What to do with your Power BI Premium licensing as Microsoft Fabric takes over

Microsoft Fabric and its Fabric Capacity Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) launched in 2023, came with reformed purchase options phasing out the Power BI Premium per capacity SKUs (P-SKUs). There will be no alterations to the features and capabilities of the Power BI Premium product, and no immediate action is needed on your part as a user/customer/organization. You can continue utilizing your current Power BI Premium capacity up until your next renewal period. 

Starting January 1, 2025, as a customer (s) currently using Power BI Premium per capacity you should engage with your Microsoft account representatives to transition to a more flexible or ideal Fabric capacity and pricing plan during your next renewal period. This plan should offer enhanced flexibility in SKU size, pay-as-you-go billing, exclusive access to Azure features, and qualifies you for the Microsoft Azure Consumption Commitment (MACC).  

What is Microsoft Fabric? 

Microsoft Fabric presents a comprehensive analytics platform tailor-made for enterprises, to include data movement, data science, Real-Time Analytics, and business intelligence in one seamless package. There is a suite of services offered to include data lake capabilities, data engineering, and data integration services under one package, eliminating the need for businesses to juggle various services from multiple vendors. It is also built on the innovative foundation of Software as a Service (SaaS).  

Options available as discontinuing Per-Capacity Pricing for Power BI Premium occurs 

The introduction of Microsoft Fabric in 2023 has seen a fusion of Microsoft Power BI, Azure Synapse Analytics, and Azure Data Factory’s features integrating into a single, unified software as a service (SaaS) platform. Microsoft Fabric improves on the standard set by Power BI Premium by incorporating its functionalities and adding six additional core workloads. To ensure a smooth transition, customers can take advantage of the seamless access Fabric’s features using their existing Power BI Premium per capacity subscriptions.  

Microsoft Fabric introduction comes with new flexibility with both pay-as-you-go and reservation options. As a result of this, Microsoft is eventually phasing out Power BI Premium capacity SKUs.   

The impact of this retirement will vary based on a user’s current agreement…  

  • For a new customer  

Starting July 1, 2024, Power BI Premium per capacity will no longer be available for purchase.  

  • Current customers not covered by an Enterprise Agreement (EA) 

Will have the option to renew their Power BI Premium capacity subscriptions until January 1, 2025. For those whose renewal date falls after January 1, 2025, they will be required to transition from their current Power BI Premium capacity subscription to purchasing Fabric capacity at the end of their agreement.  

  • Customers holding a current EA agreement 

They will be able to renew their Power BI Premium capacity on an annual basis until their EA agreement ends. Should their existing EA agreement expire after January 1st, 2025, they will be required to switch to Fabric capacity upon the termination of the agreement to maintain access to Microsoft Fabric.  

  • Customers who operate on a sovereign cloud 

They are unaffected by this retirement since Microsoft Fabric is not currently available to them. More details to be offered as soon as they become available to them.  

What benefits comes with migrating to Microsoft Fabric capacity 

Fabric offers a flexible pay-as-you-go plan, allowing for dynamic scaling and the option to pause capacity according to your needs. Additionally, customers using Fabric can benefit from smaller compute SKUs, which are available at a significantly lower starting point than the entry-level Power BI Premium SKU.  

Azure-only features like trusted workspace access for OneLake shortcuts and Managed Private Endpoints for Spark are available for Fabric capacity customers to access. Power BI Premium capacity customers do not have these features, which are exclusive to Azure. 

How to move from Power BI Premium to Microsoft Fabric capacity? 

To smoothly transition your Power BI and Fabric works, simply redirect your workspaces to the new Fabric capacity. Administrators have the option to bulk assign workspaces, streamlining the process even further.   

It is important to note that, even after your Power BI Premium capacity subscription has come to an end, you will retain access to your Power BI and Fabric works for a minimum of 90 days. This grace period allows you to seamlessly migrate workspaces to your new Fabric capacity, ensuring you maintain access to your existing work without interruption.  

What is the effect of the Power BI Premium licensing update on other Power BI licensing? 

Power BI Pro and Power BI Premium per user (PPU) will remain unaffected by this retirement. In the case of Power BI Embedded, Microsoft Fabric capacity is fully compatible and can be utilized to support all your embedded activities.  

Note however that Microsoft Fabric’s capacity does not support Power BI Report Server. To maintain access to Power BI Report Server, consider obtaining it via SQL Server Enterprise Edition with Software Assurance. This method for acquiring Power BI Report Server is well recommended.  

Talk to an independent cloud and licensing expert today 

If you are a frequent visitor to our knowledge hub on this site, it will not be a new thing when we keep saying the world of Microsoft licensing is ever changing. This is another example. Your daily activities as an organization will not permit you to see this update coming but we had hints months ago.  

This is because we keep tabs on the Microsoft eco-system and can spot major moves or shifts in their activities due to familiar steps and our frequent engagement with experts in the field.   

Are you wondering, regarding the new update on Power Premium BI, if you should renew your agreement or what purchasing options are available to you? Talk to our team of cloud and licensing experts today and you will be assisted with cost saving options or what next steps to take.  

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