Azure Reserved VM Instances (RIs)

Reserve virtual machines in advance and save up to 80 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 80 percent**.

Lower your total cost of ownership by combining Azure Reserved Instances with pay-as-you-go prices to manage costs across predictable and variable workloads. In many cases, you can further reduce your costs with reserved instance size flexibility.

What's more, you can now improve budgeting and forecasting with a single upfront payment, making it easy to calculate your investments. Or, lower your upfront cash outflow with monthly payment options at no additional cost.*

Read the FAQ

Simplicity meets flexibility

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

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

  • Exchange Azure RIs across any region and any series as your workload or application needs change.
  • Cancel an Azure RI at any time and return the remaining months of a reserved instance back to Microsoft - up to the yearly limit - for an early termination fee.

Azure Reserved Instances can be assigned at the enrollment or subscription level, so you can manage reserved instance usage at an organizational or individual department level. Assignments are easy to change post-purchase also.

Automation and choice with instance size flexibility

Your business and applications requirements continuously evolve. Committing to a specific VM size ahead of time - to take advantage of the price discounts that Azure Reserved Instances offer - can be limiting.

Simplify and automate the management of Azure RIs. Now, your Azure Reserved Instances are even more adaptable. Azure can automatically apply these RIs to other VM sizes within the same group and region. As a result, you will spend less time managing your RIs. You may also be able to realize cost savings. Let Azure manage your reserved instances and spend more time on innovative projects that can fuel business growth.

In line with our promise to make RIs simpler and more flexible than any other cloud provider, this benefit applies to both Windows and Linux VMs.

Learn more about instance size flexibility


  • Purchase one-year or three-year term Azure Reserved VM Instances directly in the Azure portal, and pay with a single, upfront payment or on a monthly basis. The monthly payment option is available at no extra cost. However, if you’re in a non-US-dollar market, your monthly payment amount may vary depending on the current month’s market exchange rate for your local currency.

  • Azure Reserved VM Instances for Pay-As-You-Go subscriptions are not available in Brazil, India, China, Taiwan, Russia, Korea, Argentina, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Turkey.
  • Go to the VM section in the Azure management portal, click on a VM and get the VM size information. Provide this size in the reserved instance purchase. The reserved instance discount is automatically applied to VMs matching the attributes and quantity of the Azure Reserved VM Instance.

    Alternately, if you are an Enterprise Agreement (EA) or web direct customer, you can download your usage file and refer to Service Type value in the "Additional info" section of the usage file to get the VM size information.

  • Yes. In the reserved instance purchase experience Microsoft will make recommendations based on your last 30 days of usage and your savings potential.

  • Please refer to your usage file to get details regarding your reserved instance discount. The VMs that get the reserved instance benefit will have the Azure Reserved VM Instance details in the "Additional information" section of the usage file. You can also get the same information from the usage APIs.

    See more information for EA customers.

    See more information for web direct customers.

    To view all purchases, go to the reservation blade in the Azure portal.

  • For Enterprise Agreement (EA) customers, Azure Prepayment will be used first to purchase Azure Reserved VM Instances. In scenarios where EA customers have used all their Azure Prepayment, Azure Reserved VM Instances can still be purchased, and those purchases will be invoiced for the single, upfront payment 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.

  • You can assign Azure Reserved VM Instances benefits at the enrollment or subscription levels, and easily change assignments post purchase, as necessary. Assignment allows you to decide whether the reserved instance is applied at the Azure account/enrollment or subscription level. This gives you flexibility for savings. For example, if you want to buy reserved instances to save money for your organization, you can assign all Azure Reserved VM Instances at the account level. Conversely, if a business unit, such as finance, wants to buy an Azure Reserved VM Instance for its own use only, it can be assigned to a subscription where only that group can take advantage of the savings.

  • The Azure Reserved VM Instances term starts immediately after purchase; currently you can't purchase Azure Reserved VM Instances that start at a future date. The Reserved VM Instances pricing benefit will apply immediately to any existing running VMs that match the datacenter location and VM instance, depending on how you scope your Reserved VM Instances to a specific subscription or at the enrollment/account level.

