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Microsoft Azure is a comprehensive collection of cloud-based services and features, ranging from Infrastructure as a Service virtual machines to Software as a Service offerings, such as Office 365. Using Azure subscriptions, businesses can choose which Azure services and features they want to deploy in the cloud. Prior to deployment to Azure, it is important to know how Microsoft bills for Azure services as well as what levels of support are provided.

This course provides an explanation of Azure subscriptions, the different types of subscriptions that are available, and the options available that can be used to save money in an Azure deployment. The course then focuses on Azure services, how they are priced and, where applicable, what metering costs are associated with the service, and how it is metered. This course also covers the Service Level Agreements that are available for some of the Azure services and the different levels of support that can be purchased. Lastly, it covers the Azure service lifecycle, including public and private previews of new services and features, and how you can be notified when they become available for preview.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand Azure subscriptions and subscription types
  • Understand Microsoft’s Azure pricing
  • Plan and manage costs associated with subscriptions
  • Understand Azure support options
  • Understand Microsoft’s Service Level Agreements
  • Understand Azure’s service lifecycle

Intended Audience

  • Sellers or purchasers of cloud-based solutions and services
  • Individuals preparing for Microsoft’s Azure AZ-900 exam


  • Basic understanding of cloud computing
  • Experience with Azure, while not required, will be helpful

Understanding Azure pricing begins with a general knowledge of subscriptions and how subscriptions relate to billing. Furthermore, Azure product prices depend upon the type of subscription with the best value being with entering into a contractual arrangement with Microsoft like an enterprise agreement. 

With a deeper understanding of Azure, you now know that many Azure products are metered and that there are charges associated with their usage in addition to monthly costs. Microsoft provides two tools for assessing costs, the total cost of ownership tool to estimate your current on-premises costs and the cost savings in migrating to Azure and the Azure cost management tool to track your actual Azure expenditures. 

Microsoft also offers support plans to provide technical assistance with your Azure investment and provides service level agreements on some of the Azure products like web applications providing assurance of availability and continuity of your Azure deployments. Lastly, new Azure features and products are available for preview before entering the public release phase of their lifecycle and you can subscribe to the new features via RSS newsfeed so you can be notified when new features and services are released.

About the Author

Jeff is a technical trainer and developer residing in Arizona, USA. He has been a Microsoft Certified Trainer for the past 18 years, providing in-house development and training on Microsoft server operating systems, PowerShell, SQL Server and Azure.  When he’s not developing and delivering courses on Azure, he’s photographing galaxies, nebulae and star formations from his computer-automated observatory in Chino Valley, Arizona using a 14” Schmidt Cassegrain telescope.