Monthly Archives: February 2016

Wake Up SPLA Providers…It’s time to change your thinking.

You might have heard the rumor that Windows 10 Upgrade license and the rental PC addendum is no longer part of SPLA.  Yep , that part is true.  If you want to know more just shoot me an email

Why is Microsoft doing this?   If I knew half the reasons why Microsoft does what they do I would be wealthier than Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates combined.

But Microsoft doesn’t just give stuff away for free.  They still make money from the OEM manufactures and they still make money from SPLA.  For OEM, it’s pretty easy to understand.  In the rental PC business?  You still need an OEM or at least some type of license in order to have Windows 10.  But for SPLA, the revenue from Windows PC will hit hard.  In my opinion, the only way to make up that difference is through SPLA audits and other programs.

Thats the bigger issue here.  I just wrote a blog about saving money (without really answering how to save money).  What I’ve witnessed in my 10+ years of managing SPLA, service providers are way too concerned about Office 365 and far less concerned about how to optimize their own usage report. They may think they are 100% compliant and that there is no other way to reduce their costs, but I assure you there are.

If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you know I am an advocate for the service provider as oppose to being an advocate for the vendor.  Don’t get me wrong, I like Microsoft and value what they are doing.  As a very large shareholder (5 shares) I respect the mobile/cloud thing.  BUT that doesn’t mean you can’t win at SPLA.

Here are top 5 ways to win at SPLA.

  1. SQL Mobility
  2. Don’t renew at the time of expiration.
  3. License Mobility
  4. Sign a SPLA with me.
  5. Leverage Datacenter Outsourcers to your advantage.
  6. SPLA Audits
  7. CIS
  8. SQL Enterprise

If you don’t know what the above means, email me and we can go through it 1-1.   There’s 8 ways off that bat to save money. I under promised and over delivered already!!

Now you may be thinking you are 100% happy with your reseller.  If that’s the case, why are you reading   I will make a friendly bet with you…If you are hosting any Office 365 products (Exchange, Skype, SharePoint, Office) or even IaaS and I cannot think of one way to save you 10% off your monthly usage report, then I will apologize and quit.  If I do (whether or not you implement my strategy is a different story) you must switch your reseller and donate $5 to my buddy Brett.  Email me and put in the subject line “Friendly wager with SPLA Man” so I know.  Disclaimer below.

Thanks for reading,



Disclaimer  -This is a free site used to help educate the community.  For all use rights as it pertains to SPLA, I must defer to everyone’s friend…the SPUR.   I will also not force you to switch resellers or donate anything. I will defnitely not quit; Mrs. SPLA Man would leave me for CSP Man.  (I think she may have eyes on him already, I’ve heard he’s doing quite well for himself).  It’s a friendly wager meant to help educate you.  Don’t sue me.  I  spend my weekends writing about SPLA licensing, I have enough problems already. 



1 Comment

Posted by on February 21, 2016 in Uncategorized


“I want VDI!!!!!”

You probably have said that a thousand times as a service provider.  The truth is it’s still not available in SPLA.  If I was a betting man (big if by the way for those that work for the IRS) I would wager they would allow VDI in SPLA.   Why not…right?  Everything else is changing why not this?  Before you get too carried away as to why Microsoft will not allow VDI in shared environments, let me ask…do you REALLY want VDI?  Just as SQL is complex in SPLA (and VL for that matter) so is VDI.  In this article I will review the licensing rules with VDI/VDA and what exactly needs to happen if you were to host this from your datacenter.

Let’s take scenario 1.  Bill has a PC that can run a qualified operating system but the PC itself has been running slow recently.  He get’s his email from Joe’s Hosting so logically he asked good ole’ Joe if he could host a virtual desktop as well.  Joe tells him  “Sure” but it MUST be dedicated and his cost will go up.  Bill tells him that’s not issue, his wife won the lottery recently.  You would think the last thing Bill would be worried about is a virtual desktop.  Just buy a new computer Billy and head to the beach!  Nonetheless, Bill wants VDI and wants it now.  Joe’s Hosting tells him to go to the store, buy a Windows 10 license, and bring that disc over to their datacenter.  Joe will host it on a server solely dedicated to Bill.  Problem solved.  Joe is happy he just won over a customer, Bill is happy he gets his virtual desktop.  The compliance police call, Joe is in trouble.  Why?

In order to host VDI 3 things must happen.

  1. The PC must have VDI use rights. This means the desktop license itself (Windows 10 as an example) must be Enterprise and have active Software Assurance (SA).  Think of VDI as a Software Assurance benefit.  Without SA, no chance of having VDI.  In order to buy Software Assurance, I would need a volume licensing agreement; not a retail version.
  2. The service provider must indeed host it in a dedicated infrastructure.  This means the hardware, not just the VM.
  3. If the PC is incapable of running a full version of Windows 10 (such as a tablet) the customer must purchase a VDA license.  VDA is a use right that allows the end user the right to access a virtual desktop from a server environment.

The 3 items mentioned above is really just the beginning of the licensing roller coaster.  You must also license Windows Server, RDS, and any other applications by your SPLA or be purchased by your end customer.  If they are purchased by the end customer, they would transfer that license into your datacenter, which means they can no longer run it on premise.

Now I ask you this question – is VDI worth it?  Some say “yes” as this is what the customer wants and mean old Microsoft licensing rules just keep getting in the way.  Most complain about dedicated environments, but as mentioned earlier, dedicated environments is just the beginning.  Last, you may say the licensing of the VDI environment is not your problem, it’s your customers.  You have it hosted in a dedicated environment.  As far as SPLA is concerned, you are covered.  Or are you?

Maybe I’ve been doing this too long and I am just an old fogey.  But if I was a customer and my service provider (you) told me I could receive my VDI dedicated infrastructure and all I need was a desktop OS license, I would be all in.  Fast forward a couple years and you tell me you are going through an audit and apparently I (not you) had licensed VDI incorrectly and it’s my fault; I think I would be a little upset.  Yeah I would ditch you faster than that girl in 9th grade who ditched me at the dance (apparently when I told her my future involved SPLA licensing it turned her off…what a fool) but I would also make sure if any other organizations were looking at you as a service provider, I would tell them to stay away.  As any marketing organization would tell you, recommendations and word of mouth is the best way to advertise.

Moral of this story?  Like all the rest, know the licensing first, sell it second.  Stay tuned for scenario 2.  Your customers will thank you.

Thanks for reading,




Posted by on February 1, 2016 in VDI


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