On August 1. Microsoft introduced Azure Dedicated Host in preview. Azure Dedicated Host is a single-tenant physical server dedicated to customers use. With that, Microsoft has extended the Azure Hybrid Benefits rights for customers with active Software Assurance on their Windows Server Datacenter and SQL Server Enterprise licenses.
Azure Dedicated Host
With a physical server dedicated to customers sole use organizations can better govern cloud use and ensure better security. This is important for compliance and governance. Besides, customers have full control and can plan maintenance and upgrades to their wishes. Organizations with the need for more physical servers can subscribe to multiple Azure Dedicated Hosts and create their own Azure dedicated server farm. More about Azure Dedicated Host can be found on the Microsoft Azure Services website.
Azure Hybrid Benefits
Azure Hybrid Benefits grants organizations the rights to assign Windows Server and SQL Server licenses with active Software Assurance to Azure. With that, these organizations only have to pay for Azure compute, networking, I/O and other services without paying double for the licenses. For organizations with a hybrid IT Infrastructure strategy this means cost savings. Rights and specifics to Azure Hybrid Benefits are described in the Microsoft Product Terms.
Windows Server Datacenter
In the on-premises world organizations who have assigned Windows Server Datacenter licenses to a physical server are allowed to install and use an unlimited amount of virtual Windows Server machines on that specific host. With the new extended Azure Hybrid Benefits Microsoft has extended that right to Azure Dedicated Hosts. As long as the licenses are covered with active Software Assurance and all physical cores in the Azure Dedicated Host available to the customer are covered with these licenses, customers can now use unlimited numbers of Windows Server virtual machines on that specific Azure host.
SQL Server Enterprise
With the same analogy to Windows Server Datacenter, customers who have assigned SQL Server Enterprise core licenses – with active Software Assurance – to all physical cores in a server are allowed to install and use an unlimited amount of SQL Server Standard and SQL Server Enterprise virtual machines on that physical server. This right has now been extended to Azure Dedicated Host under Azure Hybrid Benefits Rights.
Please be aware; Azure Hybrid Benefit Rights are a Software Assurance Benefit. This means that organizations must keep active Software Assurance on their Windows Server Datacenter and SQL Server Enterprise licenses to maintain these rights. It is important to schedule Software Assurance renewals. A Software Asset Management (SAM) process or Managed SAM Service can help you prevent a ‘non-renewal’ with incompliance risks.
Does your organization have a hybrid IT Infrastructure strategy and do you want to know more on governance, compliance and cost savings? Please do contact our licensing and Software Asset Management specialists to help you.