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Azure Reserved VM Instances (RIs) 

Microsoft Azure Reserved VM Instances

You can save up to 80 percent in costs when you reserve virtual machines in advance. Microsoft alleviates commitment concerns by allowing you to:

  • Exchange or cancel reservations as your needs change
  • Automate Azure RI management with instance size flexibility
  • Forecast and budget better with one-year or three-year terms
  • Prioritize your compute capacity

Get More Cloud for Less Cost Azure Reserved Instances cost savings

You can reduce costs considerably (up to 72 percent!), with one-year or three-year terms on Windows and Linux virtual machines (VMs). Combining cost savings achieved with Azure Reserved Instances and the  Azure Hybrid Benefit, you can save even more.

Lowering your total cost of ownership with a combination of Azure Reserved Instances, pay-as-you-go pricing, and reserved instance size flexibility.

Add to this better budgeting and forecasting with a single upfront payment makes it easy to calculate your investments.

Read the FAQ

Azure Reserved Instances Flexibility Effortless Flexibility

Azure Reserved VM Instances can be purchased in three easy steps:

  1. Specify your Azure region
  2. Select your virtual machine type
  3. Choose your term (one year or three years)

Azure Reserved Instances do require you to make an upfront commitment on compute capacity, but you have flexibility should your business needs change. You can easily exchange Azure RIs across regions or series as workload or application needs change, or cancel reserved instances at any time,  returning the remaining months back to Microsoft (up to the yearly limit) with an early termination fee – no need to try to sell your unneeded instances on a marketplace.

Managing reserved instance usage at an organizational or individual department level can be accomplished by assignment at the enrollment or subscription level. Assignments can easily be changed post-purchase.


Instance Size Automated

Your requirements for both business and applications continuously evolve. Taking advantage of the price discounts that Azure RI’s offer by committing to a specific Virtual Machine size ahead of time may require some reassurance.

Automating simplifies the management of your Azure Reserved Instances.

Spend less time managing your Reserved Instances by allowing Azure to automatically apply RIs to other VM sizes within the same group and region, and potentially see more cost savings. Free yourself, and dedicate your valuable time to projects that fuel growth by allowing Azure manage your reserved instances. Instance size flexibility applies to both Windows and Linux VMs.

Learn more about Azure Reservations

Learn more Azure Reserved Instances Budget Predictability

Discover Azure Reserved VM Instances.

Set up your virtual machine in seconds.

Activate your Azure Hybrid Benefit.

Estimate your monthly bill with the pricing calculator.

Choose Azure for your Windows Server apps.

Contact ArcherPoint for a pricing estimate for Azure Reserved Instances for your company.


You can purchase one-year or three-year term Azure Reserved VM Instances with a single, upfront payment.

Go to the VM section in the Azure management portal, click on a VM and get the VM size information. Provide this size in the reserved instance purchase. The reserved instance discount is automatically applied to VMs matching the attributes and quantity of the Azure Reserved VM Instance.

Alternately, if you are an Enterprise Agreement (EA) or web direct customer, you can download your usage file and refer to Service Type value in the "Additional info" section of the usage file to get the VM size information.

Yes. In the reserved instance purchase experience Microsoft will make recommendations based on your last 30 days of usage and your savings potential.


Please refer to your usage file to get details regarding your reserved instance discount. The VMs that get the reserved instance benefit will have the Azure Reserved VM Instance details in the "Additional information" section of the usage file. You can also get the same information from the usage APIs.

See more information for EA customers.

See more information for web direct customers.

To view all purchases, go to the reservation blade in the Azure portal.


For Enterprise Agreement (EA) customers, Azure Monetary Commitment will be used first to purchase Azure Reserved VM Instances. In scenarios where EA customers have used all their monetary commitment, Azure Reserved VM Instances can still be purchased, and those purchases will be invoiced for the single, upfront payment on their next overage bill.

For customers purchasing via, at the time of purchase, the credit card on file will be charged for the full upfront payment of the Azure Reserved Instances.


You can assign Azure Reserved VM Instances benefits at the enrollment or subscription levels, and easily change assignments post purchase, as necessary. Assignment allows you to decide whether the reserved instance is applied at the Azure account/enrollment or subscription level. This gives you flexibility for savings. For example, if you want to buy reserved instances to save money for your organization, you can assign all Azure Reserved VM Instances at the account level. Conversely, if a business unit, such as finance, wants to buy an Azure Reserved VM Instance for its own use only, it can be assigned to a subscription where only that group can take advantage of the savings.


The Azure Reserved Virtual Machine Instances term starts immediately after purchase; currently you can't purchase Azure Reserved Virtual Machine Instances that start at a future date. The Reserved Virtual Machine Instances pricing benefit would apply immediately to all existing running Virtual Machines that match the datacenter location and Virtual Machine instance, depending on how you scope your Reserved VM Instances to a specific subscription or at the enrollment/account level.


