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Azure Launched Reserved Instances - What Does It Mean For Businesses?


Arpit Kasliwal

October 20, 2017

The cloud wars are heating up. Almost on regular periodic intervals, businesses are inundated with the next best cloud offering that holds the promise to simplify the cloud further, deliver great business benefits and cost savings. Microsoft’s Azure cloud offering has delivered these benefits to many organizations across the globe. Consistent with the effort to make the cloud more efficient for enterprise use, Microsoft recently launched Azure Reserved Instances. The offering was launched at their annual Ignite conference in Florida this year and can be considered as one of the highlight points of this event.

Microsoft has endeavored to make their cloud offerings more transparent and more suited to meet the needs of the enterprise. Reserved Instances, that had been a long-standing feature of AWS, is the new Azure feature that Microsoft is wooing the enterprises with. With this offering, Microsoft offers their clients a significant cost benefit, going up to as much as 72%, when compared to the older pay-as-you-go model. With Azure RIs, Microsoft customers can choose between a lock-in period spanning one to three years on their Windows and Linux virtual machines (VMs). By combining Azure RI with the pay-as-you-go model, Microsoft helps their customers reduce their total cost of ownership across predictable as well as variable workflows. Another benefit of Azure RI is that it provides a single price for each VM size in a region thus taking away the need to choose between Windows or Linux VMs.

While the offering presents an obvious cost advantage, here’s a look at why this makes sense for businesses.

Flexibility and Scalability

Businesses today need to be flexible to adapt to changing market conditions. Azure RI gives unprecedented flexibility to organizations to adapt to these changing conditions. These RIs can be easily exchanged thus making regional and VM changes, for example, becomes inherently easier. Azure RIs can also be combined easily with Azure Hybrid Cloud. With this integration, businesses can save almost 82% in costs. So when your business needs change, you can adjust your RIs to meet the demands. If you no longer need the purchased capacity of the RI owing to changing business dynamics, you can quite simply cancel the RIs at any given time and get the refund for the same. Further, since the RIs can be assigned at the subscription or enrolment level, managing RI use at an organizational or departmental level becomes easier. You can easily change the assignments of the RI post-purchase, which provides greater flexibility to the organizations to use their investment optimally.

Quite simply, businesses get more cloud at a lesser cost with Azure RI.

Improved Budgets and Forecasting

Transparency in cloud costs has been an ongoing battle. At the Ignite conference, Microsoft’s Scott Guthrie highlighted this point when he mentioned, “A key aspect of trusting the cloud is fully understanding the costs. No one wants a surprise bill”. Almost all organizations find it hard to figure out costs of cloud deployment ahead of time. Azure RI takes this ambiguity away and provides the benefit of price predictability which helps in improving business forecasting and budgeting. Since these bills are rounded down to the last minute of use, the presented bill is simplified as Azure offers organizations easy to use built-in controls to schedule VM auto-shutdowns. This also translates to more money saved as organizations can shut down their VMs when they are not going to be in use especially in development and test environments, or during Big Data analysis and other such batch operations.

Cost Management Tools

Azure RI also gives organizations the capability to further optimize their cloud resources, allocate costs and manage department budgets with ease with free Azure Cost Management. It gives organizations the capability to visualize the obvious cost benefits of RIs purchase and compare that to the pay-as-you-go model. It further helps organizations understand the manner in which the existing RIs and other instances are utilized.

These capabilities offered by Azure RI and the apparent organizational as well as price benefits show that Azure is pushing for enabling innovation in the cloud. As Microsoft Gold Certified Partners we can help you leverage these Microsoft offerings to enable your innovation and maximize your Cloud investment. Connect with us to learn more.

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