Your rights to Microsoft Azure through SA

Greetings from the exciting world of licensing.  For those of you that may have noticed that my articles are becoming more sporadic as the demand on my time increases, hopefully this blog will make up for my recent silence.  I’d like to tell you all today about some entitlement to Microsoft’s Azure I bet you didn’t know you have.  To start you off, a reminder on what Azure is; Microsoft Azure is a growing collection of integrated cloud services that developers and IT professionals use to build, deploy and manage applications through Microsoft’s global network of data centres.   And although there are many benefits to SA (software assurance) and many, many more exciting things to report about migrating to Azure…below are two key areas worth getting really excited about:

Windows Server Datacenter with SA – Additive Azure Rights

If you are running servers covered with Windows Server Datacenter with SA, you might be surprised to hear about an additive right you have to Azure.  It is called the Azure Hybrid Use Benefit and actually applies to both Standard and Datacenter editions.  The only difference is that with DataCenter Edition, customers get lower-cost instances (they only pay the base compute rate) in Azure as well as rights to maintain their existing on-premises deployments.  For Standard Edition, if customers choose to take advantage of the lower-cost instances in Azure, it means they have to decommission the corresponding on premise workload.

The additive rights for Datacenter edition licenses (with active SA) can come in very handy.  I would urge you to think particularly of test/development or disaster recovery environments.  Utilizing this benefit for things like this means that even though you still must pay the base compute rate, this expense would be kept low as infrastructure in these environments would not be required to be ‘powered on’ all the time.

Monthly Azure credit for Visual Studio subscribers

Similar to the Windows Server Datacenter with SA additional rights for Azure, you will be pleased to hear that Visual Studio Subscribers also get a little piece of the pie when it comes to some complimentary time in Azure.  Active subscribers are entitled to receive some Azure credit each month.  Depending on your subscription, the allowance varies from £40 to £115 a month.  And you don’t have to provide any credit card information!

You can also use this credit on almost any Azure service including virtual machines, web apps, cloud services, mobile services, storage, SQL databases etc.  On top of this, dev/test rates are considerably lower than production fees in Azure, so you could expand on this allowance if you needed to.

So, it turns out my grandmother was wrong…there is such a thing as a free meal.  After all, good SAM (Software Asset Management) is not just about license management, it’s about making the most out of your investment.  The points raised today will hopefully help you to do this.  Good luck!

Writer: May Turnbull

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