Azure Reserved Virtual Machines Instances provide a single price for each Virtual Machine size in a region. There's no requirement to select an operating system when purchasing a Reserved VM Instance. If Windows Server is deployed on the VM, you can either use the Azure Hybrid Benefit or pay the Windows Server licensing rate. For more information, visit the Azure pricing page.


There are two options for adding Windows Server to an Azure Reserved VM Instance. The first option is to use the Azure Hybrid Benefit for Windows Server. If you have Windows Server with Software Assurance on-premises, you can assign these licenses to the Azure Reserved Instances. There will be no charge within Azure for Windows Server. You’ll be responsible for continuing to pay for the Windows Server license plus Software Assurance (called L/SA), Software Assurance (SA), or on-premises subscription as long as the Azure Hybrid Benefit is used. The second option is to add Windows Server using the Windows Server hourly meter. If you can't take advantage of the Azure Hybrid Benefit, Windows Server licensing costs will be charged when the VM is active, based on the number of cores the VM is using.


Select the ‘Reservations’ menu on the left side of the Azure portal to view all the Azure Reserved VM Instances associated with your account. All the details associated with the Azure Reserved VM Instances that you have purchased will be displayed on the right.


An exchange allows you to receive a prorated refund based on the unused amount, which fully applies to the purchase price of a new Azure Reserved Virtual Machine Instance. A cancellation terminates your Azure Reserved VM Instance and you'll receive a prorated refund based on the remaining term of the Azure Reserved VM Instance minus a 12 percent early termination fee.


There's no limit on the number of exchanges you can make. Additionally, there's no fee associated with an exchange. The main restriction is the following: the new Azure Reserved VM Instances purchased must be of equal or greater value than the prorated credit from the original Azure Reserved VM Instances. Additionally, Azure Reserved VM Instances can only be exchanged within the same Azure service, such as a VM for a VM.


You can cancel an Azure Reserved VM Instance at any time (up to $50,000 per year). Cancelling allows you to return the remaining months of an Azure Reserved VM Instance back to Microsoft for an early termination fee of 12 percent. The remaining prorated balance, minus the fee, will be refunded to your original purchase.


Within the management portal, view the inventory of Azure Reserved VM Instances. Click on an instance and two buttons will appear in the command bar stating “refund” or “exchange”. Once selected, a support ticket, prepopulated with all of the Azure Reserved VM Instance details, will open. Once submitted, the request will be processed, and an email will be sent to you to confirm completion of the request.


  • Azure Reserved VM Instances can be applied to VM Scale Sets.
  • Azure Reserved VM Instances can be applied to Azure Batch user subscriptions mode.


  • Azure Reserved VM Instances aren't available for A-series, Av2-series, or G-series.
  • Azure Reserved VM Instances don't apply to promo VMs.
  • The reserved instance for Pay as you go subscription is not available for Brazil, India, China, Taiwan, Russia, Korea, Argentina, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Turkey.


You will receive email notifications 30 days prior to expiration, and again on the expiration date. Once the reserved instance expires, deployed VMs will continue to run and will be billed at the then current pay-as-you-go rate.


While Azure Reserved VM Instances offer prioritized capacity, they don't guarantee that capacity will be available for your VMs. The prioritized capacity will be for a VM SKU in the region, but it doesn't prioritize capacity for a specific availability set or VM Scale Set. In the event you need to deploy in a different region or change the size or family of your RI, Azure Reserved VM Instances offer industry-leading flexibility with the ability to exchange your purchase for any other Azure Reserved VM Instance that we offer.


Instance size flexibility is a feature associated with Azure Reserved VM Instances. Instance size flexibility automatically applies the Reserved Instance savings to any VM that you use within the same region and within the same Azure RI ‘VM group’. Instance size flexibility can apply your RI purchases for the VMs that are not currently being used. For example, if you’ve purchased a D8s_v3 RI in the East US region, instance size flexibility will look to apply the 8-cores RI benefit to any other Ds_v3 VMs running in the same East US region. That could be a combination of four 2-core VMs (D2s_v3) or two 4-core VMs (D4s_v3) or covering half the cost of a single 16-core VM (D16s_v3). The reserved instance discount is applied on first come – first served basis. Therefore, if usage for D2s_v3 comes to the billing system before D8s_v3 then the RI benefit will apply to D2s_v3.

As a result, if you need to resize a VM or change the selection of a VM already part of a pre-paid RI, Azure can automatically apply your RI benefit across your existing VMs within the same ‘VM group’ and region. And you do not have to first return the RI to Microsoft or reset the RI period. Please refer to the documentation for a comprehensive overview.


    An Azure RI ‘VM group’ is simply a list of VMs to which instance size flexibility can be applied. A VM group is not aligned with the existing Azure VM series. Please refer to the documentation for a list of RI VM groups and additional details.


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