SQL Server license flexibility for CSP Partners


One of the great benefits of Azure is the ability to achieve significant cost savings with the Azure Hybrid Benefit (AHB).  By bringing existing licenses for Windows Server or SQL Server, Partners can capture significant cost savings.

Partners can purchase 1 or 3 year licenses for SQL Server, via CSP Software Subscriptions.  This gives predictable pricing & cost savings over per-hour PAYG billing - allowing you to pick the right licensing model for your customers.  We detailed how to purchase CSP Software Subscriptions in an earlier blog

Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines

This week, we announced new features for SQL Server on a VM, which makes it even easier to deploy & manage SQL Server on an Azure VM. 

Previously, if partners wanted to use Bring-Your-Own-License (BYOL) for SQL Server on an Azure VM, they would have to deploy a Windows Server VM, install and configure SQL Server themselves.  The BYOL image of SQL Server on a VM, is not available in the Azure Marketplace for CSP Subscriptions.

Benefits for CSP Partners

Partners can now deploy PAYG SQL Server on a VM from the Azure Marketplace, then swap it to use an AHB license.  This provides the flexibility to select the right license type for your customers.

The ability to change the license type is available on SQL Server PAYG VMs, which are deployed via the Azure marketplace.  This means Partners no longer have to manually install & configure SQL Servers when wanting to bring-your-own-licenses.

SQL Server on a VM, from the Azure Marketplace, also fully automates SQL Backup, Patching & integrates with Azure Key Vault, via the SQL Server Agent Extension.  This means Partners have less VM management Vs. manually installing & configuring SQL Server.

Remember! End-Of-Support is approaching for Windows & SQL Server 2008 & 2008 R2.  This is a great opportunity to evaluate customers' SQL estate & either migrate or modernize - more info on this in an earlier blog.

SQL Managed Instance

When migrating customers to Azure, Partners should always consider which data solution is the right fit for their customers.  Rather than using SQL Server on a VM, Partners should consider if Azure SQL Managed Instance is appropriate.

SQL Managed Instance gives nearly all the features & compatibility of SQL Server, within a fully managed environment, with no VMs to update, configure or manage.  For more information see our guide for picking the right SQL option and our SQL MI Migration guide.

Next Steps

This ability is provided by the new Microsoft. SqlVirtualMachine Resource Provider, which is available in all CSP subscriptions today. 

  1. Deploy SQL on a VM from the Azure Marketplace, such as SQL Server 2016 SP1 Enterprise on Windows Server 2016
  2. Once deployed, use PowerShell to switch the VM from PAYG to AHB licensing

Get started & read about this capability here: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/azure-hybrid-benefit-for-sql-server-on-azure-virtual-machines/.


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