Did you know that you can have significant savings on Dev/Test environments in Azure? I’m working with the Azure Dev/Test team on a project right now, and I didn’t realize exactly how much you can save. They have an offer for Dev/Test where you only pay for the price of compute piece of Azure VMs. This means that even if you are using Microsoft software like Windows or SQL Server you don’t pay for those licenses. The offer allows you to build a new subscription to take advantage of this.

I ran through the calculator to see how much this could save you a month. First, I visited the Azure Calculator and added four Windows Virtual machines to simulate four separate application servers running in East US 2 (FYI – prices are different in each Azure Region). The total cost for these was $548 US dollars, and that is with just a standard disk configuration. The price here includes the compute time for the VM and the cost of the Windows Server OS. Note that I assumed that the VM would be running 24×7.

Saving Money with Azure Dev/Test Subscriptions 1
Development Servers

Next, I added one SQL Server for all of these servers development databases to be together. This price will include the compute power, Windows OS, and SQL Server. The cost here was $1,369 US Dollars per month.

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SQL Server for Development

So, we have a total cost on this Pay-as-you-go subscription of $1,918 a month which yearly would be a total of $23,016.

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PAYG cost before Dev/Test pricing

Now, if you look closely at the screenshot above, you will see a slider that will allow you to toggle on the Dev/Test pricing. Here is where the magic happens! The cost just went down to only $420 a month or only $5,040 per year. That is an 80% reduction in price!

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Using the Dev/Test subscription offer

So, my advice for you is to take a look at this DevTest offer and see how you can save money. There is also a version of this for Enterprise Agreement customers. Maybe I should start a Patreon page, so you can share your savings?

Happy saving,


Microsoft MVP

Dan Patrick is the Chief Infrastructure Architect for Solliance and a 15 year veteran at Microsoft. He has an extensive background in IT Infrastructure and Operations. Dan has both architected and lead teams building and supporting some of the largest service providers in North America with as many 15,000 Windows Servers and 120 million endpoints. Dan has worked with Azure IaaS solutions extensively since 2012. He has a passion for Virtualization with deep experience leveraging Hyper-V, Vmware, and Citrix. He is also a Clustering specialist focusing on large host clusters and SQL Always On Availability Groups. Recently Dan, authored the Networking, Azure Active Directory and Containers portion of the 70-533 Exam Reference for Microsoft Press. You can follow him on Twitter @deltadan