The Azure Pricing Calculator is easy enough to find; there is a link to it from every Azure pricing information page. Otherwise, you can search for or browse straight to the Azure Pricing Calculator. At the top of the screen is an index of available Azure services that you can add to the current estimate; these are broken down into categories such as Featured (most commonly used), ComputeNetworkingStorage, and so on.

Below the index is where the current estimate will be built up; this will probably be blank, to begin with.

How to price a Simple VM Solution using Azure Calculator?

In this example, I estimate a very simple VM solution for a virtual machine that will be a SQL Server with a standard OS disk and a Premium data disk.

Virtual Machine

I started by clicking Virtual Machines in the index. A virtual machine spec was added to the estimate and I customized this spec.

  • Set the region (E.g. Australia East), operating system (Windows) and type (OS only, or with an application, such as SQL Server). I added SQL Server and the per Core cost (no CALs required) will be added to this virtual machine.
  • The virtual machine tier is Standard (everything except for Basic A-Series) and I set the license type of SQL Server to SQL Standard.
  • The Instance size is the size of the virtual machine and I went with a D4S_v3.
  • Billing option allows you to choose regular per-second billing or to pre-pay for the instance for 1 or 3 years for a discount. I chose the 1-Year reserved instance to save 11 percent on the cost of the virtual machine runtime.


The storage of the virtual machine is configured lower in the spec. Note that this only configures the OS disk of the virtual machine, which is not included in the above virtual machine cost.

In the below, I have configured the virtual machine’s OS disk as follows:

  • Standard instead of Premium storage.
  • Sized the managed disk as an S10, based on the normal 128GB size of a Marketplace image.
  • Specified the number as 1, there is only 1 OS disk per machine!

The subtotal for the machine adds up to NZ $831.93, including Windows Server per processor licensing, SQL Server licensing, and the storage for the OS disk. Next, I need to add on a data disk. I scrolled back to the top and selected Storage from Featured. A storage resource is added to the estimate and is configured:

  • Location: A region matching the virtual machine (Australia East)
  • Type: Managed disks
  • Tier: Premium
  • Disk size: A P30 1024GB disk
  • Number of disks: 1

IP Addresses

The virtual machine will be accessible by remote desktop on the Internet and for this, I will need a public IP address. Back at the index of resources, I selected IP Addresses from Networking. Once again, the region is selected and I picked 1 static Basic ARM IP address.


There is a data egress or outbound data transfer charge for Azure virtual machines. The Australia East region falls into what Microsoft refers to as Zone 2. Note that there is no ingress data charge. Any data download from the machine or upload by the machine to a location outside of Azure will be charged for, with the first 5GB being free. The resource for pricing this charge is Bandwidth from the Networking category.


The last resource I will add is Backup from the Storage category to estimate the cost of backing up the virtual machine.

As a best practice, it is recommended to have Backup of your workload running in a different datacenter, so instead of Australia East, I choose Australia SouthEast as the region to store the backup copy. I am not adding the retention points because this is purely based on the business case.

The virtual machine has 1,152GB of disk capacity (128 + 1,024), so the instance size will be 1,152GB. I’ll set the storage resiliency to the RSV to LRS.

At the bottom of the estimate, I now see a total estimated cost of NZ$1,341.69. There is also an export button, which allows me to download a spreadsheet of this estimate.

Extra Notes:

Note that the above RRP cost includes:

  • Windows Server per processor licensing with no need for Windows Server CALs
  • SQL Server Standard per processor licensing with no need for SQL Server CALs
  • Azure’s free anti-malware scanning for Windows Server
  • Flash storage for the SQL Server database and log files

Things like RDS CALs are not included. For end-user RDS access, you would need one of:

  • RDS CALs with Software Assurance
  • RDS SALs via the SPLA hosting/leasing licensing channel

If you are going the credit card or EA route, then there is no Microsoft technical support included. Therefore, a contract cost would have to be added. If you choose the CSP channel, then Microsoft technical support (via the reseller) is included.


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