Azure D-Series promo pricing is coming to an end. Don't get stung!

When Microsoft launched the Dv3 and Ev3 VM sizes in July 2017, Hyper-Threading Technology that runs on the latest Intel® Broadwell and Haswell processors was introduced.

The shift from physical to virtual CPUs enabled Microsoft to unlock the full potential of these state-of-the-art processors.

By releasing more power from the underlying hardware, Microsoft harnesses better performance and efficiency, resulting in cost savings that they kindly pass on to customers.

Lower Costs

These new Hyper-Threaded sizes are priced up to 28% lower than the previous Dv2 sizes.

The Dv3 VM sizes are a good balance of memory to vCPU performance, with up to 64 vCPUs and 256GB RAM. The Ev3 previously (D11-D14 sizes) provides you with more memory to vCPU than the Dv3, so you can run larger workloads on sizes up to the largest E64 size, with 64 vCPUs and 432GB RAM.

Promo Pricing Cut Off

With the launch of Dv3 and Ev3, Microsoft have been winding down their Dv2 promotional pricing offer. As new instances of Dv2_promo VMs were allowed to be deployed until 15th August 2017 you may well have made use of them in your Azure infrastructure setup.

However, please hear our warning that all deployed Dv2_promo VMs will only benefit from their promotional pricing until 30th June 2018, at which point prices will revert to match Dv2 pricing!

As mentioned above, the Dv2 pricing is more then Dv3. Ultima are advising customers to check their VM sizes and, where possible, to upgrade from the promo pricing to Dv3. It is important to remember though that the Dv3s are Hyper-Threaded, so if a VM workload is very CPU intensive it might be better to stay with a D-Series V2 and pay the higher price.

Reserved Instances – aka pre-paid VMs

Another thing to consider is the introduction of Reserved Instances [RI] that can allow up to 72% cost savings compared to pay-as-you-go prices - with one-year or three-year terms on Windows and Linux virtual machines.

To start using RIs in 3 easy steps:

Specify your Azure region, virtual machine type and term (one year or three years) - that's it!

While RIs require making upfront commitments on compute capacity, you are not tied in as you can exchange or cancel RIs at any time:

  • Exchange RIs across any region and any series as your workload or application needs change
  • Cancel your RIs if you no longer need the capacity you purchased
  • Cancel at any time in the reservation term for an adjusted refund

What is the difference between an RI exchange and a cancellation?

An exchange allows you to receive a pro-rated refund based on the unused amount which applies fully to the new RI purchase price.

A cancellation terminates your contract and you can cancel a reservation at any time (up to £37,265.45 per year). Cancelling allows you to return the remaining months of a RI back to Microsoft for an early termination fee of 12%. The remaining prorated balance, minus the fee, will be refunded to your original purchase.

If you would like any assistance in understanding how best to optimise your environment for cost and performance, or have any questions around changing machine sizes, please speak to your account manager, email or download our data sheet below.

Ultima’s Unique Steps to Microsoft Licensing


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