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Microsoft Bolsters CSP with Azure Reserved Instances

Microsoft released a new offering through its Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program on Thursday that could help partners create more cost-effective Microsoft Azure solutions for customers willing to pay upfront.

Azure was already available through CSP, which is Microsoft's program allowing partners to resell cloud services and other Microsoft products to customers on a subscription basis. The bulk of Microsoft and partner business in CSP is in Office 365, but Microsoft has been steadily adding other products and services to the mix.

Because pricing of Azure can be high for customers paying on an as-you-go, monthly basis, Microsoft in March unveiled an Azure Reserved Virtual Machine Instances (RI) option for companies purchasing predictable workloads. Azure RI is a one- or three-year pre-purchase of cloud compute resources, which can be scaled up with an additional payment or scaled down or cancelled with a refund as requirements evolve.

According to Microsoft, the total savings for virtual machines purchased through Azure RI can be as high as 72 percent. In many cases, the single upfront payment yields a lower, but still substantial, discount. In a simple example, according to Microsoft's Azure calculator, a single Ubuntu Linux virtual machine D1 instance would cost $56.21 per month on a pay-as-you-go basis. Paid upfront for a year, the savings would amount to 31 percent, and paid upfront for three years, the savings would come to 56 percent, according to the calculator.

In combination with a Software Assurance benefit called Azure Hybrid Benefits, the savings with Azure RI can top 82 percent in the most optimized scenarios.

Microsoft Channel Chief Gavriella Schuster on Thursday announced immediate availability of Azure RI through CSP. Schuster also said Windows Server and SQL Server would be coming to CSP later. That will allow cloud partners to provide Azure Hybrid Benefits through CSP, creating a more straightforward licensing scenario or avoiding the need to get another licensing partner involved in the transaction.

Posted by Scott Bekker on May 10, 2018 at 12:30 PM


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