Many businesses have made significant investments in VMware virtualization, so transitioning to the cloud may often seem as a daunting task. Years of building robust VMware environments, cultivating specialized expertise, and refining operational processes representing substantial commitments that are difficult to abandon. The Azure VMware Solution (AVS) emerges as a transformative offering that bridges this divide, enabling businesses to seamlessly extend their VMware footprint to Microsoft's Azure cloud, without costly re-architecting or disruptions.

However, with various pricing models and configuration options available – such as compute resources, storage configurations, network optimization, and value-added services, to name a few, it can be challenging to determine the most cost-effective approach that aligns with business’s specific requirements.

Read the blog along as we cover the comprehensive analysis of the Azure VMware’s pricing model, offering strategies to optimize costs and more. 

Benefits of Azure VMware Solution

Seamless Migration and Integration: 

One of the key advantages of the Azure VMware Solution (AVS) is its seamless integration with existing VMware/on-prem environments to develop a hybrid setup. Organizations can migrate or extend their on-premises VMware workloads to the Azure cloud without the need for extensive re-architecting or refactoring, reducing the time and effort required for migration. This seamless transition can significantly reduce operational costs and minimize downtime. 

Enhanced Capabilities and Access to Azure-native Services: 

Microsoft Azure VMware provides access to a wide range of Azure-native services, such as Azure Backup, Azure Site Recovery, and Azure Security Center, enabling organizations to enhance their recovery capabilities, security posture, and overall operational efficiency.

Global Availability and Disaster Recovery: 

With Microsoft's global datacenter footprint, the Azure VMware Solution provides organizations with the ability to deploy VMware workloads across multiple regions, enabling efficient disaster recovery and business continuity strategies.

Gradual Modernization and Hybrid Flexibility: 

For those hesitant about a full-blown cloud migration, Azure VMware Solution allows modernizing applications bit by bit, through integration with Azure native ecosystems, security, and services. The hybrid approach leverages both VMware and Azure services, enabling a smooth transition at a desired pace. Firms can also opt for a complete Azure managed services provider to further streamline this journey.

Maximizing Existing Investments and Operational Consistency: 

A significant advantage of this solution is the preservation of organizations' existing VMware investments, skills, and operational processes. By maintaining consistency with familiar VMware technologies such as vSphere, vSAN, NSX, and HCX, businesses can utilize their current VMware expertise and tools, minimizing disruptions and retraining costs. 

A Comprehensive Guide to Microsoft Azure Disaster Recovery
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Understanding Azure VMware Solution Pricing

The AVS or Azure VMware Solution pricing model is based on a consumption-based approach, where customers pay for the resources they use, including compute, storage, networking, and additional services like backup and disaster recovery. Pricing varies based on factors such as host configurations, Azure region, and optional add-ons. Additionally, Microsoft offers various pricing tiers and configurations to cater to different workload requirements and budgets.

Azure VMware Solution: The Cost Factors  

Tailored Configurations and Resource Utilization: 

It important to keep in mind that the Azure VMware Solution pricing can vary based on several factors, including the number of hosts, CPU and memory configurations, and optional add-ons. To optimize costs, organizations must carefully analyze their workload requirements, resource utilization patterns, and future growth projections. 

Hybrid Cloud Approach: 

One effective strategy is to leverage VMware on Azure in collaboration with other Azure services, such as Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) or Azure Functions, to create a hybrid cloud environment. This can be achieved by seamlessly integrating VMware workloads with Azure services through Azure's robust networking capabilities, enabling secure communication and data exchange between on-premises and cloud resources. The hybrid approach allows organizations to take advantage of the best-suited services for their specific workloads, potentially resulting in cost savings and improved performance.

Businesses can save upto 80% with Azure Hybrid Benefit – Azure Hybrid Benefit Savings Calculator


Cost Monitoring and Optimization Tools: 

Organizations also need to consider tools offered by Microsoft or third-party providers to gain insights into their Azure VMware Solution spends and identify opportunities for cost optimization. 
According to a study by Forrester Consulting, organizations that migrated their VMware workloads to Azure experienced a 59% reduction in operational costs and a 40% improvement in infrastructure performance.