  • Azure Reserved VM Instances provide a single price for each VM size in a region. There's no requirement to choose an operating system when purchasing a Reserved VM Instance. If Windows Server is deployed on the VM, you can either use the Azure Hybrid Benefit or pay the Windows Server licensing 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 the Azure Hybrid Benefit for Windows Server. If you have Windows Server with Software Assurance on-premises, you can assign these licenses 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 license 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 can't take advantage of the Azure Hybrid Benefit, Windows Server licensing costs 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 the Azure Reserved VM Instances associated with your account. All the details associated with the Azure Reserved VM Instances that you have purchased 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 purchase price of a new Azure Reserved VM Instance. A cancellation terminates your Azure Reserved VM Instance and you'll receive a prorated refund based on the remaining term of the Azure Reserved VM Instance minus a 12 percent early termination fee.

  • There's no limit on the number of exchanges you can make. Additionally, there's no fee associated with an exchange. The main restriction is the following: the new Azure Reserved VM Instances purchased must be of equal or greater value than the prorated credit from the original Azure Reserved VM Instances. Additionally, Azure Reserved VM Instances can only be exchanged within the same Azure service, such as a VM for a VM.

  • You can cancel an Azure Reserved VM Instance at any time (up to $50000 per year). Cancelling allows you to return the remaining months of an Azure Reserved VM Instance 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 Azure Reserved VM Instances. Click on an instance and two buttons will appear in the command bar stating “refund” or “exchange”. Once selected, a support ticket, prepopulated with all of the Azure Reserved VM Instance details, will open. Once submitted, the request will be processed, and an email will be sent to you to confirm completion of the request.

    • Azure Reserved VM Instances can be applied to VM Scale Sets.
    • Azure Reserved VM Instances can be applied to Azure Batch user subscriptions mode.
    • Azure Reserved VM Instances aren't available for A-series, Av2-series, or G-series.
    • Azure Reserved VM Instances don't apply to promo VMs.
  • You will receive email notifications 30 days prior to expiration, and again on the expiration date. Once the reserved instance expires, deployed VMs will continue to run and will be billed at the then current pay-as-you-go rate.

  • While Azure Reserved VM Instances offer prioritized capacity, they don't guarantee that capacity will be available for your VMs. The prioritized capacity will be for a VM SKU in the region, but it doesn't prioritize 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 Reserved VM Instances offer industry-leading flexibility with the ability to exchange your purchase for any other Azure Reserved VM Instance that we offer.

  • Instance size flexibility is a feature associated with Azure Reserved VM Instances. Instance size flexibility automatically applies the Reserved Instance savings to any VM that you use within the same region and within the same Azure RI ‘VM group’. Instance size flexibility can apply your RI purchases for the VMs that are not currently being used. For example, if you’ve purchased a D8s_v3 RI in the East US region, instance size flexibility will look to apply the 8-cores RI benefit to any other Ds_v3 VMs running in the same East US region. That could be a combination of four 2-core VMs (D2s_v3) or two 4-core VMs (D4s_v3) or covering half the cost of a single 16-core VM (D16s_v3). The reserved instance discount is applied on first come – first served basis. Therefore, if usage for D2s_v3 comes to the billing system before D8s_v3 then the RI benefit will apply to D2s_v3.

    As a result, if you need to resize a VM or change the selection of a VM already part of a pre-paid RI, Azure can automatically apply your RI benefit across your existing VMs within the same ‘VM group’ and region. And you do not have to first return the RI to Microsoft or reset the RI period. Please refer to the documentation for a comprehensive overview.

  • An Azure RI ‘VM group’ is simply a list of VMs to which instance size flexibility can be applied. A VM group is not aligned with the existing Azure VM series. Please refer to the documentation for a list of RI VM groups and additional details.

Reserve virtual machines in advance and save up to 80 percent