Save with the Microsoft SQL Hybrid Benefit

Azure SQL Database Managed Instance offers a new option in the cloud that represents almost 100 percent compatibility with an on-premises SQL database for customers with active Software Assurance for SQL Server Standard and Enterprise. A hybrid solution for SQL servers, and the transfer of workloads associated with it, offers potential savings of up to 30 percent. Using four virtual cores in Azure for each qualified SQL Enterprise Core License is allowed, for example.

According to Microsoft, the Managed Instance General Purpose Option best meets the requirements for virtualized workloads and makes the switch to Managed Instance more cost-effective.

You can calculate the exact cost benefits using the Azure Hybrid Benefit Savings Calculator.

The Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server entitles the user to use the Microsoft Azure data services in the given circumstances (see table) based on their SQL Server licenses with active Software Assurance (‘qualified license’). Every service must be assigned a separate license if you would like to use two or more Microsoft Azure data services through the Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server.

Headline

Qualified license

Microsoft Azure data service

Ratio of qualified licenses to virtual Azure cores

SQL Server Enterprise (core)

Managed instance

One core license: four virtual cores

SQL Server Standard (core)

Managed instance

One core license: one virtual core

For customers, the Azure Hybrid Benefit means that the Microsoft Azure data services used are not billed; instead, they pay for data processing costs (that is, a base rate), as well as for storage, security, and I/O associated with the use of services, if applicable. Apart from that, the user must show when configuring workloads in Azure that the managed instances, Azure Data Factory SQL Server Integration Services, and SQL Server Virtual Machines are used under the Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server. In addition, customers can supplement workloads with Azure services at full capacity that are executed under the Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server.

They are, however, not entitled to assign a license to the Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server while also assigning the same license under License Mobility through Software Assurance approved servers, or a server provided for its use. Yet this is allowed as a one-off for a period of up to 180 days to allow customers to migrate their respective workloads to Azure. The customer is entitled to reassign licenses that have been assigned for use with the Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server to a dedicated server or servers approved under License Mobility through Software Assurance. Here, it must be ensured that the licenses remain assigned for at least 90 days after migration of the workloads for use with the Hybrid Benefit.

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