Here's an analysis chart for (AVS) Azure VMware Pricing as of 2024: 

Pricing Component  Azure VMware Solution (AVS) 
Compute Pricing varies based on the number of hosts and the Azure region. Starts at $5.97/hour for 3 hosts in East US region.*
Storage Managed disk storage pricing is $0.0475/GB per month for Premium SSD disks.**
Networking Outbound data transfer: $0.087/GB for the first 5 TB, then $0.083/GB for the next 40 TB, and $0.079/GB for over 45 TB. Inbound data transfer is free.***
vSAN Included in the compute pricing. No additional charge for vSAN.
NSX-T Included in the compute pricing. No additional charge for NSX-T.
HCX (Hybrid Cloud Extension) $0.28/hour for each active source or target environment.
Backup Azure Backup pricing starts at $5/month for 50GB of data. Additional charges apply based on data volume and backup frequency.
Site Recovery Azure Site Recovery pricing starts at $25/month per instance. Additional charges apply based on data volume and recovery configurations.
Support Included in the compute pricing. 24x7 support from VMware and Microsoft.

- *Compute pricing based on Azure VMware Solution pricing for East US region as of May 2024.

- **Storage pricing based on Azure Managed Disk pricing as of May 2024.

- ***Networking pricing based on Azure Bandwidth pricing as of May 2024.

It is important to note: The pricing may vary based on the specific configuration, Azure region, and any additional services or features utilized. It is recommended to use the Azure Pricing Calculator for accurate pricing estimation based on your specific requirements.

Optimizing Costs and Workloads When Using Azure VMware Solution: Best Practices

Right-sizing Compute Resources:  

  • Workload requirements are to be analyzed before selecting the appropriate Microsoft Azure VMware node types and configurations.
  • Azure VMware Solution's built-in tools or third-party solutions to be used to monitor and scale resources.
  • Consider using Azure Reserved Instances for long-term commitments to get discounted rates. 

Storage Optimization:  

  • Leverage Azure Managed Disks for efficient storage management and performant storage options like Premium SSD disks.
  • Implement storage tiering by moving rarely accessed data to lower-cost storage tiers like Azure Blob Storage or Azure Archive Storage.
  • Enable Azure Storage compression and deduplication to reduce storage footprint and costs. 

Network Cost Optimization:  

  • Minimize outbound data transfer by keeping data and services within the Azure VMware Solution environment or using Azure ExpressRoute for hybrid connectivity.
  • Implement Azure Virtual Network (VNet) peering to enable low-cost data transfer between Azure resources.
  • Employ Azure Network Watcher and Traffic Analytics to monitor and optimize network traffic patterns. 

Backup and Disaster Recovery Optimization:  

  • Implement backup policies and retention periods based on business requirements to avoid unnecessary costs.
  • Put to use the Cool Tier in Azure Blob Storage or Azure Archive Storage for long-term backup data retention at lower costs. 

Hybrid Cloud Strategy:  

  • Use Azure Hybrid Benefit to save costs by leveraging the existing Windows Server and SQL Server licenses.
  • Azure cost management tools like Azure Cost Management + Billing can be used to monitor and optimize costs across hybrid environments.

Automation and Operational Efficiency:  

  • Implement Infrastructure as Code (IaC) using tools like Azure Resource Manager (ARM) templates or Terraform to automate deployment and configuration processes.
  • Utilize Azure Monitor and Azure Log Analytics to gain insights into Azure VMware environment. 

Partner with Cloud Experts:  

  • Consider working with Azure managed service providers like Cloud4C, specializing in Azure VMware deployments and cost optimization strategies.
  • Leverage MSP expertise in cloud migration, architecture design, etc. to maximize the value of the Azure VMware Solution investment. 

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Secure, High-Performing VMware Environment on Azure with Cloud4C  

For businesses looking to migrate virtualized workloads to Microsoft Azure VMware Solution, Azure VMware provides a fully consistent platform that allows you to easily extend your on-premises VMware environment to the cloud. Not just that, Azure VMware Solution (AVS) democratizes and accelerates the path to cloud, allowing organizations to maintain their VMware investments - all the while taking advantage of the cloud’s immense benefits, such as elasticity, infrastructure cost savings, increased workload performance and high availability. This is where the role of a cloud managed service provider, like Cloud4C really stands out!

Cloud4C, a global cloud services provider, has been at the forefront of helping businesses leverage the power of the Azure VMware Solution (AVS). Our expertise spans across Azure migration planning, AVSarchitecture design, implementation, and ongoing management, ensuring optimal resource utilization and cost-saving. Additionally, Cloud4C’s advanced analytics and automation capabilities can be utilized to identify cost-saving opportunities and maintain a secure, high-performing VMware environment on Azure, aligning with each organization's unique requirements and growth objectives.

For end-to-end support, from assessment and planning to execution and management for your VMware architecture, contact us today! 

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Team Cloud4C
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Team Cloud4C

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