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SPLA Licensing Teams Up with Mow Down Cancer…Helping Families One Lawn at a time.

Help a family going through cancer treatments all the while solving a global epidemic.  To find out what that epidemic is…check this out!!!

The mysterious SPLA Man is revealed (as well as his son)

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Posted by on June 20, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Microsoft SPLA Audit Support

Article update: We created a new website called MSCloudlicensing to help SPLA and CSP partners understand the different program options and use rights available to them. The site is designed to be a collaborative platform,  which includes a forum to ask and answer licensing questions, document library, and licensing articles.  It’s more in depth than a simple blog. Check it out, it’s free!  www.mscloudlicensing.com 

Document Library: Easy to read whitepapers on licensing and best practices. What really happens in an audit? How are other service providers handling CSP and Azure? AWS licensing? https://mscloudlicensing.com/document-library/

Forum: Experts always review and answer your licensing questions. https://mscloudlicensing.com/forum/

Articles: Most of the splalicensing.com articles you are used to reading and many more on CSP, Azure, AWS, and other cloud providers.
https://mscloudlicensing.com/subscription/

It’s Microsoft’s fiscal year end, which means it’s time for the auditors to dust off their pens and pocket protectors to find out which SPLA partners are under licensed, over licensed (yeah right) or misunderstood (every SPLA customer that has ever signed a SPLA agreement) the license use rights.  If you need assistance, please let us know! Info@splalicensing.com and we can help you navigate the treacherous waters called Microsoft licensing.

Thanks for reading.

SPLA Man

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

New VCPP Update for Service Providers

Article update: We created a new website called MSCloudlicensing to help SPLA and CSP partners understand the different program options and use rights available to them. The site is designed to be a collaborative platform,  which includes a forum to ask and answer licensing questions, document library, and licensing articles.  It’s more in depth than a simple blog. Check it out, it’s free!  www.mscloudlicensing.com 

VCPP Update:

Thought we would provide an update to the VCPP program for VMWare.  The five point bundle in VCPP has been discontinued April 15, 2018.  There is a 6 month grace period for current partners.  Important dates:

April 15 2018 –  End of availability for new providers

September 19, 2018 – End of general support for 5.5

October 31, 2018 – completely removed

How are you limiting new customers for 5.5 bundle?

Starting April usage reporting, the bundle will not be available for any new service providers.  It’s also in the product use guide for VCPP.  If you were already using it, have the signed contract, you can continue to use it for 6 months.

Hope this provide insight.   Questions?  Ask your VCCP reseller – SPLA man only knows SPLA and CSP 🙂

 

 

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

How’s your CSP business?

(1I guess the better question to ask Is the CSP program right for your business?   When Microsoft announced the QMTH program last year, I remember thinking – finally!  Microsoft is allowing hosting partners the ability to resell Windows 10 in a multitenant environment!  Let the flood gates open!  Well, the flood gates opened.  Fast forward to today and Microsoft is a bit of a pickle.  Authorizing a “partner”  for CSP Direct is one thing, making sure they are successful is another.

Has Microsoft helped or hurt your hosting practice?  On one hand, the ability to offer Windows 10 is great but on the other hand, is it worth the headache of CSP?  Are you sure you want to get in the licensing business or the reseller business?  From the conversations I have had with hosting providers, CSP has been a difficult sell.   There’s a lot of investment resources, support, and licensing to be able to educate your customers on a low margin transaction.  Signing up for CSP Direct to become QMTH authorized is probably not going to help long turn.  Maybe CSP Indirect is the way to go?

CSP Indirect allows you to partner with another reseller who can offer the licenses on your behalf.  I like to think of it as white labeling their authorization to your customers.  The reseller provides the support but you control the billing.  There are also resellers who get creative – they provide the licenses, you provide the support.  That may be the best route since managed services brings in a higher margin than software sales.  The drawback of CSP Indirect is you are no longer eligible for QMTH.

What’s ironic is Microsoft finally solved the VDI question hosting providers have been asking for over a decade but now unleashed an entire new problem in CSP.  Maybe some day this will all make sense.  In the meantime, thanks for reading.

SPLA Man

 
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Posted by on April 9, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

SQL Developer Edition: Be very…very…careful

Article update: We created a new website called MSCloudlicensing to help SPLA and CSP partners understand the different program options and use rights available to them. The site is designed to be a collaborative platform,  which includes a forum to ask and answer licensing questions, document library, and licensing articles.  It’s more in depth than a simple blog. Check it out, it’s free!  www.mscloudlicensing.com 

 

Here’s a brief rundown with SQL Developer edition and what to be aware of if you decide to deploy it.

