Recent changes in Microsoft’s licensing mean that the costs of Virtual Servers have changed. Historically, there have been many barriers to the adoption of Cloud Servers for SMBs; for many, the expense and the unpredictable pricing of Virtual Servers have been the biggest concern. For small businesses, budgeting for IT infrastructure with such uncertainties becomes impossible meaning Virtual Servers simply weren’t a feasible option.
Bigger businesses, however could afford Microsoft’s Volume Licensing – a method of buying and managing all your licences easily in bulk – and were entitled to discounts because of this. For the first time ever, SMBs can access these discounts which were previously only available to larger businesses. The discounts destroy the barriers that smaller businesses previously faced, making Virtual Servers a viable, and affordable, option for SMBs.
The two discounts now available for SMBs are Azure Reserved Instance (RI) and Hybrid Benefit.
Azure Reserved Instance is a discount available to businesses that reserve a Virtual Server for a 12- or 36-month period. Businesses can choose their Virtual Server as normal, trial it for a month or two, then lock it down into a Reserved Instance, receiving up to 60% discount. The reservation requires an upfront payment, meaning that the cost is both cheaper and predictable, addressing the issues that smaller businesses face with Virtual Servers.*
Hybrid Benefit is a further discount that’s available on top of the Azure Reserved Instance discount. Previously, Hybrid Benefit was available to those customers that had Volume Licensing with Software Assurance. Software Assurance meant that you could upgrade and transfer licences easily but was an additional expense. Customers with these were able to transfer those server licences to the Cloud and receive Hybrid Benefit – a further discount meaning up to 80% total discount! The big change is that small and medium businesses can now receive the Hybrid Benefit – 80% savings – by buying their server licences through Risc IT Solutions and other CSPs. This simply wasn’t an option for SMBs before now.
These discounts break down the barriers that SMBs have previously faced when moving to Virtual Servers. Azure Reserved Instance and Hybrid Benefit mean that Azure Virtual Servers are not only affordable and cheaper than they ever have been, but also have stable and predictable pricing.
*NOVEMBER UPDATE: Microsoft have very recently made a change to the payment method of Azure Reserved Instances allowing monthly payment in addition to upfront payment. This makes Azure Virtual Servers even more affordable for SMBs!
For more information on Azure Reserved Instance and to discuss your business requirements, please fill in the form below.