Since the dawn of Azure, Microsoft has talked about how enterprises can benefit from a hybrid cloud approach — that is, using the public cloud while still running some of their applications in their own data centers. Even today, Microsoft says that 80 percent of the companies it talks to still want to use a hybrid cloud approach and to help them move to its cloud services, the company is launching a number of new tools and resources today.
The most important of these is the new Cloud Migration Assessment service. With this, companies can scan their existing IT infrastructure and get an estimate for what it would cost to move these services to Azure (and how much they could save in the process).
Azure users can now also get a discount for moving their Windows Server licenses (with Software Assurance) to Azure. This new Azure Hybrid Use Benefit can save them up to 40 percent and is obviously meant to make it more attractive for existing Windows Server users to move their workloads to the cloud.
For those who want to make that move, the Azure Site Recovery (ASR) tool is also getting a minor update. This service is mostly meant to help enterprises orchestrate their disaster recovery plans, however, it can also be used to migrate existing virtual machines to Azure. It’s currently in use by the likes of Marquette University
and United Airlines (no word on whether United dragged its servers over to Azure or whether it was a voluntary re-accommodation). Today’s update adds support for both the new Azure Hybrid Use Benefit and in the coming weeks, it’ll add some new features that will make tagging virtual machines in the Azure portal easier.
Update: even though Microsoft’s own marketing materials names United as an ASR customer, the company has now informed me it is not. I’m sure the company will soon re-accommodate United’s logo. Until then, it’s worth mentioning that Rackspace, Generali and Pantaenius (a yacht insurance company) are ASR customers.