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Microsoft Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server

The Microsoft Azure Hybrid Benefit for Windows Server (formerly Windows Server Azure Hybrid Use Benefit) has been around for some time now. It was announced in late 2017 that this benefit would be extended to SQL Server – and we now have details!

What does it do?

The Microsoft Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server allows appropriately licensed organizations to offset some of their Azure SQL costs using on-premises licenses.

You won’t be charged for the use of the included Azure Data Services, but you will still need to pay for other associated costs such as compute, storage, backup and input/output (I/O).

What does it cover?

Qualified License Azure Data Service License to vCore ratio
SQL Server Enterprise (Core) General Purpose Managed Instance 1 Core license:4 vCores
Business Critical Managed Instance 1 Core license:1 vCore
Azure Data Factory SQL Server Integration Services (Standard) 1 Core license:1 vCore
SQL Server Enterprise Virtual Machines 1 Core license1:1 vCore
SQL Server Standard (Core) General Purpose Managed Instance 1 Core license:1 vCore
Azure Data Factory SQL Server Integration Services (Standard) 1 Core license:1 vCore
SQL Server Standard Virtual Machines 1 Core license1:1 vCore

1Subject to a minimum of 4 core licenses per virtual machine

Use rights

Licenses assigned to Azure services cannot also be used elsewhere – apart from a one-time, 180-day (max.) exception to allow the migration of services to Azure.

Running a passive fail-over instance within Azure is permitted for licenses assigned under this benefit, up to the same number of licenses as the live instance.

Further reading

Page 51 of the March 2018 Microsoft Product Terms

Our LISA (Licensing, ITAM and SAM Academy) online training platform will be updated with a new module to reflect this ASAP. For more info, check out and for a free trial

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About Libby Phillipps

Libby has worked for the ITAM Review for a year now and has over six years experience in marketing, and five within the IT Asset Management industry. Libby has recently taken on the additional role of Community Manager - if you are looking to discuss ideas and content for The ITAM Review, please get in touch .

One Comment

  1. AJ Witt says:

    Sigh….

    *Still* no option to enable SQL Server Failover Rights for hybrid deployment. Having the ability to run SQL Server On Prem but have your passive failover instance in Azure would encourage use of Azure for BCP/DR. The sticking point currently is the cost of SQL Server licenses, because you’re allowed to use Failover Rights On Prem for hardware dedicated to your use. Why not enable the same for an Azure Reserved Instance? Currently you’d need to dual-license for On Prem-Azure deployments and that’s prohibitively expensive, particularly for SQL Server Enterprise.

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