meters. Because of this transition, the resource GUIDs for A0, A2, A3, and A4 virtual machines will change. If any of your billing routines rely on the resource GUIDs, they’ll need to be modified to take these new billing meters into consideration.
Deployment size Usage emitted as multiple of A1 through January 10, 2016 Usage emitted on dedicated meter as of January 11, 2016 A0 .25 of A1 hour 1 of A0 hour A2 2 of A1 hour 1 of A2 hour A3 4 of A1 hour 1 of A3 hour A4 8 of A1 hour 1 of A4 hour
We charge for the number of full minutes your virtual machine is running, so you are not billed for any extra seconds. In this example you would be billed for 6 minutes.
It’s a new preview feature for Azure Virtual Machines with private IP addresses. The internally load-balanced endpoint is only accessible within a virtual network (for virtual machines within a virtual network) or cloud service (for virtual machines outside a virtual network). Internal load balancing is useful for multi-tier applications where some of the application tiers aren’t public facing yet require load balancing functionality.
You can check the status of your virtual machines in the Virtual Machines tab, and also in the virtual machine Dashboard. If virtual machine status says "Stopped," you’re still being billed. Only "Stopped (Deallocated)" indicates you’re not being billed.
To ensure you’re not being billed, always stop virtual machines from the management portal. You can also stop the virtual machine through Powershell by calling ShutdownRoleOperation with "PostShutdownAction" equal to "StoppedDeallocated".
Each instance is charged for its data egress across regions.
No. Tax will be added separately.
Yes, through license mobility, if you have Software Assurance you can "bring-your-own-license" for all Virtual Machines supported server products.
No. Microsoft provides the Windows Server license keys for any running instances.
No. You’ll need to supply a license for the image.
If you have existing applications or workloads you simply want to grab and move to the cloud, or extend parts of on-premises application to the cloud, SQL Server in a virtual machine is the easiest option. If you’re looking to build new relational applications, SQL Database is probably the best long-term solution. Either way, Azure makes it easy to move applications back and forth between an on-site datacenter and the cloud as business needs change.
To help you choose, here’s a detailed feature comparison.
Data warehousing is typically a complex workload to set up, configure, and tune. The specially optimized data warehouse image for Azure Virtual Machines improves performance for these workloads by as much as 20 percent over the regular SQL Server Enterprise virtual machine image. See how it works.
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