Posted by: kurtsh | August 28, 2022

INFO: Why Windows Server on Azure?

I’m asked frequently what makes hosting Windows Server workloads in Azure more compelling than other cloud providers.

Here’s some of the many benefits that are only available when customers host Windows Server in Azure:

  1. COST (STANDARD) – The unique "Azure Hybrid Use Benefit" Azure customers have allows them to transfer their Windows Server Standard licenses from their Enterprise Agreement (or Software Assurance subscriptions) to use in Azure, reducing cloud VM licensing spend by ~40%… this is not available on AWS or any other public cloud platform. (

  2. COST (DATACENTER) – Additionally, customers using Windows Server Datacenter Edition cores licensed on an Enterprise Agreement can uniquely use those same Datacenter core licenses BOTH ON-PREMISES & IN-AZURE SIMULTANEOUSLY. This is only available in Azure. (

  3. INTEGRATION – NEW native Windows Server automated configuration management (aka "Azure Automanage"). NEW native Windows Server Management "single pane of glass" (aka "Azure Portal Windows Admin Center"… only available in Azure. (Azure Automanage & Windows Admin Center in the Azure portal)

  4. PERFORMANCE – Windows Server workloads are faster – particularly SQL Server – when run on Azure.

  5. SECURITY – Extended Security Updates (Security Patches) for 2008 & 2012 available at no cost… only on Azure (

  6. INNOVATION – Windows Server has advanced Azure-specific capabilities including:

        1. high-availability "hotpatching" (patching with zero downtime/no reboots)

        2. "ultra-scale up" capabilities (48TB RAM, 64 sockets, 2048 logical procs, etc.)

        3. "SMB over QUIC" (ultra high speed SMB-based file transfer)

          … only available on Azure. (Windows Server 2022 Azure Edition now in Public Preview)

  7. SUPPORT – Support incidents & technical support for managing & hosting Windows Server workloads – specifically for Windows & not general usage – are available at no cost… when run on Azure. (How to create an Azure support request – Azure supportability | Microsoft Docs)

  8. TRAINING – Customer with direct representation from Microsoft that are enrolled in the Microsoft Enterprise Skills Initiative can participate in unique Windows Server classes for running workloads on Azure – at no cost – including:

    1. AZ-800 – Administering Windows Server Hybrid Core Infrastructure

    2. AZ-801 – Configuring Windows Server Hybri8d Advanced Services


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