SQL Server Managed Instance BYOL Hybrid Licensing & Dev/Test Options

SQL Server Managed Instance BYOL Hybrid Licensing & Dev_Test Options

Microsoft offers SQL Server Managed Instance BYOL Hybrid Licensing for your On-Premises products and discounted pricing for Dev/Test environments. Since managed instances are expensive to deploy initially, these options becomes important to save your overall cost of deployment. It also offers flexibility for your existing on-premises software assurance benefits.

Do note that I have already compared the Azure SQL Managed Instance General Purpose vs Business Critical service tiers on a different post. If you want a detailed comparison, do read it to understand the offerings in more depth.

Managed Instance BYOL Hybrid Licensing Options

If you are moving to the cloud for the first time, you’ll be happy to know that you can use your existing licenses (SQL Server Standard and Enterprise editions only) with software assurance to the cloud. The trade-in terms are as follows:

** Pricing shown as on 15th April 2019

Trade in on-premises cores with Azure Hybrid benefit:

Microsoft offers you to convert your SQL Server on-premises cores to vCores on Azure. It should help you to maximize the value of your existing investments. See below:

  • 1 Standard license core = 1 General Purpose core
  • 1 Enterprise license core = 1 Business Critical core
  • 1 Enterprise license core = 4 General Purpose cores (virtualization benefit)

Reserved Capacity for Azure SQL Database

Microsoft recently announced support for reserved capacity in Azure SQL databases & Cosmos DB. Customers achieve the lowest cost of ownership by combining reservation pricing (between 1- or 3-years) with the Azure Hybrid Benefit. You also have the option to combine reservation pricing along with license-included pay-as-you-go prices. The point behind reservations is to help customers manage costs across predictably and variable workloads to improve budgeting and forecasting with a single upfront payment, making it easy to calculate investments. Here is a screenshot below, that I have taken from their pricing site.

Source: ** Pricing as on 15th April 2019


While Azure Reserved Instances require making upfront commitments on capacity, they also provide the flexibility to easily exchange or cancel reserved instances at any time based on your business needs.

Reserved Instances needs to be assigned at the enrollment or subscription level, so that you can manage the reserved instance usage at an organizational or individual department level. As mentioned before, assignments are easy to change post-purchase as well.

  • Reserve Azure SQL Database resources in advance and save up to 33%
  • Budget and forecast better with upfront payment for one-year or three-year terms
  • Get prioritized compute capacity in Azure regions
  • Exchange or cancel reservations as your needs evolve
  • Scale up or down within a performance tier and region with auto-fit
  • Move SaaS apps between elastic pools and single databases and keep your reserved instance benefit

Azure Dev & Test Pricing for SQL Database (PAAS)

Microsoft now offers discounted pricing on their list prices dedicated for development and testing.

  • Microsoft offers discounted rates of up to 55% off to support your ongoing development and testing projects.
  • Dev/Test pricing available for vCore-based deployment options
  • Eligible with an active Visual Studio subscription

Visit the official Microsoft website to know more.

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