Service Level Agreement & Support

Service Level Agreement

The Service Level Agreement (SLA) describes Microsoft’s commitments to uptime and connectivity. The SLA requirement for each service varies, users can refer to Azure Global website for the most updated details.

Web Direct

Users can subscribe Azure Global service online, which is governed by Microsoft Online Subscription Agreement between users and Microsoft. Web Direct purchase channel offers PAYG purchase option, which means customer could use Azure service first and pay later. Customers need to provide their credit/debit card information to active any of below subscriptions:

  • Free trial subscription (aka Free Account): One new user can benefit once for free trial offer with 200 USD Azure credits for usage within 1 month. The subscription can be upgraded to Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) subscription any time before the subscription is deleted. Upon subscription upgraded to PAYG, you can continue to enjoy free quantity of the selected services within 12 months since the trail subscription was created.
  • PAYG subscription: A new user can sign up a PAYG subscription directly. Upon the monthly usage, users will be charged with the credit/debit card provided in signup process.

There are other beneficial offers targeting different users, such as Visual Studio subscribers, academy, and start-ups. The comprehensive and most updated offer details can be found on Microsoft Azure Offer Details page. The following sections are the details for Free Trial and PAYG subscriptions only.


  • For China users signing up Azure Global service online, please be reminded to prepare Visa, MasterCard or American Express credit/debit card and ensure the card can be paid in USD currency, since your usage will be billed in USD.
  • The webpages from referral links embedded in the section could provide multi-language for use. You can switch to the preferred language for better understanding, however, please always refer to English version for the most updated content.
  • Azure service is continuously updated. So, when you find the difference between this playbook and Azure Global website, Azure Global website is the source you shall refer to in such a scenario.


For users purchasing Azure Global services, they can have the freeedom to select any paid support plan that matches mostly to their business needs. There are four paid support plans on top of basis free support as below. Upon the support plan users select, they have two platforms to raise support requests. More support information can be found in Azure Support Plans

  • Submit online ticket thru Azure Portal
  • Find customer service phone number in the located country on
Best for: Billing and subscription support; online self-help Trial and non-production environments Production workload environments Business-critical dependence Substantial dependence across multiple products
Range of support Microsoft Azure Microsoft Azure Microsoft Azure Microsoft Azure All Microsoft products
Twitter @AzureSupport & Forums 1
Technical support for Azure service issues via Resource health 2,3
Unlimited 24x7 billing & subscription support
Unlimited 24x7 technical support, including non-Microsoft technologies running on Azure Business hours only 4
Advisory services Limited advisory Customer-specific
Escalation and account management Pooled account management Assigned account management
Initial response time 3 < 8 hours 4 < 2 hours < 1 hour < 15 minutes (with Azure Rapid Response) or <1 hour (without Azure Rapid Response)
Maximum severity 3 C A A A
Monthly costs $29/month $300/month $1,000/month Contact us
Azure Support plans 4 Developer Standard Professional Direct Premier

1 Two Azure online forum options: MSDN and Stack Overflow. MSDN is a Microsoft online property. Stack Overflow is not associated or affiliated with Microsoft.

2 24x7 technical support for service issues with select Azure services (Virtual machine, Web app, SQL database, DocumentDB, Redis cache) via Resource health in Azure portal. Additional services will be added over time.

3 Initial response time (IRT) shown is for the maximum severity of each offering, and is the fastest IRT available for each offering. Lower severities have a longer IRT. For more information visit the Azure support scope and responsiveness page.

4 StorSimple support is provided for the first year for the physical appliance until the customer's next Enterprise Agreement anniversary, thereafter customers must purchase a StorSimple device support plan in addition to the Azure support plan; more information is available at