Announcing General Availability of Azure Reserved VM Instances (RIs)

Azure Reserved VM Instances (RIs) are generally available for customers worldwide, effective today. Azure RIs enable you to reserve Virtual Machines on a one- or three-year term, and provide up to 72% cost savings versus pay-as-you-go prices.

Azure RIs give you price predictability and help improve your budgeting and forecasting. Azure RIs also provide unprecedented flexibility should your business needs change. We’ve made it easy to exchange your RIs and make changes such as region or VM family, and unlike other cloud providers, you can cancel Azure RIs at any time and get a refund.

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Azure is the most cost-effective cloud for Windows Server workloads

If you are a Windows Server customer with Software Assurance, you can combine Azure RIs with Azure Hybrid Benefits and save up to 82% compared to pay-as-you-go prices, and up to 67%* compared to AWS RIs for Windows VMs. In addition, with Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server, customers with Software Assurance will be able to save even more.

With Azure RIs and Azure Hybrid Benefit, Azure is the most cost-effective public cloud to run your Windows Server workloads!

Azure offers better than per-second billing and free cost management tools

Azure bills you per-second rounded down to the last minute, saving you money and simplifying your bill. For example, a VM that runs for 345 seconds is billed at 300 seconds. And, Azure offers you built-in, easy-to-use controls to schedule VM auto-shutdown. This means that you can save money by shutting down VMs when you don’t need them. Examples include Dev/Test environments, Big Data analysis, and other batch operations.

Additionally, with free Azure Cost Management, you can further optimize your cloud resources, manage departmental budgets, and allocate costs.  Today, you can already right-size virtual machines based on real-time usage reports. You’ll soon be able to visualize the cost benefits of purchasing RIs compared to pay-as-you-go and understand the utilization of your existing RIs and other instances over time, as shown in the screenshot below:

 
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The combination of these capabilities, our price-match commitment, and product innovations like Burstable VMs and Archival Storage, means that Azure offers the best deal for moving to and innovating in the cloud.

Learn more at azure.microsoft.com/pricing.

*Based on comparing 3-year Azure D8_v3 RI prices with Azure Hybrid Benefit in US West 2 to AWS m4.2xlarge 3-year Standard RIs in US West (Oregon). Actual savings may vary based on region, instance type, usage or software license costs.