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Maximizing Value with Azure Hybrid Use Benefit

Maximizing Value with Azure Hybrid Use Benefit

Making Azure Even More Affordable

Microsoft Azure Hybrid Use Benefit, aka “HUB”, is a current offering from Microsoft that helps you take advantage of what you already own on-premises and allows you to spin up Windows virtual machines in Azure at a reduced rate.

What are the details involving Hybrid Use Benefit?

The Azure Hybrid Use Benefit allows you to run Windows Server VMs in Azure while only get billed for the base compute rate. To take a brief step back… when you create a Windows virtual machine in Azure either from the Azure portal or programmatically via PowerShell part of the hourly cost for the VM is for the compute ( V-cores, RAM, Hard Drive space, etc.) as well as for the Windows Licensing itself. So by taking advantage of the Hybrid Use Benefit Microsoft allows you to use the Windows server licensing you already own with Software Assurance and use those towards covering cost of licensing for the Windows virtual machines in Azure.

How much can I save with Hybrid Use Benefit?

Using HUB you will be paying only for the base compute of your virtual machine which effectively allows you to pay the same costs of spinning up a Linux virtual machine. Savings will vary depending on the series of VM you create but as shown in the graphic below you can realize savings as much as 41% which is a good chunk of change.


How many Windows virtual machines in Azure will HUB cover?

Each Windows Server Standard or Datacenter with SA license will permit you to run either:

  • 1 Azure VM instance up to 16 cores
  • 2 Azure VM instances up to 8 cores each

*Important Note*

Windows Server Standard with SA can only be used on a single server – meaning, you may use the Windows server license on-premises or in Azure, but not both at the same time.

Windows Server Datacenter with SA allows you to continue using the unlimited virtualization benefits on each licensed host on-premises but you can also take advantage and run a Windows virtual machine in Azure as well off the same license.

In other words, the Windows Standard edition HUB rights are considered alternative rights whereas with Windows Datacenter edition, the HUB rights are considered additive rights

How do I use the Hybrid Use Benefit?

To use Hybrid Use Benefit you will need to create a VHD that contains your base Windows Serer build and load it into Azure. There are some pre-requisites and other steps to follow which you can find more details on by following this link*Windows virtual machines created from the portal gallery are not eligible for Hybrid Use Benefit.

I hope you’ve learned a little bit and will now be even more interested to start moving some of those servers you’re running on-prem and move them to Azure.


To learn more about Azure Hybrid Use Benefit, or to find out how to benefit from other Microsoft licenses on Azure, please reach out to us or share your thoughts and questions in the comment section below. To get the latest news from PCM, follow @PCM on Twitter, join us on Facebook, or connect with us on LinkedIn. To get the latest news sent straight to your inbox, join our newsletter.