Save big $$$ with Azure Hybrid Benefits Program from Microsoft
Leveraging Azure Hybrid Benefits is a no brainer if you own Windows Server licenses with Software Assurance. The program is designed to help lower your Azure costs if you are running Windows Server virtual machines. Read our article for more detailed information: Is it cheaper to run Windows Server on Azure or AWS?
However, many organizations don’t have an active Software Assurance contract with Microsoft. A common question – Is the Investment in buying licenses & Software Assurance justified?
The answer is: Well, it really depends…
In this article, we will walk you through 3 steps to analyze the ROI that you can perform for your specific environment to make the determination.
STEP 1. Determine you Azure footprint
Azure Hybrid Benefits (AHUB) offers significant cost savings by offering Windows Server virtual machine at the cost Linux (CentOS/SUSE) virtual machine which is significantly cheaper. These can represents little or a lot of cost savings for your organization depending on how massive your Windows Server footprint is in the cloud. Let’s take a very simple example to illustrate the cost savings potential with AHUB:
Windows Server D16 v3 (16 vCPU, 64GB RAM) virtual machine in West US region cost:
$1,243.97/month (running 744 hours/month)
With Azure Hybrid Benefit, the same Windows Server D16 v3 in West US region will cost:
$696.38/month (running 744 hours per month)
As you can see, AHB can provide a savings of $547.59/month (~44% savings) with just 1 Virtual Machine. Imagine if you had 1000’s of Windows Server VM’s running…! Obviously, every company will have a different environment compared to our simple example above.
Visit Azure Pricing Calculator and select your Virtual machine instances, quantities, regions and hours of usage per month to calculate potential cost savings with AHB. Start building a spreadsheet like the one below for your environment:
|Virtual Machine||Region||Quantity||Hours of Usage/month||List Price (per month)||Azure Hybrid List Price (per month)||Cost Savings (per month)|
|Windows Server D16 v3||West US||10||744||$ 12,439.68||$ 6,963.84||$ 5,475.84|
|Windows Server D4 v3||West US||15||744||$ 9,329.76||$ 5,222.88||$ 4,106.88|
STEP 2. Analyze the Windows Server License & Software Assurance count
- First, you will need to calculate the number of Windows Server licenses required to cover your Azure Windows Server footprint. Use the following WS SA Count Tool: Azure Hybrid Benefit WS SA Count Tool
- Get a quote for Windows Server (Datacenter Edition and Standard Edition) with Software Assurance from Microsoft or one of their resellers. If you are considering buying WS licenses solely for the purpose of lowering your Azure compute costs through Azure Hybrid Benefit, then WS Standard is a better choice. WS Datacenter licenses are significantly more expensive than WS Standard Edition.
STEP 3. Calculate the Payback Period:
According to Azure Hybrid Program, each 2 Processor or 16 core Windows Server license with active Software Assurance can be used on maximum of 2 VM’s with up to 16 cores.
Per the SA Count tool, we will need 18 WS licenses (with SA) to cover the footprint listed in the table above. Let’s assume that each WS Standard license with SA is $1000, then 18 licenses will cost $18,000.
Payback Period = (Cost of the WS Licenses with SA/ Cost Savings per month in Azure) = 1.8 months
This means that in less than 2 months, you will recover the investment made in WS licenses & Software Assurance!
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