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Microsoft Partner Network

Where Microsoft's CSP, MSP, SI, and ISV partners seek new opportunities and learn from each other


Better together: Azure Reserved VM Instances and Server Subscriptions

Share your thoughts, comment below!


Greater value for customers, more business for you

Increasingly, commercial customers want more cost-effective solutions for their predictable cloud workloads. To better enable partners to address this customer need, Microsoft has announced the immediate availability of Azure Reserved Virtual Machine Instances (RI), as well as the upcoming availability of Windows Server and SQL Server subscriptions, through the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program.


Azure RI and Server subscriptions in CSP deliver market-leading customer value, with customers enjoying significant savings (up to 80 percent) along with unmatched flexibility in deployment. This is combined with a partner-friendly business model that minimizes risk while maximizing profitability. 

What are Azure Reserved Virtual Machine Instances?

An Azure RI is a  one- or three-year pre-purchase of cloud compute resources.

Benefits for your customers

With market-leading pricing and deployment flexibility, your customers will see the most value when they choose Azure RI and Server subscriptions. With Azure RI in CSP, customers can save up to 72 percent versus pay-as-you-go Azure VM pricing by purchasing—or “reserving”—the virtual machine for a one- or three-year period. Windows Server customers with Software Assurance will be able to save up to 80 percent versus pay-as-you-go pricing through Azure Hybrid Benefits.


Microsoft pairs these significant savings with a simple procurement process and flexible deployment terms. For example, Azure RIs:

  • Include the ability to exchange instances, family, location, and term length at any time.
  • May be cancelled at any time during the term of the reservation.


The upcoming release of Windows Server and SQL Server subscriptions in CSP will include Azure Hybrid Benefits, allowing customers who currently don’t have access to Software Assurance to enjoy maximum savings on Microsoft server workloads.


Benefits for your business

While working to ensure the best overall value for customers, we're also making Azure RI and Server subscriptions more attractive for our partners’ business models.


For example, straightforward licensing of Azure RI and Server subscriptions will enable partners to obtain more cost predictability and a streamlined sales process. In addition, our business model does not require partners to deploy complex processes and tools to procure, manage, and price RIs across their customers. Partners can now choose to increase their time and resources on winning new business with an expanded portfolio of IT management value-added cloud solutions.


Azure RI and Server subscriptions offer partners a strong anchor point to grow revenue and enhance profitability.


  • With Azure cloud services, partners can develop and deliver higher-margin, value-added IT services that can drive sales of additional software and services as well as ongoing management fees.
  • Our Azure incentive model allows partners to maximize the profitability of their cloud practice.
  • Commitment-based cloud solutions foster the type of enduring, trust-based business relationships that fuel higher customer lifetime value and profitability.


Azure RI and Server subscriptions will be available to partners who participate in the CSP program. Please visit the announcements tab in Partner Center to learn more.


Share your thoughts, comment below!

Visitor 1

Can customers have reserved instances on a PAYG model, typically you would need a commited spend?

Level 1 Contributor

A committed spend is not needed for a customer to purchase reserved instances, they can use any purchasing channel for Azure and still purchase reserved instances.
Level 1 Contributor

This looks fairly easy on the Azure portal if on a regular non-csp subscription.  On CSP it seems to be a problem getting reservations through the indirect provider.  Should one consider just converting customers from CSP to PAYG, taking their Azure charges directly, billing them and avoiding the CSP program?  


Honestly, if the indirect provider is not able to tell how to assign reserved instances to customer subscriptions, I would strongely suggest to evaluate if this is the right provider. This should not be a problem at all for providers, usually this should happen via the portal the provider os offering for managing customers and provisioning licenses.

As Indirect reseller it is no problem to have relationships to multiple providers.

Level 1 Contributor

Thanks for the response. I will consider adding another indirect.

Sent from Mail for Windows 10
Visitor 1



I have question, curretnly there are only Windows server standard edition license available from server subscription. Can i apply this standard edition OS license to my existing VM runing in Azure with Datacenter edition OS?



Shailesh V.


Yes, the server subscription license gives you the right to use the WS Datacenter edition images/VM available on Azure.

This is similar to how it is handled for customers which have licensed WS Standard + Software Assurance and thus also get Hybrid Use Benefits in Azure - those can also use Datacenter edition in Azure VMs.

Level 1 Contributor

The post refers to viewing the announcements in Partner Center, but there is nothing there at this time on RI or Server Subscripions. Also, where can we find more information on Server Subscriptions for CSP?

Hi @ChrisShalda! I will reach out to someone who may be able to help, and reach out to you shortly.