Last month, Microsoft held their annual Hosting Summit in Bellevue, WA. The good news is SPLA is not going away. Last quarter marked the 20th straight QTR of double digit growth for Microsoft SPLA. What is changing is the competitive landscape. Microsoft does not see SPLA partners as a competitor per se, they see SPLA as one of the biggest competitive advantages over other cloud offerings (IBM, AWS, Google, etc). They have over 30,000 SPLA partners worldwide, and they believe they can leverage those 30,000 partners to offer different cloud solutions.
Microsoft is betting big on what they define as “hybrid cloud” and that’s where they see service providers (SPLA) playing a significant part. Hybrid cloud is not just offloading workloads from on premise to another datacenter, it’s about leveraging different technologies to deliver solutions. As an example, late last year Microsoft offered solution called “Azure Stack” You can read about it here.
It’s the same APIs and same code as what Microsoft delivers through Azure. From a licensing perspective, Azure Stack is cheaper through SPLA (Windows) than it would be to pay through consumption. It will be available to offer this summer through the hardware manufacturers but you can download it now to test out.
The other big bet is SQL, and especially around the feature of stretch database. In laymen terms, it’s taking data that is not often consumed and offloading it to the cloud, reducing resources and consumption on servers locally. You can read more about stretch database from our friends at MSDN
All said, it was good to meet old friends and say hello to new ones at this event. If you were at the hosting summit and you did not have the chance to meet the infamous SPLA Man, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Would love to learn more about your offerings and how we can work together to make licensing simple.
Thanks for reading,