Asking ChatGPT if Microsoft Sentinel is “free” with an E5 license. Spoiler alert — not free…

Gorka Sadowski
2 min readJun 12


Some people believe that Microsoft Sentinel is free as part of an E5 license…. I don’t know who is at the origin of this urban legend but it is far from true. Sentinel is far from free...

Really?!? In order to see more clear, let’s ask ChatGPT 4 what’s up.

Raw and uncensored, this is my conversation with ChatGPT via a screenshot (done on Monday June 12th, 2023 evening using my personal ChatGPT 4 account)

This is the question/answer transcribed in text for those who don’t like screenshots:

QUESTION — “Imagine that I am a US based customer with a Microsoft E5 license. I need to ingest 500GB per day of logs, and I need to store these logs for 1 year. How much would this cost me?”

ANSWER — “For Azure Sentinel cost calculation, we’ll consider two main components: data ingestion and data retention. As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, the costs for these aspects are as follows:

1. **Data Ingestion**: Azure Sentinel charges for the data it ingests over the first 5 GB per day, which is free. As of September 2021, the cost was $2.46 per GB. Since you’ll be ingesting 500 GB per day, you’ll pay for 495 GB each day.

Daily ingestion cost = 495 GB * $2.46/GB = $1,217.7

Over a year, this would come to:

Annual ingestion cost = 365 days * $1,217.7/day = $444,458.5

2. **Data Retention**: The cost for data storage in Azure Log Analytics (which Azure Sentinel uses for data storage) for data retained beyond the first 31 days is charged separately. As of September 2021, the cost was $0.10 per GB per month in the US.

If you’re storing 500 GB of data daily for a year, the total storage will be:

Total storage = 500 GB/day * 365 days/year = 182,500 GB/year (or approximately 182.5 TB/year)

Since the first 31 days of data storage are free, you’ll be paying for the storage of data for the remaining 11 months. The cost for this would be:

Monthly storage cost = 182,500 GB * $0.10/GB = $18,250

Annual storage cost for the remaining 11 months = 11 * $18,250 = $200,750

3. **Total Cost**: The total cost would be the sum of the ingestion and storage costs:

Total cost = Annual ingestion cost + Annual storage cost = $444,458.5 + $200,750 = $645,208.5

This is an approximate estimate based on the pricing as of my last update in September 2021. Pricing may have changed since then. I recommend reaching out to your Microsoft representative or using the Azure Pricing Calculator for the most accurate, current, and detailed pricing.”



Gorka Sadowski

Cybersecurity expert and Chief Strategy Officer at Exabeam. Former Gartner analyst driving SIEM and SOC research and builder of the Splunk security ecosystem.