You have probably heard about reservations for servers in Azure at this point. You may even be using them to some extent.

What you may not know, is that there are 17 other categories of services you can reserve in Azure right now, promising 30-70% savings compared to pay-as-you-go.

Get our 3 best tips in this blogpost.

In this blog we will share with you the three categories of reservations where our customers could be saving the most money (but are not aware of it):

  1. Linux licences,
  2. SQL Server Elastic Pools, and
  3. SQL Data Warehouse

Linux Licenses

Few customers realize that you can buy reservations for Linux license(we know, we know, not technically a license, but, in practice you have to pay to use a piece of software… so we’ll use that term) to cover SUSE and Red Hat.

An example is SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Priority. This would be in use for many different SAP use cases, and we see many customers where this saving is applicable.

So how much could you save? A lot. Around 64% actually. 64% of what? Well, for medium server sizes with 5+vCPU the annual savings are about €1200. Per license reservation.

For a typical customer with €50.000 monthly spend, the annual savings are often around €20.000-€30.000.

SQL Server Elastic Pools

A relatively new, and certainly under-utilized, reservation category is SQL Server Elastic Pools. Now not all pools are equal, you are going to need a vCore-type elastic pool. If you are using eDTU based pools today, or are still running stand-alone SQL Server databases, now is a great time to consider making that switch. It is especially relevant if you have a moderately or larger sized SQL Server environment in Azure.

Savings are around 30-35%, depending on region. In real money, even for the smallest pool that is €1500 per year.

Please note that this reservation type is also available for some stand-alone SQL Server databases.

Azure SQL Data Warehouse

A favorite among those who develop Business Intelligence or other Analytics solutions in Azure, is the use of Azure SQL Data Warehouse. I use that name here, as that is the name you will find in the Azure Portal, in marketing material and on Microsoft’s website, it is now known as Azure Synapse Analytics.

What has yet to become a favorite, but certainly should be, is using reservations to cover your Azure SQL Data Warehouse consumption.

Reservations are bought in blocks of DW100c’s – an hourly consumption metric. So, if your services use 1500 DW100c’s continuously, you would reserve 15 units of DW100c. A pitfall here is that many customers vary the size of their instances over time – and spin up additional instances in some periods. You will want to control for this when making reservations.

Learn more about Savings in Azure

Next really depends on the purpose of your efforts:

If you want to become an expert and learn all the details of how to save on Azure reservations Microsoft provides you with a thorough description. 

Or learn more ways to save on Azure by joining our free webinar.

 

… and lastly, if what you are looking for is a way to save on Azure, with limited time spent from your side then book a meeting and learn about how we might help you.

 

Remember

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A small business owner recently asked me what she could do to lower their spend on Office 365. At $150 per user per year for the Business Premium package (the Business series is for companies with up to 300 users), it adds up.

So, what can you do?

Well, with all user-based software, you should do three things:

  1. Make sure you only license the users you need to
  2. See if you can use a smaller license package
  3. Consider other options

Only license the real active users

Let’s start with only licensing the users you need to. Here we’ve got a few tips:

  • Shared mailboxes: In Office 365, we often see customers who use full-blown licenses for shared mailboxes. That is, [email protected] receives a full license. You don’t need to. You can create shared mailboxes at no extra cost and add the users or groups to them that need to access the content. This is a good scenario for most, and we use it extensively.
  • Remove licenses from inactive users. Did you give an external consultant a user and license, and they are no longer doing work for you? Did an employee stop? In most companies these “ghost” accounts draw 5-15% of licenses.

Use smaller packages

In Office 365 – both for small and large companies – there are many packages available. They differ vastly in price, and you should consider what features each employee really needs. The big differences are centered on the need for:

  • Installed Office applications: For many users, a web edition is enough. This is especially true for those who rarely create documents, but merely read them, or enter data. The [KS1] difference between a Microsoft 365 Business Standard (formerly Office 365 Business Premium) and Microsoft 365 Business Basic (formerly Office 365 Business Essentials) account is primarily the lack of installed office (there are others like mailbox size, but we rarely see these becoming real-world limitations in our data). The savings? $90 per user per year. That adds up.

  • Collaboration tools: Do you actually use Sharepoint, Teams, or your mailbox? Your company might use Google e-mail and collaboration tools – or Zoom, or Slack, or… it’s a long list. If all you need are the office products, you can use Microsoft 365 Apps (formerly Office 365 Business) and save $50 per user per year.

Consider other options

  • Switch to owning office software. You can still buy office, and it’s not as expensive as you might think. A Office Home & Business 2019 license is $250 without discounts. If all you use are the apps, that’s an ROI of 18 months. Limitation is you’re only allowed to install it on one device, vs 5 for the Office 365 version.
  • Switch to something else. Libreoffice? Google Docs etc.? There are other options out there. This, however, is not necessarily a simple thing to do. In the long run though, open source might be worth thinking about. We are willing to wager the cost of Office 365 is unlikely to be going down in the future..

We hope this is helpful. If you have any questions we do host free webinars

Interested to learn more? Subscribe to our blog or follow us on LinkedIn.

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