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Azure services get new reservation plans with big savings, among other features

Microsoft has brought various improvements to its Azure services in the recent past. Last week, several new security features for Files reached general availability, while a couple of days before that, Archive Storage prices were dropped by up to 50 percent.

Now, the tech giant has announced six new features in order to improve reservations in Azure. Azure reservations allow customers to pre-pay for one-year or three-year plans for the platform's services, getting significant discounts in the process. The updates are primarily aimed toward cost-savings as part of purchase and reservations plans, as well as toward offering more control over the management of reservations.

In a condensed form, the new changes are as follows:

  • Azure Databricks pre-purchase plan
  • App Service Isolated Stamp Fee reservations
  • Ability to automatically renew reservations
  • Ability to scope reservations to resource group
  • Enhanced usage data to help with charge back, savings, and utilization
  • API to get prices and purchase reservations

To explain each of these a bit further, pre-purchasing Databricks commit units (DBCU) can help customers save up to 37 percent on the involved costs. Usage is deducted from the pool of DBCUs in different ratios depending on whether the Standard or Premium tier has been opted for. In either case, these can be accessed any time during the one-year or three-year purchase terms. As far as App Service Isolated stamps are concerned, reservations for these can net you up to a 40 percent discount on the usual on-demand rates.

Moving on, reservations can now be set to renew automatically. Renewals can be opted for or opted out of at any point during the reservation terms, and renewal quantity can be adjusted as deemed suitable by users. Notably, the aforementioned stamp reservations are not renewed automatically, and if expired, lead to pay-as-you go rates being charged for customers.

Additionally, reservations can now be scoped to resource groups. Essentially, this means that different scopes can be utilized to specify various areas in which certain savings apply. As such, specific reservation discounts can be limited to a resource group, instead of covering the entire subscription.

Reservation reporting has also been made easier through updates to the enterprise agreement (EA) usage data. The additional details in the agreement will help customers perform the following tasks more efficiently:

  • Get reservation purchase data
  • Know which subscription, resource group or resource used the reservation
  • Chargeback for reservation utilization
  • Calculate reservation savings
  • Get reservation under-utilization data
  • Amortize reservation costs

Finally, reservations can now be purchased using Representational state transfer (REST) APIs. There's three of these that can be used to get SKUs, calculate costs, and purchase orders. You can learn more about each of the aforementioned features in detail and check out the individual documentations for them over here.

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