Customers who are running their SQL Server workloads using SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines and Azure SQL Managed Instance are now eligible for new high availability (HA) and disaster recovery (DR) benefits. These are in addition to existing HA/DR benefits that are explained in detail in the SQL Server licensing materials and this previously published blog. The new benefits are the capability to license a disaster recovery and a high availability secondary for free for SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines—a new benefit for pay-as-you-go customers—and licensing geo-redundant disaster recovery for SQL Managed Instance customers on a secondary instance for free (preview). This can result in license savings of up to 73 percent per SQL Server virtual machine secondary and up to 55 percent per SQL Managed Instance secondary node.
Existing HA/DR benefits for SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines
SQL Server customers with software assurance have several existing HA/DR Benefits.When running SQL Server on an Azure Virtual Machines using Azure Hybrid Benefit customers are entitled to license one additional passive instance of SQL Server for high availability for free and to license one additional passive instance of SQL Server for disaster recovery for free. This means that you can create an always-on availability group in Azure with one synchronous replica for HA and another asynchronous replica for DR and only pay for the compute costs on the two replicas, provided they are not used for any other purposes.
License your disaster recovery secondary for free with SQL Server Azure Virtual Machines
Starting today, SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machine customers who use pay-as-you-go licenses will also have access to one free passive secondary instance for high availability at no cost for the SQL Server license, and one free passive secondary for disaster recovery at no cost for the SQL Server license, regardless of the region where the instances reside. By paying only the price of compute on your high availability and disaster recovery secondaries, you can save up to 73 percent per virtual machine—the same savings you might get on SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines with Azure Hybrid Benefit.1 To enable this benefit, go to your SQL Server virtual machine (VM) resource. Select Configure under Settings, and then choose the Disaster Recovery option under SQL Server License. Select the check box to confirm that this SQL Server VM will be used as a passive replica, and then select Apply to save your settings. However, customers will have to continue to pay for compute for these SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines. Please read the SQL Server Enterprise Virtual Machines pricing page to learn more.
License geo-redundant Disaster Recovery for SQL Managed Instance for free (preview)
As for customers running their Azure workloads on Azure SQL Managed Instance, customers already have built-in secondary instances in their primary region that can be used for reading scale out, reporting, or scaling their business. Now all Azure SQL Managed Instance customers have the benefit of licensing a geo-redundant secondary for free to help guard against the possibility of failure in one region, now in preview. By paying only the price of compute on your disaster recovery secondary, you can save up to 55 percent—the same savings you might get on Azure SQL Managed Instance with Azure Hybrid Benefit.1 Geo-redundancy helps protect against outages that affect backup storage in the primary region. It also allows you to restore your instance to a different region in a disaster. When you designate secondary instances properly, licenses are freed up for other business uses. From a pricing standpoint, the total cost of ownership for Azure SQL Managed Instance is now lower because you no longer have to license your geo-redundant secondary.
Learn more about license-free high availability, and geo-redundant disaster recovery:
- Get started with high-availability disaster recovery for SQL Server on Azure Vm business continuity.
- Read more about high availability for SQL Managed Instance.
- Migrate failover cluster instances using SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines.
- Read about existing high availability and disaster recovery benefits for SQL Server on Microsoft SQL Server Blog.