Learn about Azure Virtual Machines and CSP licensing

Experience the benefits of virtualization with an Azure Virtual Machine, without the cost and maintenance of physical hardware. You manage configuring, patching, and installing software on your virtual machine. Azure Virtual Machines can be licensed in a variety of ways, including through the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program. This efficient program connects you directly to Microsoft cloud services and software licenses through specialized partners. These experts act as your direct link to Microsoft, offering a comprehensive range of cloud solutions and services. To understand more about Azure Virtual Machines and their licensing options within the CSP program, read more in this article. Do you need help navigating your cloud strategy? Contact Q-Advise for expert guidance and support. 

How can you use Azure virtual machines?  

Virtual Machines (VMs) are virtualized environments that mimic the functions of physical hardware to run multiple operating systems on a single physical server. VMs are created by splitting a server’s resources — such as CPU, memory, and storage — into several isolated units. Each virtual machine has its own dedicated resources and can be set up with a variety of operating systems and applications. This approach is often used to consolidate the deployment of physical hardware and achieve a more efficient use of server resources. 

In Azure, VMs can be used in a variety of ways, including:

  • Cloud applications: Given the fluctuating demand for applications, it can be cost-efficient to run them on an Azure VM. You only pay for additional VMs when you need them and turn them off when you don’t. 
  • Dev and test: Azure VMs provide an efficient way to quickly set up a computing environment with the necessary specifications for application development and testing. 
  • Data center: VMs within an Azure virtual network can be easily linked to your own organization’s network. 
  • Scalability: The number of VMs your application uses can be flexibly scaled up or down depending on your organization’s needs. 

What should you consider when creating an Azure Virtual Machine? 

When setting up an Azure Virtual Machine, you need to consider several design considerations. Before you start, it is important to consider the following aspects:  

  • Choose the names of your resources carefully. 
  • Decide where you want to store the resources. 
  • Select the appropriate size for the virtual machine. 
  • Consider the maximum number of virtual machines you can create. 
  • Choose the operating system on which the virtual machine will run. 
  • Schedule the configuration of the virtual machine after the initial boot. 
  • Identify the related resources that are critical to the functioning of the virtual machine. 

What components are there within Azure VMs? 

When you set up a virtual machine in Azure, you also create a variety of supporting resources. Below is an overview of the main components that you can use within a virtual machine: 

  • Virtual network: This enables communication between your virtual machine and other resources. 
  • Virtual Network Interface Card (NIC): Connects your virtual machine to the virtual network. 
  • Private IP address: Necessary for communication and data exchange within your network and with external networks. 
  • Network Security Group (NSG): Controls network traffic to and from your virtual machine.  
  • Operating System Disk and Optional Separate Data Disks: It is recommended to store your data on a separate disk from the operating system. If a failure occurs, you can disconnect the data disk and attach it to a new virtual machine. 
  • An operating system license: Required to run the chosen operating system on your virtual machine. 

Start optimizing your Azure Virtual Machine today! Contact Q-Advise for advice and support!

What are the benefits of virtual machines? 

Virtual machines function as independent computers, each with their own operating systems and applications. They are completely independent of each other and of the physical host machine. Using a software tool called a hypervisor, you can run different operating systems on multiple virtual machines at the same time. This makes it possible, for example, to run Linux VMs on a Windows operating system or run an older version of Windows on a recent Windows operating system. 

Virtual machines offer you numerous advantages. First of all, they lead to cost savings. Running multiple virtual environments on a single infrastructure drastically reduces the need for extensive physical infrastructure. This allows you to increase your margins: you have to maintain significantly fewer servers and save on maintenance costs and electricity. Flexibility and speed are also important advantages: you can set up a virtual machine quite easily and quickly, which is much easier for your developers than setting up a completely new physical environment. Virtualization significantly speeds up development and testing processes. 

Another benefit is the reduced downtime. Virtual machines are highly portable and easy to move from one hypervisor to another on a different machine. This makes them a great choice for backups, in case the host goes down unexpectedly. Also, don’t forget about scalability: VMs make it easier to scale your apps by adding additional physical or virtual servers. This distributes the workload across multiple VMs, allowing you to improve the availability and performance of your apps. 

Flexible payment options for Virtual Machines in the CSP program 

You can find several payment options for Virtual Machines in CSP for Windows Server. This depends on how you are going to use it. There are two possibilities: 

  1. Short-term or variable workloads: If your computing power needs change frequently or are only needed for a short period of time, you’d probably opt for a pay-as-you-go payment method. This is done with the so-called ‘all-inclusive’ meter. This is based on the amount of resources you actually consume.
  2. Prolonged or predictable workloads: When you use a virtual machine regularly and for an extended period of time, a “reserved instance” provides a cost-effective solution. You pay upfront for a predetermined amount of computing power for a specific period of time, which often results in lower costs. In addition, you can use the Azure Hybrid Benefit to reduce the licensing costs for the Windows Server component. This advantage makes it possible to use your existing licenses in the cloud as well, providing additional cost savings. 

Optimize your Azure costs with flexible reserved instances 

Reserved Instances allow you to buy compute power from Azure at a low price and with flexibility. You do this by pre-choosing a 1-year or 3-year subscription, selecting a specific type of virtual machine (such as the D4v3) and a location for the data center (for example, US East). You can choose to pay the entire amount upfront or monthly for the term of 1 or 3 years. You can assign these reserved instances to one specific one, or to all of your Azure subscriptions, or to a particular group of resources or management.

The flexibility of Reserved Instances gives you multiple options to customize them to your needs. You can decide to reschedule your reserved instances to a different Azure subscription at any time. You can also choose to swap a reserved instance for another type in any data center. In such an exchange, the remaining unused time of the original reserved instance is prorated, and the credit is then applied to a new term of 1 or 3 years. In addition, you can cancel reserved instances at any time and receive a pro-rata refund, with no cancellation fees. 

Maximize your cloud efficiency with Q-Advise 

After exploring the benefits and capabilities of Azure Virtual Machines, you now have a better understanding of how to leverage virtualization without the burden of physical hardware.

Are you ready to take your cloud strategy to the next level or do you have questions about setting up and managing your Azure VMs? Q-Advise is ready to guide you with expert advice and support.  

contact form