Microsoft has expanded its Azure Reserved Instances offer.
This matters because Reserved Instances (RIs) are the cheapest way to consume Azure: users pay up-front for either one or three years in return for discounts that drop prices well below pay-as-you-go pricing.
And now the company has expanded Reserved Instances to cover classic virtual machines, Azure Cloud Services, and Dev/Test subscriptions.
The inclusion of Classic VMs is especially interesting, as they’re an instance type from an older version of the Azure management portal that offers fewer management features than are available in the current console. By doing so, Microsoft’s offering a way for users tied to its old approaches a nice long future in Azure.
Including Azure Cloud Services will have a similar effect as it’s Azure’s first PaaS platform.
Just don’t mention that you can incur technical debt in the cloud, okay?
The inclusion of Dev/Test subscriptions is also easy to explain: it’ll keep costs lower for developers, and Microsoft is very, very, keen on developers!
With RIs now offered on these services, Microsoft has a nice story to tell to users who experienced bill shock, or may have begun begin considering application modernization, because lower prices as seldom unwelcome for any app at any time!
And while RIs commit users to a long stay in Azure, Microsoft avoids Hotel California comparisons (check in any time you want, you can never leave) by offering pro-rata refunds if users decide to bail.