Microsoft has announced the general availability of its Azure Hybrid Benefit solution for Linux customers across India. It helps customers seamlessly migrate to on-premises Windows Server and SQL Server licenses, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) virtual machines (VMs) to Microsoft Azure. The solution enables a significant reduction in the cost of running workloads on-the-cloud by converting existing PAYG (pay-as-you-go) virtual machines (VMs) to bring-your-own-subscription (BYOS) billing.
In the new normal, it is challenging for businesses to adjust their strategies to maintain production operations and processes. Businesses face challenges in migrating workload to public cloud due to regulatory and data sovereignty related issues. This is common in highly regulated industries such as financial services, healthcare, and government. Also, some workloads, especially those related to the edge, require low latency. Additionally, many organizations have significant on-premises investments that they want to maximize so they choose to modernize on-location datacenters and traditional apps. This includes in on-premises licenses and subscriptions, and the inability to migrate them to cloud often affects the ROI and total cost of ownership. Azure solves this by acknowledging this investment and not charging for subscriptions or licenses again when customers move to the cloud.
Microsoft Azure Hybrid Benefit is a licensing benefit that helps businesses remove migration friction, save software subscription costs at scale, and reduce redeployment and reboot time over 1,500 Linux virtual machines were migrated during the preview period to Azure using the new Azure Hybrid Benefit capabilities, enabling significant cost reduction for an enterprise running Linux workloads in Azure.
Using Azure Hybrid Benefit businesses can achieve the lowest cost of ownership by combining reservations savings and extended security updates. By adopting Microsoft Azure for their cloud journeys, businesses can meet their on-the-cloud requirements, build new expertise, and successfully achieve more business value. Organizations can also effectively plan their cloud roadmap by optimizing Azure environment as per their workload for scale, security, governance, networking, and identity.
While previous BYOS cloud migration options allowed customers to use pre-existing subscriptions in the cloud, Azure Hybrid Benefit improves upon this with several capabilities that are unique to Microsoft Azure:
- Applicable to all Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and SUSE Enterprise Server pay-as-you-go images available in the Azure Marketplace or Azure Portal. Businesses don’t need to provide their own image.
- Saves time with seamless post-deployment conversions as there’s no need for production redeployment. Businesses can simply convert pay-as-you-go images used during the proof of concept testing to bring-your-own-subscription billing.
- Lowers ongoing operational costs with automatic image maintenance, updates, and patches. Microsoft maintains the converted RHEL and SLES images for customers. Organizations can save up to 85% compared to standard pay-as-you-go rates.
- Enables user interface integration with Azure command-line interface (CLI), providing the same UI as other Azure virtual machines, as well as scalable batch conversions.
- Businesses get co-located technical support from Azure, Red Hat, and SUSE with just one ticket.
- The solution combined with recently announced Red Hat and SUSE support for Azure shares disks to lift-and-shift failover clusters and parallel file systems—like Global File System.
- It is fully compatible with Azure Arc, providing end-to-end hybrid cloud operations management for Windows, RHEL, and SLES servers in one solution.
Through Azure Hybrid Benefit, Microsoft is enabling organizations bring existing on-premises Windows Server and SQL Server licenses with active Software Assurance or subscriptions to Azure. Azure Hybrid Benefit is applicable to SQL on Azure and Azure Dedicated Host. Additionally, it provides 180 days of dual-use rights so businesses can maintain on-premises operation while migrating to Azure.