  • It’s free – you can download it for zero costs
  • It’s a compliance nightmare – When you deploy MAP tool in an audit, the scan typically will reveal a SQL Enterprise installation not SQL Developer edition.  Most features of Developer are found in Enterprise which brings on more confusion.  If you are audited, you must prove this license is for non-production environments.  Which brings us to the next bullet point.
  • What is a non production environment?  Any time you host Microsoft software it is defined as “production.”  Whether or not you charge for this access is irrelevant.  (Microsoft doesn’t care if you make money off of it).  If you do internal development, that’s non production.  If you host a dev environment for the benefit of your customer, now that is software as a service and would be considered production.
  •  Microsoft made SQL Development free in 2016.  For those that need prior versions, you would need to access them through Visual Studio subscriptions.   Again, for non-production environments.  Otherwise, you can report Visual Studio through SPLA; per user, per month.
  • To play it safe, isolate the hardware for any customer’s that want to transfer their free version of SQL Dev to your datacenter environment.

One might ask if it’s free, what’s the penalty if I am found out of compliant?  If you were deploying SQL Dev for production use and Microsoft finds out, you would have to true up using SQL Enterprise.  In other words, if you installed SQL Dev in 2014, get audited in 2017, Microsoft could force you to true up SQL Enterprise dating back to when you first installed Developer edition.  That’s not a very cheap solution!

Is this confusing?  Yes.  You have to make a decision of whether or not this is production or non-production environment.  Do not install SQL Developer because it’s free.  It may cost you in the long run.

Thank you for reading,

SPLA Man

 

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Answers to Your Cloud Licensing Questions

Will Azure be part of the SPLA program?

I wouldn’t think so and wouldn’t know how they could incorporate the two.  Azure is Microsoft hosted and SPLA is partnered.   Microsoft will want to keep SPLA and Azure separate.

Is Azure Stack part of SPLA?

Azure Stack by itself is not part of SPLA.  What’s part of SPLA is the Windows licenses.  As a service provider, you could deploy Azure Stack, pay the base consumption rate, and use Windows licensing with SPLA.  In fact, I think it’s less expensive to do it this way.

If my customer wants to use their own Windows license on Azure Stack, do they also require CAL’s?

Yes.  You need to pay attention to the Product Terms to ensure compliance.  As an example, volume licensing prohibits hosting.  You cannot install your own Windows licenses through volume licensing and host using Azure Stack.

Does Office 365 qualify for the SAL for SA product in SPLA?

The only Office 365 product that is eligible for SAL for SA is Skype.

Is SPLA pricing going up?

Yes and will not be decreasing anytime soon.

Since AWS offers dedicated hardware, could I transfer my customer’s license to their datacenter without Software Assurance?

Yes.  If its dedicated hardware Software Assurance is not required.

What about Azure?

No, you would need Software Assurance.

Will Microsoft finally allow MSDN to be licensed in my datacenter?

Probably not.  Although if you use Azure, MSDN is eligible to be transferred.

If I sell CSP through 2-Tier distributor, can I sign the QMTH addendum?

No.  You must be CSP 1 – Tier to qualify for QMTH.

Can I outsource support for certain software through CSP?

Yes.  You an resell the solutions you can support and leverage another partner for support for other products.

Thanks for reading,

SPLA Man

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2017 in Top 5 Licensing Questions

 

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More SPLA Questions…More Answers.

Here is a list of some of the questions we received this month.  Enjoy!

Why does Microsoft not allow a SPLA SQL VM to be installed in a public cloud?  I understand if you were licensing the physical layer, but if you want to install on a VM, you can easily allocate the number of cores and report accordingly.  Any ideas?

No.  Honestly there is no reason outside of it’s just prohibited.  You cannot license SPLA cores/processors in public clouds even if the VM is dedicated.

What can be installed in Azure through SPLA licensing?

Anything that is licensed by SAL can be moved to Azure.  For your end customers, anything that has Software Assurance and is license mobility eligible can be transferred including: Windows 10 E3  (QMTH), Office 365 Pro Plus (QMTH) and MSDN.  Your end customers can also leverage Azure HUB to get discounted pricing for the Windows Servers they purchased with SA.   Check out the Azure FAQ site https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/licensing-faq/

Is Microsoft going to discontinue SPLA?

Nah.  I bet it will be merged into a new program though.  Just a hunch.

I received a compliance notification the other day.  Am I in trouble?

Depends on the type of notification and if you are out of compliant :).  If you have questions, we can review it with you.  Just email info@splalicensing.com

Can I report Windows 2016 but run Windows 2012?

Yes.  No problem there.  What you cannot do is license Windows 2012 and run 2016.  Don’t do that.

Thanks for reading,

SPLA Man

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2017 in Top 5 Licensing Questions

 

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