SQL Reserved vCores

Have you ever heard of SQL Reserved vCores? Well I never until recently.  With this concept you have the ability to save money by PRE-PAYING for your compute resources for Azure SQL DB where you might be currently using a pay-as-you-go plan.

The idea behind this is that you pay Microsoft up front for either 1 or 3 years and get a significant discount on the price of running that database compute power, how much of a discount? Well we will see some figures later on. Please note, this cost does NOT cover networking or storage charges, so factor that into the equation.


This can only be setup via the Azure Portal, simply go to All services > Reservations > click ADD.



I have a screen shot of the basics and details section, the cost section will come later. Some important points:

  • You must be in the Owner role for at least one Enterprise or Pay-As-You-Go subscription.
  • You can reserve the compute based on existing deployments or soon to deploy databases (sizing example shown later on).
  • Scope is an important concept, where the scope for this can cover one subscription or multiple subscriptions (shared scope).
  • Performance tier, because this is based on vCore, you need to select the general purpose or business critical tier where it uses Compute Gen 5. Gen 5 logical CPUs are based on Intel E5-2673 v4 (Broadwell) 2.3 GHz processors.

The other options are self – explanatory.

So, what will be the cost for a general purpose 4 vCore Gen 5 reservation cost for 1 year?


How about exactly the same but for 3 years? (No idea why there is not a 2 year option)


How does sizing work?

I am going to use Microsoft’s example but re-write it so it isn’t confusing.

My current workloads:

  • 1 general purpose Gen5 – 16 vCore elastic pool (16 total for general purpose).
  • 2 business critical Gen5 – 4 vCore single databases (8 total for business critical).

Incoming workloads:

  • 1 general purpose 16 vCore elastic pool (16 total).
  • 1 business critical 32 vCore elastic pool (32 total).

Quantity needed?  

2 x 16 vCore for general purpose meaning a total of 32 vCore and a total of  40 vCore business critical (32 + 8) needed.

Well, hopefully it makes sense. By the way, reservations do not auto-renew.





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s