Maximize IT cost savings with Azure Hybrid Benefit

By May 12, 2021 No Comments

As more and more organizations continue to expand their IT cloud presence, a discussion that often occurs between IT directors and C-level executives is, “How do we continue to expand into the Cloud while reducing our total cost of ownership?”

Fortunately, Microsoft Azure has addressed these questions by offering two programs that can help customers greatly reduce their Azure spend:

  1. Reserved instances, allowing customers to purchase one or three-year resource needs up front.
  2. Azure Hybrid Benefit, which lets an organization apply unused licenses with Active Software Assurance (ASA) to further reduce their IT spend.

Image courtesy of Microsoft

The savings potential is significant:

According to Microsoft 1, customers can save up to 49 percent with Azure Hybrid Benefit, and up to 80 percent when combined with reserved instances.


Extending your on-prem license investment

While many cloud providers offer some type of discount for pre-purchasing resources, Azure Hybrid Benefit (AHB) is a program unique to Microsoft Azure. AHB allows a customer to apply their existing Windows Server Standard and Datacenter licenses with ASA licenses to help offset monthly compute spend. To leverage AHB, a customer must assign a 2-processor license or a set of 16-core licenses, which entitles them to two Azure instances of up to eight cores or one instance of up to 16 cores. Beyond this, a customer can assign eight core licenses to each additional Azure instance for increased savings.

While there are many online tools that can assist an organization with calculating the number of Windows Server licenses required to leverage AHB, these tools are designed to only provide estimates versus exact requirements. Beyond this, there are many factors that online tools cannot quantify (e.g., the number of licenses an organization has already consumed for their on-premises workloads and Windows Datacenter dual-use rights). Because any customer is required to comply with Microsoft’s Product Terms to leverage AHB gains, Inviso recommends working with a certified Azure and licensing specialist to ensure your organization remains compliant in your migration to the Cloud.

A certified specialist can ensure you remain compliant by providing:

  • An exact count of the number of Windows licenses with Active Software Assurance afforded to you via your various Microsoft license agreements.
  • A normalized deployment report of all your Windows Server software.
  • A licensing analysis that shows how many licenses are being consumed by your organization on-prem and how many are available for AHB use.

Partner with Inviso for cost analysis, migration strategies

As AHB can also be used for your SQL Server deployments, Inviso can also perform a similar analysis to ensure your IT organization can further reduce monthly spend by applying Bring your Own Licenses (BYOL) to your SQL Server deployments in Azure. Once the licensing analysis has been complete, an Azure specialist from Inviso can work with your IT team to discuss any upcoming migration strategies, Azure cost optimization requirements, and/or provide recommendations about additional Azure adoption scenarios like Azure Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD).

If you’ve been considering using Azure Hybrid Benefit or are presently implementing the program and want to ensure that your organization is maximizing all benefits, or simply want to discuss additional cloud adoption models, connect with one of our cloud and licensing specialists today at

Chris Johnson

Author Chris Johnson

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