Microsoft has this week made an important announcement regarding Azure Hybrid Benefit, its cloud licensing program. Specifically, the program is now available for Linux servers under general availability.
If you are unfamiliar with the Azure Hybrid Benefit, it is a program for organizations using SQL Server and Windows 10, allowing them to extend their licenses on those platforms to Azure. In other words, they can create a hybrid license that allows server software to run in an Azure cloud virtual machine.
Microsoft is expanding this ability to Linux servers. The company points out users with pay-as-you-go subscriptions on SUSE Linux Enterprise and Red Hat Enterprise can now access Azure Hybrid Benefit. It is unclear if the program will eventually come to other Linux servers in the future.
“We’re pleased to have worked closely with Microsoft to bring Red Hat Enterprise Linux to Azure Hybrid Benefit,” said Gunnar Hellekson, senior director, Product Management, Red Hat Enterprise Linux at Red Hat. “Giving customers more, and easier, choices as to where and how they run the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform and the foundation for our hybrid cloud portfolio is especially beneficial today, as organizations evolve digital transformation initiatives in response to dynamic global conditions.”
Azure Hybrid Benefit is a good option for organizations seeking a cost-effective solution. That’s because it removes the costs associated with normal pay-as-you-go Azure licenses. A standard license will include costs for software and hardware, whereas Hybrid does not.
In a blog post announcing availability on Linux, Microsoft details the following benefits of the program:
- “Lower your ongoing operational costs with automatic image maintenance, updates, and patches—Microsoft maintains the converted RHEL and SLES images for you.
- Enjoy the convenience of unified user interface integration with the Azure CLI, providing the same UI as other Azure virtual machines, as well as scalable batch conversions.
- Get co-located technical support from Azure, Red Hat, and SUSE with just one ticket.
- Combine with recently announced Red Hat and SUSE support for Azure shared disks to lift-and-shift failover clusters and parallel file systems—like Global File System.
Fully compatible with Azure Arc, providing end-to-end hybrid cloud operations management for your Windows, RHEL, and SLES servers in one solution.”