This is going to be a quick post, but hopefully it can help someone from getting the same unpleasant surprise as I recently encountered. If you’re working on a large scale Office 365 implementation, you may have had your interest piqued by their announcement of an Azure ExpressRoute option for Office 365 in late 2015. This can be a pretty big performance win if the organization in question already has a significant investment in WAN infrastructure like an MPLS cloud.
Hopefully I’ll have more detail on why this is once we get a better explanation, but if you’re planning on this and pricing it out make sure you plan for the premium add-on. I recently got well down the road to implementing this, where the expected amount of Azure service credit was already purchased, only to be informed while provisioning circuits that this was a requirement for use with Office 365.
There are probably good reasons why this is the case, but an extra $36,000/year/circuit is not exactly a pleasant surprise. If anyone that has contacts at Microsoft happens to see this, please please please have someone update your planning docs. Also if I happen to just be overlooking the really obvious place where this is already documented, I’d love to get a link in the comments or something. I’d be happy to update the post.