Sharing…good for kids…good for SPLA?

07 Jun

Every single day I have to tell the little girl next door and my daughter to share to avoid screaming at one another.  They are 3 and 4 years old but going on 13.  “You have to share.” I say calmly.  Two minutes later I repeat myself but in a louder voice, “You have to share!”  One min later I lose it because no one is sharing but everyone is screaming, including myself.  “Please…for the love of God, SHARE the **** sidewalk chalk!” Tears fall, someone runs in the other room, and then I get the look from my wife.  Ugh.

Some say I am not good at teaching kids to share (cough…my wife) but I am pretty good at shared servers.  Boy, really stretching here for some sort of tie in to the point of this article.

So shared servers, what is it and what does it mean for your business?   In general, its license mobility but only better.  The original definition of license mobility was around transferring a license to a third-party datacenter.  Microsoft removed third party but shared server remains.  The share server definition is not just the end customers licenses but yours as well.  Let me explain further.

If you are a hoster and you are an authorized mobility partner, you can essentially license mobility to yourself.   If you are an authorized mobility partner and have SA for your internal employees on an application like SharePoint, you can install SharePoint in your hosted environment, use the same hardware your external users,, and dedicate a VM for your employees and another VM for your customer.  Essentially you are “Sharing” the same server.  This could reduce your hardware costs.  Without shared servers, you would have to separate the hardware for your internal employees and separate hardware for your external.  Couple things to remember:

  1. You have to have signed the license mobility addendum
  2. You and your customer must have active Software Assurance.
  3. The product must be eligible.  You still cannot mix SPLA and VL.  What we are mixing is the hardware.

Here’s another example.  Let’s say you are an ISV with your own application and use the self-hosted use right.  You purchase SQL Enterprise with Software Assurance and would like to transfer that license to a third-party datacenter to host your application.  That is also a possibility with shared servers.  Let’s use Azure as an example.  For whatever reason your application requires SQL Enterprise but you would like to use Azure as your datacenter provider.  We all know that Azure is a public cloud right?   Well in order to license SQL (or any other product for that matter) under your own SPLA using a public cloud,  you must license by user.  Ugh.  SQL Enterprise is only licensed by core.  So what are your options?

  1. Purchase SQL with SA and transfer it to Azure (in this example you are an ISV and own the application.  Because of self-hosted, you can host using your own VL as long as all the products are self-hosted eligible – SQL is.  If you do not own the application, your end customers would have to buy SQL with SA and use license mobility)
  2. Buy SQL from Azure
  3. Cry

That’s shared servers 101.  I’ll write more about this in the coming weeks.  If you do have questions, please email me at

Thanks for reading,


PS – I actually am a good dad.  (I think)  Happy Father’s Day!



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Posted by on June 7, 2016 in Uncategorized


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