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Monthly Archives: May 2013

Why Timing is Everything

Whether you’re signing a new SPLA or renewing your old one, timing is everything.  When you sign an agreement, you are bound by the use rights at the time of sigining.  For example, if you sign a new SPLA in April, 2013 you will be bound by the SPUR (product use rights) for April 2013. 

Why is this important?  As with technology, licensing is always evolving.  As an example, with the release of SQL 2012, Microsoft switched from a processor based licensing structure to a core based licensing structure.  Since the 2013 SPUR only has core licensing (not processor), you will be forced to license by core when you sign a new SPLA regardless of which version you have installed. In other words, anyone (whether renewing or new) who signs an agreement after December 31st, 2012 will be forced to license by core. 

Windows 2012 is another change that can impact your usage reporting.  With the release of Windows 2012 last August, anyone who signs a new SPLA after August 31st, 2012 will be forced to license by the 2012 use rights.  You can run previous versions such as 2008, but you will need to license by the current SPUR. 

What happens if you sign a new SPLA in August before the license change?  You will have 3 years (SPLA is a 3 year agreement) to license the old way.  The catch? If you migrate any servers to the 2012 version you will have to license those servers by the 2012 use rights.  For example, if you are running SQL 2008 R2 Standard edition and decide to migrate to SQL 2012 Standard edition, the new server will need to be reported by the core not by processor!

Ask in advance for the licensing impact before renewing your SPLA agreement.  Better yet, follow this blog for the latest updates and you will be well prepared!

Thanks for reading-

SPLA Man

 
17 Comments

Posted by on May 29, 2013 in Compliance, SPLA General

 

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Why I Love License Mobility (Farm Edition)

Life is full of little surprises, license mobility within server farms happens to be one of them. License mobility within server farms allows a service provider to take advantage of virtualization without the worry of over licensing or for that matter; under licensing.

Let’s say you have a host machine and that has (2) 6 core procs running 10 virtual machines. You want to run SQL Enterprise. You also have a second host, within the same server farm. The VMs on one machine can migrate to the other. You have to license both hosts right? Wrong! Here’s why.

The old licensing methodology would require you to license both hosts. The new methodology, would allow you to license 1. In the above example, you would need to license 12 cores of SQL Enterprise. You have to license the host with the most cores, but at least it is just the one host! What’ the caveat? You cannot have both hosts running VMs at the same time. If you do, you must license both hosts. Check out the SPUR. Not all products allow license mobility so be sure to check!

The definition of a server farm is as follows:

Assigning Licenses and Using Software within a Server Farm

You may determine the number of licenses you need, assign those licenses, and use the server software as provided in the General License Terms.  Alternatively, you may apply the use rights below.

Server Farm. A server farm consists of up to two data centers each physically located:

  • in a time zone that is within four hours of the local time zone of the other (Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and not DST), and/or
  • within the European Union (EU) and/or European Free Trade Association (EFTA).

Each data center may be part of only one server farm. You may reassign a data center from one server farm to another, but not on a short-term basis (i.e., not within 30 days of the last assignment).

Please check out the products in the SPUR to ensure the mobility rights apply. Keep in mind, not all products are eligible.  For example, SQL Web does not have mobility rights, but SQL Enterprise does.  Be Careful!

In my opinion, this is a great way to take advantage of virtualization, reduce licensing costs, but more importantly…be compliant.  If an auditor were to come knocking on the door to your datacenter, there’s not much they can say if you take advantage of unlimited virtualization rights such as Windows Datacenter and SQL Enterprise 2012.

Thanks for reading,

SPLA Man

 
2 Comments

Posted by on May 15, 2013 in License Mobility

 

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How to License Exchange

In my years of managing the SPLA program, I came to the conclusion that no one likes to babysit an Exchange server.  Organizations do not have the resources or the time to constantly monitor a server, and hosters (if that’s a word) feel the pressure of managing a mission critical application such as email.  If it goes down, not only can you lose a customer, but the customer might lose business as well!

For those hosters that feel up to the challenge, Exchange can be a very profitable opportunity.  Whenever there is complexity, along comes value…which every hoster needs to run a business. What’s the downside? As always, there’s a concern over licensing.

Exchange for SPLA partners (hosters) comes in five flavors: Exchange Basic, Standard, Standard Plus, Enterprise, and Enterprise Plus. Each comes with different functionality as well as price. From experience, 90% of what is being reported is the Exchange Standard SKU. The breakdown of each SKU is as follows:

Exchange Basic – Think of OWA/POP Mail only
Exchange Standard – Features of Exchange Basic as well as shared calendaring and mobile device synchronization
Exchange Standard Plus – Features of Exchange Standard plus the full Outlook client
Exchange Enterprise – Includes all the features of Exchange Standard as well as unified messaging and anti virus/spam features
Exchange Enterprise Plus – All the features listed above plus the full Outlook client

The list above is just an overview, for a full feature list check out the SPUR (user section). The way you license Exchange is by user. Every user that HAS access to the software will need a license; not who does access. Think of your cable company, they will charge you regardless if you turn your TV on or not. User licenses works the same way.

In my opinion, the key to a successful Exchange launch is to offer a multi-tenant (shared) environment. If you license Windows by processor (Exchange runs on a Windows OS) and Exchange by user, the more users you have on that particular server the less expensive it is for the user. Eventually all you are charging is the cost of the Exchange license. That’s how large service providers are able to seemingly charge less. They have thousands of users accessing a limited number of servers in a shared environment.

If a customer wants a dedicated environment (one server hosting one client) the end customer can bring their licenses to you and you host it for them, or provide the licenses via SPLA, but the cost per user is going to be higher (unless it’s a large enterprise).

Once you offer Exchange, it makes it easier to offer other collaboration applications as well; such as SharePoint, CRM, and Lync. Who knows, you might become the next Amazon or Rackspace.

Thanks for reading!

SPLA Man

 
10 Comments

Posted by on May 4, 2013 in Exchange

 

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