Moving to Azure under a CSP partner: What you need to know.

by | Apr 29, 2024

A comparison of the CSP and PAYG models for Azure cloud services


Azure is Microsoft’s cloud computing platform that offers a range of services, such as compute, storage, networking, databases, analytics, and artificial intelligence. Azure clients can choose from different ways of purchasing and managing their cloud resources, depending on their needs and preferences. Two of the most common options are the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program and the pay-as-you-go (PAYG) model. In this document, we will explain what each option entails, how to move to Azure under a CSP partner, and the benefits and drawbacks of this option compared to the PAYG model.


What is the CSP program?

The CSP program facilitates the procurement and management of Azure cloud services via a third-party partner, rather than directly through Microsoft. CSP partners, who are certified by Microsoft, not only provide Azure services but also offer additional value-added services such as savings, billing, support, migration, and optimization. This model emphasizes a holistic approach by offering a single point of contact for all cloud-related needs, aiding in the design, deployment, and management of cloud solutions.


What is the PAYG model?

The PAYG model is the default way of purchasing and using Azure cloud services directly from Microsoft. With this model, you pay for the resources you consume monthly, based on the current prices and usage rates. You can access and manage your cloud resources through the Azure portal, the Azure command-line interface (CLI), or the Azure PowerShell. You can also use the Azure Cost Management tool to monitor and optimize your cloud spending.


How to move to Azure under a CSP partner?

Moving to Azure under a CSP partner involves transitioning your cloud services procurement from Microsoft directly to a third-party CSP. The process generally involves:

      • Selecting a CSP partner that aligns with your business needs and requirements is crucial. Not all CSP partners offer the same level of service. Opting for a Tier-1 provider means partnering with a top-level Microsoft partner directly connected to Microsoft, while a Tier-2 partner will involve additional vendors.
      • Signing a contract with the CSP partner that specifies the terms and conditions of the service, such as the pricing, billing, support, and service level agreements (SLAs).
      • Migrating your existing Azure resources to the CSP partner’s subscription. This may require some planning and coordination with the CSP partner, as some resources may not be compatible or transferable. You can use the Azure Migrate tool to assess and migrate your resources or rely on the CSP partner’s expertise and assistance.
      • Collaborate closely with your CSP partner to establish robust cost management strategies and meet your budgetary requirements effectively. This involves not only monitoring expenditures but also optimizing resource allocation to align with your financial goals and organizational priorities.

What are the benefits and drawbacks of moving to Azure under a CSP partner?

Moving to Azure under a CSP partner can have several benefits and drawbacks, depending on your business needs, size, and how you plan to manage your cloud resources. Some of the main advantages and disadvantages are:


      • You can get lower and more predictable prices for Azure services, as the CSP partner can offer discounts and fixed rates based on your contract and consumption.
      • You can get more personalized and responsive support, as the CSP partner can act as a single point of contact for all your cloud issues and queries.
      • You can get more value-added services, such as migration, optimization, security, and compliance, that can enhance your cloud experience and outcomes.
      • You can get more flexibility and control over your cloud resources, as the CSP partner can tailor the services and solutions to your specific needs and preferences.


      • You may have to face some compatibility and transferability issues, as some Azure marketplace resources may not be available or supported by the CSP partner.
      • The level of support provided by CSP partners can vary widely. While some partners offer excellent client service and technical support, others may not meet your expectations in terms of responsiveness, expertise, or availability. It’s essential to choose a reputable partner with a track record of providing reliable support.

Understanding Tier Differences in CSP Partners

      • Tier-1 CSP Partners: Tier-1 partners have a direct relationship with Microsoft and can take care of all client needs, such as billing and support, without any middlemen. They offer the complete range of Microsoft’s cloud services and additional benefits directly to end clients.
      • Tier-2 CSP Partners: These partners also offer Microsoft cloud services, but they get them from a Tier-1 partner rather than from Microsoft directly. This model will involve more vendors, which can make the service chain more complex but also allow for a broader network of service availability and specialized local support.


Moving to Azure under a CSP partner is a decision that requires consideration of your business needs, size, and cloud management preferences. Each option has its benefits and potential drawbacks, and you should weigh them against your goals and expectations. A CSP partner can offer lower and more predictable prices, more personalized support, more value-added services, and more flexibility and control over your cloud resources. However, it can also entail compatibility and transferability issues, and reliance on the CSP partner’s SLAs and performance. Ultimately, the choice depends on what works best for you and your cloud journey.


Covenant Technology Partner is a Tier-1 Microsoft CSP business partner.