Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL: Centralised management

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Microsoft have introduced a new way to help organisations manage their SQL licenses when using Azure Hybrid Benefit – scope-level management.

Scope-level management

Rather than assigning Hybrid Benefit usage at an individual resource level, you tell the Azure portal how many SQL licenses w/SA you have and these are then auto-applied to SQL resources running in the subscription or billing account.

Both SQL Server Standard and Enterprise licenses can be used to off-set costs in Azure but the licenses are “worth” different amounts. In effect, this means that 1 x SQL Server Enterprise license is equivalent to 4 x SQL Server Standard licenses when applying them to Azure services.

Normalized Core Licenses (NCL)

The new concept of NCLs makes it easier to work out how many Azure vCores your on-premises licenses give you. Keeping track of the different licenses and what they equate to in Azure can be confusing so now, when using scope-level management:

1 x SQL Server Standard core license = 1 x NCL

1 x SQL Server Enterprise core license = 4 x NCLs

This means if you have, for example, 6 SQL Standard core licenses w/SA and 9 SQL Enterprise core licenses w/SA you will have 42 NCLs to use across Azure services.

Things to know

You can’t currently use this new centralized management option with:

  • Azure Data Factory – SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS)
  • Azure Dedicated Host

nor can you use it with Windows Server licenses.

Further Reading

What is centrally managed Azure Hybrid Benefit?

Centralised management FAQ

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