Any company that uses a lot of Azure as, when set up correctly, it will reduce your costs in the cloud and will lower your Azure spend by only paying for the “bare metal” costs and not the Microsoft software charges. 

The Azure Hybrid Benefit is a pricing benefit for customers who have licenses with Software Assurance, which helps maximize the value of existing on-premises Windows Server and/or SQL Server license investments when migrating to Azure. Eligible customers can save up to 40% on Azure Virtual Machines (IaaS) and up to 55% on Azure SQL databases (PaaS). If combined with Azure Reserved Instances they claim savings of up to 80%! 

These numbers might not always work out to their full potential, but Azure Hybrid Benefit will definitely save you money. Keep reading to find out how and why! 

Azure Hybrid Benefit explained by LicenseQ
  • Use the entitlements (procuring licenses, renewing Software Assurance, etc.) you have built up over time when moving to the cloud and/or Azure
  • Reduce your spend on Azure Services by leveraging past investments
  • Available for Windows Server and SQL Server core licenses – both Standard and Datacenter (for Win Server) or Standard and Enterprise (for SQL) with Software Assurance can be leveraged
  • Setting up is easy so you can start saving right away
  • Receive free Extended Security Updates (ESU) when moving your environment to the cloud
How does it work for Windows Server and SQL Server?
There are some differences between the way Azure Hybrid Benefit works for Windows Server and SQL Server. The migration time is the same for both, namely up to 180 days, and with both products migration back to on-prem is possible, with a required minimum 90 days assignment. What are the differences?
Azure Hybrid Benefit for Windows Server and SQL Server
Pro tip! Strange but true!
Procuring new licenses for on-premises SQL Server or Windows Server (so L+SA or Subscription licenses) can still reduce your costs within Azure! Also, if you have the option to license your entire Windows Server and/or SQL Server estate in a Server and Cloud Enrolment the price of your licenses will drop significantly
Floris Klaver, Co-Owner LicenseQ
Want to see examples of the costs you could be saving?
Watch the video below for some examples
Our advice to you as a Microsoft customer
  • Switch to the Azure Hybrid Benefit as fast as possible! You might need to invest more upfront, as you pay for your licenses for an entire year in advance. However, in the long run it will reduce your spend!
  • Know your licenses! Know what you have and how you can leverage them in the cloud. Invest time in figuring out how many licenses you have, run the MAP toolkit or use your own SAM tooling
  • Use the basic rules in the Product Terms to calculate how many VMs and databases you can cover with your current license entitlements and check these against your organization’s roadmap.
  • Do a deep dive on procuring new licenses! It might be advantageous to procure new licenses in your EA or as CSP subscriptions instead of paying for full service in Azure.
  • Azure Hybrid Benefit makes the most sense for machines that are on 24/7 or long periods of the year (>9 months is usually the threshold) as you pay Software Assurance in annual instalments. Combine these always-on machines with Azure Reserved Instance.

We hope this article has been helpful! Want to know more about Azure Hybrid Benefit and how it can help your organization? Drop us a mail via our contact form and our industry experts will be more than happy to assist you.