Azure Hybrid Use Benefit: Save Up to 40% on Windows Server VMs

By now, you’re well-versed in the advantages of moving to a public cloud like Azure. Without costly onsite infrastructure to host, servers to manage and mind-numbing maintenance, your team can complete more revenue-generating projects. Microsoft’s Azure Hybrid Use Benefit (Azure HUB) hedges the risk of moving to the cloud. With the Azure Hybrid Use Benefit, you can use on-premises Windows Server licenses with Software Assurance to run Windows Server virtual machines in Azure at the base compute rate. The result? Huge potential savings for your business. Migrate to Azure today.

What Is the Azure Hybrid Use Benefit?

The Azure Hybrid Use Benefit allows you to extend your existing on-premises Windows Server licenses and Software Assurance to the cloud — reducing the cost of running Windows virtual machines in Azure.

By leveraging your existing licenses, you avoid the cost of Azure licenses, pay only the base compute rate and save up to 40 percent. Here’s a cost breakdown of creating a Windows VM in Azure and what you’ll save with Azure HUB.

  • Hourly compute costs: When setting up a VM in the Azure portal or via PowerShell, you pay an hourly cost for compute (V-cores, RAM, hard drive space, etc.)

  • Windows licensing: To run a Windows VM in Azure, you must also pay a licensing cost. With Azure HUB, you can use the license for your on-premises VMs to run a VM in the cloud.  

Obviously, your monthly savings will vary depending on factors like usage, instance type, location and VM series. But according to Microsoft, using your existing licenses can save you up to 41%.

Who Is the Azure HUB For?

Are you a Windows Server Standard or Datacenter customer? Do you have Software Assurance? Then you’re eligible to save up to 40 percent on Windows VM licenses in Azure.

Whether moving a few workloads, migrating your datacenter or deploying new VMs, Azure HUB can dramatically reduce the cost of moving to the cloud.

Beyond saving up to 41 percent on license costs, you gain a flexible, cost-effective cloud platform that allows you to:

  • Scale compute resources up or down quickly
  • Pay only for what you use
  • Save on compute power

Azure HUB Restrictions and Eligibility

Before getting started with Azure HUB, you should know certain restrictions exist around the offer. For instance, Microsoft limits the number of Windows virtual machines covered.

To take advantage of HUB, you must be a Windows Server Standard or Windows Server Datacenter customer with Software Assurance. Here’s what’s covered under each:

  • Windows Server Standard: With Windows Server Standard, you can choose Azure HUB benefits in lieu of on-premises. You can only use the Windows server license either on-premises or in Azure. You may use the Windows server license on-premises or in Azure, but not both at the same time. Run either:

    • 1 Azure VM instance up to 16 cores
    • 2 Azure VM instances up to 8 cores each
    • (You can also stack licenses to run virtual machines with more than 16 cores.)
  • Windows Server Datacenter with SA license: With Windows Server Datacenter, Azure HUB benefits are an add-on to your existing licenses. Windows Server Datacenter with SA allows you to continue using the unlimited virtualization benefits on each licensed host on-premises, but you can also take advantage and run a Windows virtual machine in Azure as well off the same license. Run either:

    • 1 Azure VM instance up to 16 cores
    • 2 Azure VM instances up to 8 cores each
    • (You can also stack licenses to run virtual machines with more than 16 cores.)

Do Existing Azure VMs Apply?

You cannot convert existing VMs to HUB licensing. Instead, you must delete the VM while retaining the storage and use that to create a new VM.

How to Enable Azure HUB Licensing

Microsoft outlines a few ways to use Azure Hybrid Benefit. You can deploy VMs from Marketplace images pre-configured with Azure HUB or upload a custom VM and deploy using a Resource Manger template or Azure PowerShell. For more detailed instructions on setting up Azure HUB and deploying VMs, check out this documentation.

Confidently Plan and Execute Your Azure Implementation

Moving VMs to Azure is only the first step in your cloud implementation. Before making the transition, you need a detailed plan and strategy to minimize disruption and maximize productivity.

Agile IT has successfully migrated 1,000+ companies to the cloud. Let Agile IT map out a strategic and cost-effective cloud strategy for your business today.

Published on: .

This post has matured and its content may no longer be relevant beyond historical reference. To see the most current information on a given topic, click on the associated category or tag.

How can we help?


Let's start a conversation

location Agile IT Headquarters
4660 La Jolla Village Drive #100
San Diego, CA 92122

telephone-icon + 1 (619) 292-0800 mail-icon

Don’t want to wait for us to get back to you?