Azure SQL Database Reserved Capacity

Last week I posted about the Azure Reserve VM Instance where you could save some money in Azure. Another similar way to save is with Azure SQL Database Reserved Capacity. With this you can save 33% compared to license included pricing by pre-buying SQL Database pre-cores for a 1- or 3-year term.

This can be applied to a single subscription or shared across your enrollments, so you can control how many subscriptions can use the benefit, as well as how the reservation is applied to the specific subscriptions you choose.

The reservation scope to a single subscription allows you to apply it to that SQL Database resource(s) within the selected subscription. A reservation with a shared scope can be shared across subscriptions in the enrollment and there’s some flexibility involved like Managed Instances where you can scale up/down.

Some other points about SQL Database Reserved Capacity I’d like to share:

  • It provides V-cores with the size flexibility you need. You can scale those up/down within a performance tier, so do note that you must stay within the same performance tier and in the same region as well, without impacting your reserved capacity pricing.
  • You can temporarily move your hot databases between pools and single databases as part of your normal operations; again, within the same region and performance tier without losing the reserved capacity benefit.
  • You can keep an unapplied buffer in your reservation, so you can effectively manage performance spikes without exceeding your budget. Just another way to keep an eye on your Azure spend.
  • You can stack savings, so with the Azure Hybrid benefit licensing, you can save up to an additional 55%, bringing you to a total savings of over 80% by stacking these benefits.
  • With Hybrid Enterprise Edition, customers using Software Assurance can use 4 cores in the cloud for every one core they’ve purchased.

A couple things to note:

    • It cannot be applied to an MSDN subscription or a non-pay as you go subscription; so basically, it applies to Enterprise and pay as you go subscriptions.
    • Currently only applies to single databases in elastic pools. Managed Instances are still in Preview; when they are in GA (by the end of 2018 as of this post), it will also be covered by 4 Managed Instances as well.

For questions about how this licensing works, contact your Microsoft rep.

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