Making Sense of Azure RI and Hybrid Benefit
Historically, there have been some barriers to the adoption of Azure Servers for SMBs; for many, the expense and unpredictable pricing have been the biggest concern. For small businesses, budgeting for IT infrastructure with such uncertainties becomes impossible meaning Azure Servers simply weren’t a feasible option. Changes in Microsoft’s licensing mean that this is no longer the case, and SMBs can now access the discounts that were only previously afforded to larger businesses.
Accessing and Applying the Discounts
The two discounts now available are called Azure Reserved Instance (RI) and Hybrid Benefit. Let’s look at Azure RI first.
Typically, Azure is charged by the second on a Pay As You Go (PAYG) basis. This can be daunting and, if you don’t know what you’re doing, can lead to unpredictable costs. However, if your Infrastructure is long-term and stays relatively stable, you can “reserve” your Virtual Machines for 12 or 36 months giving you huge discounts of up to 60%. Risc IT’s technical experts scope out what size and type of virtual server is most suitable for your business needs, so you’ll still only pay for what you need, but you’ll have a predictable, heavily discounted monthly cost.
The best way to think of it is just like a mobile phone contract. If you commit to monthly payments for 12 or 36 months you get a better deal and predictable costs. However, just like a mobile phone contract, if you commit and receive the discount, then you must pay for the duration of the term.
This commitment doesn’t mean compromising scalability though. You can scale up permanently by simply increasing your virtual server specs, and should you need a temporary addition, you can use Azure PAYG in addition to your RI.
A second discount is available on top of Azure RI called Hybrid Benefit. Hybrid Benefit was previously only available to larger businesses that had Volume Licensing with Software Assurance bought directly from Microsoft. As Microsoft have changed how and where you can buy server licences, this discount is now available to organisations that buy their licences through Risc IT Solutions. This gives you up to 80% discount compared to PAYG.
These two discounts break down the barriers that SMBs have previously faced when moving to Azure Servers, making it a viable and affordable option for all businesses.