Microsoft announced (July 2018) that Server Subscriptions will be available through the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider Program (CSP). According to the July 2018 Product Terms the products available include:
SQL Server Enterprise Core
SQL Server Standard Core
Windows Server Standard
Windows Server CAL
Windows Server External Connector
Windows Right Management CAL
Windows Server AD Rights Management External Connector
Notice Windows Datacenter is not an option currently. The benefit of Windows Datacenter is the unlimited virtualization rights or maybe CSP is marketed to smaller organizations could be the reasoning why Datacenter is not included.
There are two deployment options available – On-Premise/Dedicated environments or Azure. Although Software Assurance is not included, there are certain SA type benefits that are included such as self-hosted rights, hybrid use rights, and latest version rights.
What is CSP?
CSP is Microsoft’s new channel program that allows partners to manage and provide Online Services to their end customers. There are two models: CSP Direct – Which the reseller has a direct relationship with Microsoft to resell Microsoft Online Services to their end users. CSP Indirect – A partner leverages another solution provider’s authorization to resell Microsoft Online Services. In both models, the Server Subscription Service is available.
Things to remember
Once you deploy in Azure, the Windows Server licenses may not be redeployed on premise for 90 days. Secondly, the base instance is covered but not any other Azure cost such as storage, compute, and I/O associated with its use of the services. (Source: July 2018 Product Terms)
What does this mean for SPLA?
I think it is a clear indication Microsoft wants every organization on CSP as oppose to SPLA. However, in a shared server environment SPLA is still the only option. Microsoft does allow organizations to use a third-party datacenter provider under the new CSP subscription program, but it must be 100% dedicated.
To learn more check out this new forum and document library at www.mscloudlicensing.com
Thanks for reading,