Microsoft grants "Hybrid-use Benefits" rights to their customers when licenses for Windows Server are under active Software Assurance (i.e. maintenance). This benefits allows customers to use their "on-premise" licenses to lower their costs for Azure cloud servers, paying only for the infrastructure and not for the operating system used in the Azure VM.
While licenses under maintenance for Windows Server Datacenter may be used on-premise AND on Azure, licenses for Windows Server Standard come with "either / or" option (so called "Hybrid-use").
However, customers need to verify the eligibility and manage the "Hybrid-use" option with every single Azure VM themselves. Without proper control, customers may either run into compliance issues by using too many "Hybrid-use" benefits or suffer from overspending by not using their benefits entirely.
Discovering Azure Server Assets
Managing Azure Hybrid-use Benefits firstly requires to deploy the Azure Asset Data Provider, available on Matrix42 Marketplace. When the Azure Assets data provider is configured and running, you find all your Azure cloud servers under Technical Inventory > Cloud Servers in the Licenses application.
For information on how to deploy and configure the Azure Assets data provider, refer to this article.
Hybrid-Use compliance is based on two criteria that must be fulfilled:
- The number of virtual CPU assigned to Azure Servers using Hybrid-use benefits must not exceed the number of cores available from licenses under active Software Assurance
- The number of Azure Servers using Hybrid-use benefits must not exceed the number of cores available from licenses under active Software Assurance divided by 8.
Technical Inventory > Cloud Servers in the Licenses application displays a dashboard illustrating the current state of "Hybrid-use" compliance.
For this purpose the "Cloud Servers" page under "Technical Inventory" navigation node provides a dashboard informing about the current state of compliance for Hybrid-use Benefits:
Number of Valid Cores for Hybrid-Use Benefits
This pie-chart displays available virtual CPUs from licenses under active Software Assurance. Licenses must comply with following criteria to contribute to this value:
- Licenses have Software Assurance coverage
- Licenses are assigned either to "Windows Server Standard" or "Windows Server Datacenter"
- Licenses have a "Core" license model
- Licenses are in status "used" or "unused".
Clicking on the pies of the cart displays a list of corresponding licenses.
Hybrid-use benefits require a minimum of 16 licensed cores under Software Assurance. If the amount of valid cores is less then 16, the charts on the right side display zero "allowed" cores / VM for Azure Hybrid-use benefits.
Compliance for Cores
This bar-chart displays number of valid cores allowed for Hybrid-use on Azure compared to the number of cores (virtual CPU) assigned to VM with "Hybrid-Use Benefits" option enabled. The value for "used" cores must not be higher than "allowed" for being compliant.
Compliance for VM
This bar-chart displays number of valid VM allowed for Hybrid-use on Azure compared to the number of VM with "Hybrid-Use Benefits" option enabled. The value for "used" must not be higher than "allowed" for being compliant.
Overall compliance is achieved if both "Compliance for Cores" and "Compliance for VM" are compliant, i.e. "used" is not exceeding the "allowed" value.
The navigation node "All" displays all virtual machines on Azure while "Hybrid Use" provides a filtered view showing all virtual machines where the "Hybrid Use Benefit" option is enabled.