Windows Server on Azure
Discover the trusted cloud for your Windows Server workloads
Migrate and modernize your Windows Server workloads on your terms
Run your Windows Server workloads on Azure for a simplified, managed experience for Windows Server virtual machines (VMs) and cloud-native support for SQL Server, .NET apps, and Remote Desktop Services. Modernize your entire Windows Server estate with more than 200 Azure services and capabilities including Azure Automanage, Hotpatch, Azure App Service, Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), and Azure SQL. Use these services in Azure or extend them to your hybrid environment with Azure Arc.
Join the startups, governments, and Fortune 500 companies that run Windows Server on Azure
- Automatically configure and manage your virtual machines with Azure Automanage.
- Patch without rebooting your Windows Server VMs with Hotpatch, only on Azure.
- Get leading database performance from fully managed, secure Azure SQL.
- Gain flexibility and consistency with cloud-native .NET support in Azure App Service and Azure Kubernetes Service.
- Easily deploy a secure, remote desktop experience with Azure Virtual Desktop.
- Get unified security management and advanced threat protection with Microsoft Defender for Cloud.
- Proactively secure your server workloads with Microsoft Sentinel, a cloud-native SIEM.
- Encrypt data while in use with industry-leading Azure confidential computing.
- Enable secure and reliable connectivity between edge file servers and Windows Server on Azure with SMB over QUIC.
- Bring Azure security, management, and governance to any infrastructure with Azure Arc.
- Seamlessly extend your on-premises systems to Azure with hybrid capabilities such as Windows Admin Center in Azure, Azure File Sync, Azure Active Directory, and extended network for Azure.
- Get help at every step of your migration journey with the Azure Migration and Modernization Program, Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure, and Azure Migrate.
Windows Admin Center
Azure App Service
Azure Kubernetes Service
Estimate the cost savings of migrating your Windows workloads to Azure
Use this calculator to compare the total cost of ownership (TCO) of running Windows Server on Azure versus on premises.
Migrate your Windows Server apps and workloads to Azure
Determine how prepared you are to migrate with the Strategic Migration Assessment and Readiness Tool.
Learn how to analyze your IT resources and plan for a smooth migration with the Azure Migration Guide for Windows Server.
Discover how to deploy and manage Windows Server on Azure for improved scalability, security, and privacy with learning paths from Microsoft.
Learn how to optimize the efficiency and costs of your cloud-based architecture with a free online course.
Optimize the reliability, security, performance, and cost of your Azure deployments with Azure Advisor.
Windows Server on Azure solution architectures
Explore various scenarios for running and managing Windows Server virtual machines and workloads in Azure
Get best practices for running a Windows VM on Azure.
Manage servers across hybrid and multicloud environments with Azure Arc.
Design a hybrid Windows Admin Center solution to manage workloads on-premises and in Azure.
Deploy virtual machines (VMs) and a virtual network configured for an N-tier application, using SQL Server on Windows for the data tier.
Use Azure File Sync and Azure Files to extend file services hosting capabilities across cloud and on-premises file share resources.
Protect data and resources with an identity and access management (IAM) solutions.
Customers are innovating with Windows Server on Azure
Sentara Healthcare improves lives by centralizing data
Jeff Thomas, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Sentara Healthcare
"Even as technology changes rapidly, we can respond and deploy what the organization needs thanks to the agility we gained with Azure, which leads to better clinical outcomes and more patient-first services."
Alaska Airlines launches new e-commerce features faster
Ralph Feltis, Senior Software Engineer, Alaska Airlines
"With Azure, we scale when needed and avoid huge overprovisioning costs."
Relativity boosts reliability and security while lowering costs
Shelby Lewin, Senior Product Manager, Relativity
"Before, it would take our application development teams six months to deliver new features. Now that teams are running Windows containers on Azure Kubernetes Service, they're able to deploy within the same day, which is a huge win."
University of Miami gains flexibility, disaster recovery resiliency
Mari Lovo, Director of Cloud Infrastructure Services, University of Miami
"The cost savings for VMware licensing alone was a big benefit because that's included with Azure VMware Solution. Gaining that—while eliminating needs for networking equipment, storage hardware, and professional services for deployment—amounts to six figures of savings for the university."
Younhyung Nam, Director of Platform and System Management, Pearl Abyss
"We chose Azure because of its stability. It had all the functions we needed, and Azure delivered them more reliably and at a lower cost than many of the other options we assessed."
Randy De Meno, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Commvault
"We decided to use Microsoft as our foundation, trusting we could deliver what we intended to deliver using the reliability, scalability, and security of the Microsoft infrastructure."
Frequently asked questions
You can migrate a range of guest operating systems to Azure. This includes all the supported Windows Server versions and VMs from VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V environments with Azure Site Recovery. VMs migrated from these on-premises virtualization platforms run as native Azure infrastructure as a service (IaaS) VMs and are not dependent on the on-premises hypervisor.
We'll meet you where you are, whether you decide to stay on premises or adopt a hybrid model. In the meantime, check the end-of-support date for your version of Windows Server. Keep it running with Extended Security Updates, and ensure that you’ve upgraded to the latest version to take advantage of all the innovations.
Yes. Azure Hybrid Benefit lets you use your existing Windows Server licenses with Software Assurance or Windows Server subscriptions for significant savings on Azure. Use Azure Hybrid Benefit with Windows Server Datacenter and Standard edition licenses covered with Software Assurance or Windows Server subscriptions.
Depending on your edition of Windows Server, you can convert or reuse your licenses to run Windows Server VMs on Azure and pay a lower base compute rate. For each license, Azure will cover the cost of the OS for up to two VMs while you pay only the base compute VM costs.
Yes. There's no upfront cost, and you pay for only what you use. Azure provides flexible purchasing and pricing options, including Azure Hybrid Benefit and Azure Reserved Virtual Machine Instances, for all your cloud scenarios. Azure also offers a comprehensive set of tools to help you manage your cloud spend, including Microsoft Cost Management. Use the pricing calculator to determine your total cost of ownership (TCO), and learn more about Azure pricing.
Resources and documentation
Windows Server on Azure resources
Migration and modernization
Get started with an Azure free account
Try Windows Server on Azure and get 12 months of popular free services—plus a $200 credit to explore Azure for 30 days.
Get help from the Azure Migration and Modernization Program
Accelerate your cloud journey with a proven approach, expert help, and cost-effective offers
Contact Azure sales
Get answers to questions about your specific scenario from an Azure sales specialist.
1IDC White Paper, sponsored by Microsoft, “Addressing Enterprise Cloud Priorities with Microsoft Azure,” June 2020
2Price-performance claims based on data from a study commissioned by Microsoft and conducted by GigaOm in February 2020. The study compared price performance between SQL Server 2019 Enterprise Edition on Windows Server 2019 Datacenter edition in Azure E32as_v4 instance type with P30 Premium SSD Disks and the SQL Server 2019 Enterprise Edition on Windows Server 2019 Datacenter edition in AWS EC2 r5a.8xlarge instance type with General Purpose (gp2) volumes. Benchmark data is taken from a GigaOm Analytic Field Test derived from a recognized industry standard, TPC Benchmark™ E (TPC-E). The Field Test does not implement the full TPC-E benchmark and as such is not comparable to any published TPC-E benchmarks. Prices are based on publicly available US pricing in West US for SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines and Northern California for AWS EC2 as of January 2020. The pricing incorporates three-year reservations for Azure and AWS compute pricing, and Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server and Azure Hybrid Benefit for Windows Server and License Mobility for SQL Server in AWS, excluding Software Assurance costs. Actual results and prices may vary based on configuration and region.