Cloud Software License Costs

You can use Commander to determine whether your deployed Azure VMs, AWS EC2 instances, and Azure SQL database instances are configured so that they can make use of Windows Server or SQL Server license entitlements that you already have.

When you compare the licensing information Commander provides with a list of your current license entitlements (you could obtain such a listing from Snow License Manager), you can then apply any applicable license entitlements to your deployed resources to save licensing fees.

For example, if you use Microsoft's Software Assurance (SA), and you have existing license entitlements for Windows Server or SQL Server, you may be able to apply them to deployed Windows VMs or Azure SQL databases that use Azure Hybrid Benefit.

Similarly, for AWS, you can use License Mobility through SA to apply license entitlements to deployed EC2 instances. For example, if you have non-Amazon Marketplace Images (that is, custom images) that use shared tenancy, you could move your EC2 instances to dedicated tenancy and use your existing license entitlements.

In this topic:

Viewing software licensing information

From the Infrastructure or Applications Inventory views, you can view public cloud software licensing information for the following deployed cloud resources:

  • Azure VMs — You can view whether the Azure Hybrid Benefit is enabled or if it isn't applicable (as would be the case, for example, for Linux VMs). You can also view the number of cores used.
  • AWS EC2 instances — You can view the Tenancy model, number of cores, and Image ID used.

    For a complete list of the available VM and EC2 properties that can be displayed, see VM, Instance, Template, and Image properties.

  • Azure SQL databases — You can view whether the Azure Hybrid Benefit is enabled, the license model used, and more. The following types of Azure SQL databases are tracked: Azure SQL Databases, Azure Managed Instances, and Azure SQL VMs.

    For a complete list of the available Azure SQL database properties that can be displayed, see Database properties (Azure).

Searching for software licensing information

Commander allows you to perform advanced searches on VM configuration and operational details, include cloud software licensing information (for example, for Azure VMs, whether the Azure Hybrid Benefit is enabled, and for AWS EC2 instances, the Tenancy model or Image ID used are used).

For a complete list of the VM properties that you can perform custom searches on, see VM, Instance, Template, and Image properties.

Access through:

Tools > Search

Available to:

All Access Rights Levels

To perform an advanced search for cloud software licensing information used by Azure VMs and AWS EC2 instances:

  1. From the Help Me Find section, select VMs.
  2. From the Location section, do one of the following:
    • To search all VMs in inventory, leave the default value of Global.
    • To search VMs from a particular location, click and select the location from the Infrastructure, Applications, or Storage views.
  3. In the Filter By section, select the filter you want.

    Tip: The following filters are helpful for cloud software licensing information searches:

    • Licensing > Azure Hybrid Benefit — Whether the VM is using the Azure Hybrid Benefit license.
    • Licensing > Tenancy — The Tenancy model used by an EC2 instance.
    • Licensing > Image Source — Indicates where the image is located. Note that an image source won't be displayed if the instance wasn't deployed from a template. This property is for AWS only.
    • Configuration > Image ID — The AMI ID of an AWS EC2 instance.
    • Configuration > Number of Cores — The number of virtual cores used by the VM or instance.
  4. Depending on the selected filter, different criteria are available in the next drop-down such as (this is a partial list only):
    • contains
    • doesn't contain
    • equals
    • doesn't equal
    • is
    • isn't
    • on
    • not on
  5. For the third field, either select another filter or enter a full or partial character string as allowed.

    Tip: If you're permitted to enter characters, you can use the following variables in this field:

    • * for a replacement of one or more characters
    • ? to replace a single character
  6. Optional: To search using more than one filter at a time, click and repeat steps 2 through 5 for each filter you want to add.
  7. Click Search.
  8. The results of your search are displayed under a separate Results tab. You can:

Using predefined searches for software licensing information

For convenience, Commander provides a number of predefined searches for software licensing information for Azure VMs or AWS EC2 instances running Microsoft Server.

