As MCT I’m often asked for tips and tricks while working with Azure and that’s what this blog series is all about.
This first TnT blog will focus on the different subscriptions as you will need to select a subscription type before you can get started.


Before starting with Azure, we first need to consider what subscription to take, depending on if you are an individual or business, the size of the company and/or your business requirements there are some options where you can select from:

Pay-as-you-go is best option here as you have all available options at hand. Here you sign-up with your credit card and Microsoft account (,,,..).
This subscription is based on the OPEX model, that means that you only have to pay for what you consumed and you will receive the bill at the end of the month directly from Microsoft.

If you are a small to medium size company, the best option is to use a CSP subscription as this will also bring you in direct contact with a specialized Azure partner that can help you with questions regarding design, deployment and lifecycle management.
This is also what Microsoft recommends for SMB.
There are 2 types of CSP partners;
Tier1 : where this partner receives the bill from MSFT and forwards this to the end customer.
Tier2 : receives the bill from a Tier1 CSP Partner and forwards the bill to the end customer.
Regardless of T1 or T2, this is an OPEX based subscription where you will only have to pay for what you consumed.

The ‘downside’ of CSP is that there still is some ‘room for improvement’:
– Integration with Azure Marketplace also seems troublesome as not everything is available through the CSP managed subscription (yet).
– Another important factor to take into account is that there is NO linking what so ever to Azure Classic (ASM) what so ever,
this is a PURE ARM subscription!
Also know that due to the ‘CSP abstraction layer’ you will not be able to see quota’s and billing section in the Azure Portal.

note: I might make this sound like a bad choise, but this is where most companies will fall under and MSFT is working really hard to have everthing available under the CSP umbrella.
My advise here is to have a good chat with your Partner of choise and discuss all your requirements, most of the times CSP will not cause any problems for you or your company.

For ISV’s the best option is to select a individual ‘pay as you go’ subscription, if you want guidance by a MS Partner, see if they can offer you an EA subscription.
imho, CSP is currently not advisable for ISV’s as they often require more integration options with other services (e.g.MarketPlace) and CSP is not ‘mature’ enough to handle this (yet).

If possible go for the EA subscription as this will offer better access management (that are not available through other subscriptions). EA comes with 2 options: pay up front (gives you additional 5% reduction) or pay-as-you-go.
About the latter, it has recently been announced that this will phase out pretty quickly, so the only option will be to pay up front for EA.
Also know that MSFT decided that they will expand the minimum seats from 250+ to 500+ before you can subscribe to EA.
There is also an option to go for Open License, use this subscription type if you don’t fit in the EA (+500 seats) AND you must have ASM (classic Azure) resources available for your workload. Otherwise select the CSP subscription