Hosting SharePoint 2013

29 Apr

The newest addition to the SharePoint family has features that are built off it’s younger sibling; SharePoint 2010, but offers cool/semi cool new features as well.   For a full list check out

Personally, we don’t care about the features, all we care about is how to license it!  SharePoint 2013 for Hosting Providers is not overly complicated, and if you knew how to license SharePoint 2010, chances are you will know how to license the 2013 version.

To license SharePoint 2013, you will either need to license by user (intranet sites) or by processor (extranet site).  If it’s for your customers employees or contractors, you have to license by user (SAL).  If you require Enterprise functionality, you will need to license SharePoint Standard and Enterprise together. (SharePoint Enterprise is an additive license to Standard).

Some things did change with the new edition.  For starters, I noticed the lnaguage in the SPUR has changed for the processor based license.  It now reads:

All content, information, and applications accessible by internal users must also be accessible to external users. Access to servers that provide content, information, and applications that are limited to internal users, must be licensed under SharePoint Server 2013 SALs. “External users” means users that are not either (i) your customer’s employees, or (ii) your customer’s onsite contractors or agents. All other users are “internal users.”

In other words, if you have users that are external and internal, you can license by processor for both scenarios.  The trick is this – the same information has to be accessible to both groups.  If it’s not, you would have to license internal users by SAL and external users by processor. If you are running this in a virtual environment – you will have to license the virtual processors.

To recap:

1. If you license SharePoint by user (internal employees only) you need to report SharePoint Standard Sals.  If you need SharePoint Enterprise, you need to report SharePoint Standard + SharePoint Enterprise

2. SharePoint requres SQL  (either Standard or Enterprise)

3. SharePoint Foundation is free.

4. Always report Windows

5. External users = processor.

6. Virtual environment? – Must license virtual procs (if external)

I wrote a new blog post that tells a fictitious story about a SPLA licensing SharePoint incorrectly. You can check it out

Hope this helps!  Thanks for reading.



Posted by on April 29, 2013 in SharePoint


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13 responses to “Hosting SharePoint 2013

  1. Marco Gross

    December 18, 2013 at 9:58 am

    Hello SPLA-Man,

    thank you for your detailed information on how SPLA licensing works.

    Is it possible to build a common multi tenant farm for SP Foundation / Standard / Enterprise hosting where you restrict the features on sitecollection level?

    E.g. users who only have access to a foundation-features sitecollection don’t need a SAL,
    to standard-features sitecollection need a Standard SAL
    and to enterprise-features sitecollection need a Standard and Enterprise SAL?

    The setup would be a SharePoint 2013 server in this szenario and all Users are
    employees of the customers.

    Or does a hoster need to buld two separate farms for Foundation and Server hosting?

    Thank you and kind regards,

    • splaman

      December 18, 2013 at 12:43 pm

      Thanks for reading. Not 100% sure I understand the question(s). I don’t see a reason why you would need a separate server farm though. Keep in mind, all users that have direct or even indirect access would need licenses. Hit me up offline and let’s review.


    • Daniel

      February 17, 2014 at 9:04 am

      Hi Marco
      What are your findings in this issue?

  2. Dmitry Kotov

    January 2, 2014 at 2:04 am

    Hello! I got the same question as Marco. According to SPUR I have to license all users accessing SharePoint 2013 server. Lets say I have a SharePoint ENT installed and I have 3 types of users – foundation, standard and enterprise. I should report a license for each STD and ENT user, but what to do with Foundation users? Technically I can configure site collection which will contain only foundation features, but according to SPUR I have to report STD licenses anyway as foundation users are still accessing SharePoint server, am I right? In this case I need to have separate SharePoint server for Foundation users? So I will have farm with STD/ENT users and separate SharePoint Farm for Foundation users?

    • splaman

      January 3, 2014 at 12:55 pm

      You might want to get something from Microsoft specific to your scenario. If you are reporting Windows server you will not need to license Foundation server. As far as separate environments, I would be very careful regarding who has access and who does not have access to the SharePoint features. If you are audited, you are going to have to be specific regarding the features users can access. This can get tricky. Remember with SALs, it is every user that HAS access, not who does.

  3. Dmitry Kotov

    January 7, 2014 at 2:28 am

    Thank you for reply, but I still got a unclarified following – do we need to have a SharePoint STD license for each user who has an access to SharePoint site hosted on SharepointServer STD (even if it has only Foundation features enabled) or I need to have a license for users if site has STD features enabled?

  4. Daniel

    February 11, 2014 at 10:21 am

    I have the same scenario and question with SharePoint Foundation users on a SharePoint Standard Server. Has anybody a clear answer from microsoft?

    • splaman

      February 11, 2014 at 12:02 pm

      Hi Daniel,

      Hit me up and we can review further.

  5. Andre

    March 19, 2014 at 11:24 am

    Hi, do you have the article no. on SPLA for licensing Sharepoint by processor?

    • splaman

      March 21, 2014 at 9:28 am

      Hi Andre

      Not 100% sure what you are referencing. What article no. do you mean? Happy to help

  6. Kate

    April 1, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    Hi there, just wondering, do we need to license remote desktop services SAL with SharePoint Foundation? I am guessing no, but just wanted to dbl check.

    • splaman

      April 2, 2014 at 7:18 am

      Hello. No, you do not need a RDS license to run SharePoint. If RDS is used for other applications than you would certainly need RDS

      Hope this helps

  7. Jason Kelton

    May 7, 2015 at 6:26 am

    re: different licensing issues and questions above we have been through the process of that. Each tenant is assigned a subscription ID and each subscription (site collection) can be set to use foundation, standard or Enterprise. when installing your farm, you would install Enterprise and using some powershell magic, define the features that are available for the different editions. You can do different licensing from what I understand within the site collection as the license isn’t bound to the user, it’s bound to the site collection level.


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