Access through:

Tools > Search

Available to:

All Access Rights Levels

From the Public Searches section, select one of the following searches:

  • Optimization: AWS BYOL - Potential Violations: Finds all of the EC2 instances running Windows Server that are based on custom, non-Amazon Marketplace Images and use shared tenancy. These instances can only use existing license entitlements if you use Microsoft License Mobility through SA and you switch them to dedicated tenancy.
  • Optimization: AWS BYOL - Savings: Finds all of the EC2 instances running Windows Server that are based on Amazon Marketplace Images, which include a software license, and use dedicated tenancy. These are instances for which you may realize cost savings if you switch them to shared tenancy.
  • Optimization: Azure Hybrid Benefit - Potential Savings: Finds all of the powered-on Windows VMs that don't currently have the Azure Hybrid Benefit enabled. You may reduce costs for these VMs if you enable the Azure Hybrid Benefit and apply unused Microsoft Server license entitlements to them.
  • Optimization: Azure Hybrid Benefit - Savings: Finds all of the Windows VMs that have the Azure Hybrid Benefit enabled. These VMs will cost less if you allocated unused Microsoft Server license entitlements to them.

The search results automatically display in a separate Results tab.

Generating cloud software license reports

Commander provides a predefined Azure Software License Report that you can generate to view the current usage of Azure Hybrid Benefits for Windows VMs and Azure SQL database instances in a specified Azure cloud account.

For each listed resource, it also displays the price for the resource if the:

  • Azure Hybrid Benefit isn't enabled.
  • Azure Hybrid Benefit is enabled and a license entitlement is applied to the resource.

The report also displays the potential cost savings that could be realized if the VM or Azure SQL database has the Azure Hybrid Benefit enabled and a license entitlement is applied to the resource.

For more information, see Azure Software Licensing Report.

Enabling Azure Hybrid Benefits for services

From Commander, you can set the Azure Hybrid Benefit for your Azure VMs running Windows Server or Azure SQL databases.

Tip: It's also possible for Service Portal users to set the Azure Hybrid Benefit for services they own if they're assigned a Service Portal role that has the Modify Azure Hybrid Benefit permission enabled. For more information, see Customizing Service Portal Roles for Users.

Enabling Azure Hybrid Benefits for VMs

Access through:

Views > Inventory

Available to:

Operator or higher access rights on the VM

To enable or clear the Azure Hybrid Benefit option for a VM:

  1. Click the Infrastructure or Applications tab.
  2. From the Inventory tree, select the Azure VMs running Windows Server that you want to enable the Azure Hybrid Benefit for.

    Tips:  

    • To quickly find a VM, select the root cloud account node, and click the VMs tab. For more filtering, select a region, then click the VMs tab. All of the VMs that belong to the selected node will display in a table.
    • To select multiple VMs, use Ctrl-click or Shift-click.
  3. Do one of the following:
    • To enable the Azure Hybrid Benefit, select Actions > Configuration Management > Enable Azure Hybrid Benefit.
    • To clear the Azure Hybrid Benefit, select Actions > Configuration Management > Disable Azure Hybrid Benefit.
  4. In the Set Azure Hybrid Benefit dialog, select Apply Hybrid Azure Benefit to confirm that you have Windows Server license entitlements that can be applied, and click OK.

Enabling Azure Hybrid Benefits for Azure SQL databases

Access through:

Views > Inventory

Available to:

Operator or higher access rights on the database

To enable or clear the Azure Hybrid Benefit option for an Azure SQL database:

  1. Click the Infrastructure or Applications tab.
  2. From the Infrastructure or Applications tree, select the Azure SQL databases that you want to enable the Azure Hybrid Benefit for.

    Tips:  

    • To quickly find an Azure SQL database, select the root cloud account node, and click the Databases tab. For more filtering, select a region, then click the Databases tab. All of the databases that belong to the selected node will display in a table.
    • To select multiple Azure SQL databases, use Ctrl-click or Shift-click.
  3. Do one of the following:
    • To enable the Azure Hybrid Benefit, select Actions > Enable Azure Hybrid Benefit.
    • To clear the Azure Hybrid Benefit, select Actions > Disable Azure Hybrid Benefit.
  4. In the Set Azure Hybrid Benefit dialog, select Apply Azure Hybrid Benefit to confirm that you have Azure SQL database license entitlements that can be applied, and click OK.