Interlink Cloud Blog
Matt Scherocman

The Azure Hybrid Use Benefit – Don’t Purchase Windows Server Twice

microsoft azure hybrid use benefit

One of the primary reason companies move their software to the cloud is because of the cost savings, but there are still ramp-up expenses to consider even if it’s not a capital expense anymore. As companies undergo the transition to the cloud, whether it be a hybrid solution or all in the cloud, every little bit of savings counts.

Until now, many organizations have owned Windows Server licensing through a licensing agreement and then purchased access to Windows Server again when they setup a new virtual machine on Azure. Many clients were paying for the same functionality twice!

The Azure Hybrid Use Benefit has changed all of that. As of February 1, 2016, the Azure Hybrid Use Benefit lets those owning Windows Server Licenses with Software Assurance to use that existing license on Azure, which saves money. For each Windows Server 2 processor license with Software Assurance, customers may run two virtual machines with up to 8 cores each or one virtual machine with up to 16 cores.

Azure hybrid use benefit savings chart

Savings based on a D2 instance in US East 2 Region, operating at the full time hourly rate, and including the cost of Software Assurance. (source)

Next Steps

The Azure Hybrid Use Benefit is Microsoft’s effort to help you get the most value from licenses, on-premises and in the cloud. But first find out…

  • Do You Qualify? The Azure Hybrid Use Benefit is currently available for customers with Windows Server licenses covered with Software Assurance.
  • What Next? The Azure Hybrid Use Benefit is applied by creating a Windows virtual machine through PowerShell and setting the new license Type property for each virtual machine. Windows virtual machines with the new property are billed at the base compute rate, with a specific notation in the bill that the benefit has been applied.

Do you want to save with this new Azure Hybrid Use Benefit? Check out the FAQ here and contact us to learn more!

* Base compute rate is described in the FAQ.

Matt Scherocman

Is Disaster Recovery important when using the cloud? Yes!

Disaster Recovery or DR for short, is a hot topic for many companies and with the spate of hacks and natural disasters and incredible storms, i.e. the snowstorm that hit Buffalo, NY just a few weeks ago, has many companies revisiting their disaster recovery solutions. Today’s blog will talk about DR for your applications running in Azure.

Just because you are storing your app in the cloud doesn’t mean you don’t need a DR strategy, should something like mentioned above happen; are you fully prepared for a temporary or even large scale failure? Before you answer that question, let me ask you another question. Does your company rehearse these failures? Has your company determined what applications, should they go down, what your tolerance level is for that app(s)? Some things to consider when creating your cloud DR plan:

  1. Test your recovery of databases to ensure you have the correct process in place
  2. High Availability
  3. Availability
  4. Scalability
  5. Fault Tolerance

Azure DR

DR is a key component to every company’s long-term success. Taking a short-sighted approach to a DR strategy isn’t sound business. As more and more companies put more and more business critical applications in the cloud, the attention paid to DR needs to be evaluated with each application that goes into the cloud, the impact its failure can have on a company and the impact it can have as it is recovered.

In addition to dealing with unexpected disasters, rolling back failed changes and handling data corruption issues are key considerations that sometimes get forgotten when deploying to cloud platforms with greater than 99.99% uptime. 

Microsoft Azure services have a number of ways that you can meet this challenge. For more detailed information on how to setup your Azure DR strategy for your applications running in Azure you can check out a white paper Disaster recovery and high availability for applications built on Microsoft Azure


Matt Scherocman

Developing Enterprise Applications with Azure

Application development is a key component for many company’s long-term and   short-term strategies. One of the biggest questions is, what platform do I develop on? Another is will that platform limit my salability and reachability to my customers? Microsoft’s Azure platform supports any operating system, language, tool and framework; from Windows to Linux, SQL Server to Oracle, C# to Java. Not only that, but also, iOS, Android, .NET, Node.js, PHP, Python and Ruby.

MS Azure app dev

Finding tools and development platforms for which to develop on and in Azure is no small list as you can see.  Why is that? Because developing is at the heart of what many companies are doing today to separate themselves from their competition. Apps on iOS, Android, tablets, mobile friendly web pages and then making them all sites that can be revenue producing too! From here companies can now market to their customers in real time about the things they are interested in. Today’s customer has become accustomed to being “in touch” all the time and they want apps that can help them stay in touch, how they want and when they want. 80% of all apps downloaded are used only once and then deleted. Creating apps that are “sticky” is the goal of many companies today. Let’s talk and see how Windows Azure can help your company create the next killer app in the market place!

For more information about Microsoft Azure check out the link here.

Microsoft EA Renewal
Matt Scherocman

Microsoft Azure Learning Roadmap

Microsoft Azure Learning Roadmap

Microsoft Azure Roadmap

Microsoft’s Azure platform is an every changing platform. We are often asked is there a place I can go to find out what’s going on with Azure, what’s changing and when? Well, today we have that answer for you. Below you will find a small sample from an Azure learning roadmap, some are videos, or demos, tutorials and even sample apps:

  • Deep Dive – a video recording from a TechEd conference in Europe
  • Azure Search scenarios and capabilities – primary scenarios enabled by current functionality
  • Introduction to Azure search – Video recording the explains the architecture and capabilities of Azure search

As you’ll see when you visit the Microsoft site found here, there are lots of ways to keep up with what’s going on with Azure. A notable omission on this site is licensing. If you would like to learn what licensing options you have available give us a call and we can walk you through your options along with information on any Microsoft funding that is available. 

Sarah Bunt

What are the Compliance Updates to Windows Azure?

Windows Azure Compliance Updates: PCI DSS and ISO


PCI DSS Compliance

We are pleased to announce that Windows Azure has been validated for compliance with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standards (DSS) by an independent Qualified Security Assessor (QSA). The QSA has issued an Attestation of Compliance, having audited the Windows Azure against the PCI DSS 2.0 security standards for Level 1. To assist customers in achieving PCI DSS certification, Microsoft is making the Windows Azure PCI Attestation of Compliance and Windows Azure Customer PCI Guide available for immediate download.

Visit the Trust Center for a list of other compliance and certifications.

What is the PCI DSS?
The Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) is an information security standard designed to prevent credit card fraud through increased controls around credit card data. PCI certification is required for all organizations (merchants and payment service providers) that process credit card transactions.

Is Windows Azure PCI “certified”?
As a cloud provider, Windows Azure does not directly manage cardholder environments, and therefore, is not eligible for PCI certification. However, Windows Azure has been validated by a Qualified Security Assessor (QSA) as providing a secure environment that merchants can use to achieve their own PCI certification.

What Windows Azure services are in scope?
The Information Security Management System (ISMS) for Windows Azure, including infrastructure, development, operations and support for Compute, Data Services, App Services and Network Services are in scope for the PCI DSS Attestation of Compliance. This includes everything listed under Services on http://www.windowsazure.com/. The Windows Azure datacenters in the following regions are in scope: Asia Pacific East (Hong Kong), Asia Pacific Southeast (Singapore), Europe North (Ireland), Europe West (Netherlands), US North Central (Illinois), US South Central (Texas), US East (Virginia), and US West (California).

 

This posting is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights.

Welcome to the Interlink Cloud Blog

All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations or warranties regarding the information from our partners or other external sources.

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