If your organisation is considering Azure or already using it then it is worth considering Azure Dedicated Host which Microsoft released in December 2019. We discussed Azure Dedicated Hosts at our last Azure group meeting back in October.
The Azure Dedicated Host provides physical servers that host one or more Azure virtual machines for Windows and Linux. The servers are dedicated and isolated to your organisation, the server capacity is not shared with other customers. Dedicated Host servers can be grouped together to provide your own server farm within Azure.
The Azure Dedicated Host helps address compliance requirements and gives control over the server infrastructure allowing you to make decisions on the hosts maintenance policies. Further information can be found here.
Unlike on-premise server farms, where there is no limit to the number of Virtual Machines (VMs) that can run on a server, the Azure Dedicated Host does limit the number of VMs based on the number of available VCPUs. The type of VM available is also dependent on the Dedicated Host Type, see the configuration table here.
Note that the Reserved Instance options for 1 and 3 year are not currently available to help reduce the cost, although there is a reference to these within the pricing. Reserved Instances can be managed at an organisational or individual department level. As Dedicated Host has only recently been released, it would appear that – Reserved Instance is an option that will become available in due course.
One benefit – comes with Hybrid Use Rights with Windows Server Datacenter licenses that a customer may already own. These can now be used fully and assigned to an Azure Dedicated Host based on the maximum number of VM’s allowed considering the VCPUs limits. Previously the only option was to assign a Windows Server license to Azure VMs based on the ‘Group of 8’ rule. The ‘Group of 8’ rule states that each VM within Azure must be licensed for all cores subject to a minimum of 8 cores. So, a Windows Server Standard or Datacenter license for 16 cores could only be used for 2 VMs within Azure. Note: Windows Server Datacenter also allows for dual use rights so it can be used for an on-premise host server plus 2 VMs within Azure.
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