Category Archives: Top 5 Licensing Questions

Top 5 Questions…Answered

Where can I get my license keys for CRM?  My Microsoft contact can’t seem to find the answer and my reseller doesn’t know either.  Any ideas?

For CRM and D365 you can download them directly from the VLSC website.  All other Dynamics products need to go through the License Key Creator Tool.

If I am a CSP Tier 1/direct provider, can I sell CSP to another CSP Tier 1 provider? 

Yes. There are no limitations as to who you can sell to.  Good luck!

Is CSP replacing SPLA?

Not entirely.  I am not Microsoft but I can see the similarities.  In the end, they are both Microsoft programs, how they consume it doesn’t really matter.  The only drawback to SPLA (In Microsoft’s eyes) is the service provider has the option of offering other software outside of Microsoft.  Exchange as an example, could technically be replaced with Zimbra.  If they use Office 365, the customer is using Office 365.

I offer desktop as a service.  When can we expect VDI to be available in SPLA?


Will I get audited?

Yes.  Make sure to read the MBSA agreement that you signed.

Thanks for reading,


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Posted by on April 24, 2017 in Top 5 Licensing Questions


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Top 5 SPLA Licensing Questions in March 2017

There’s March madness in college basketball and March madness in licensing.  College basketball is over, but licensing is just getting started.  In this post, I completed a list of the top 5 questions in SPLA.  Enjoy!

1.  Can we offer a customer dedicated VMs where they can have Windows-admin access? We want to offer the OS-plattform and let the customer handle applications etc themselves

No.  You can offer dedicated VMs, but unless a customer is transferring their licenses over to your datacenter, they should not have admin access.  Amazon does a good job of explaining this.  Check it out here

2.   I am looking at licensing SQL in Azure.  My question is can we run multiple     instances on a single VM or is it 1 instance per VM?  How can we reduce our consumption?

Yes. You can run multiple instances on a single VM to reduce the number of VM’s deployed.  This works with Azure, AWS, or even your own datacenter.

3.   If we have a hypervisor running 2012r2 datacenter edition. Can I install server 2016 on a VM or does the hyper visor also have to be 2016?

You can install the VM with 2016 but the entire host must be licensed by core if you do. (even if you are also running 2012) Remember with 2016, there is an 8- core minimum per physical processor and is sold in packs of 2 cores.

4. I have a production SQL server fully licenced. We will be introducing a second server that will only receive SQL transaction logs throughout the day. It’s not a hot standby, not even a warm standby.  Does it require a license?

As long as that server is passive, log shipping is allowed.  

5. We are a cloud hosting provider and find it very frustrating in regard to Office 365 and not being able to use SCA.  Any help?

There are specific requirements to become CSP Tier 1.  I will say Microsoft has made the requirements easier as it pertains to support.  If you are having difficulty becoming CSP Tier 1, it may help to look at partnering.  Let us know.

Thanks for reading,


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Posted by on April 5, 2017 in Top 5 Licensing Questions


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Pop Quiz!!!!

After several years of writing about SPLA, it’s time to test your knowledge.  Get all the answers right and you win something nice, like another free article! I would post the answers here, but in reality they already are.  You just need to read the other blog posts 🙂 Email me and I will tell you if you are right or if you are wrong  So let’s get started.


  • One day a man walked up to me and said he has Project Server installed so his consultants (his employees) can collaborate with their clients (non employees) to make sure the work is completed in a timely manner.  Should this be SPLA?
  • One day a woman walked up to me and said flatteringly “SPLA Man, you’re even cuter than the poetic wisdom you share on your blog.”  Ok…she didn’t say that.  She did ask me a question about using a datacenter provider.  She had a datacenter with a bunch of servers, but unfortunately her husband took it in the divorce.  She contacted Joe’s hosting, who offered to run the SPLA applications on their infrastructure.  She would still control all the licensing, Joe’s Hosting is just providing shared infrastructure.  She is reporting Windows by processor, SQL by core, and Exchange user licenses.  Is this legal?
  • John has a customer satisfaction issue (he also is quite flatulent, especially after lunch and around women. Customer satisfaction should be the least of his problems).  His customer just got audited and they claim they were given wrong advice from John about license mobility.  John told them years ago that to qualify for license mobility, they must purchase software assurance. The customer did.  He also told them they should use the disaster recovery rights that come with software assurance in John’s datacenter.  The customer did.  Auditors tell him he was wrong.  John say’s he was right and to let the courts decide.   You are the judge…so who is right?
  • One day I took a drive in the country and noticed a bunch of farms.  This got me thinking…If I have a server farm in Hawaii and another in New York, does this qualify for license mobility within server farms?
  • My Grandmother used to say “The SPLA program only exists because of a 3 word sentence in the PUR.”  What are those 3 words?
  • A secretary almost blew a gasket the other day when he noticed his email account is not working.  He called his hoster, the hoster called his reseller yelling “My Email Server is down, I want to use my support instance that comes with my SPLA agreement.”  Do hosting providers get support instances with their SPLA agreement?
  • Rich’s mind was somewhere else.  He was on his honeymoon but for some reason he could only think about his SPLA agreement.  It was up for renewal at the end of the month.  He understands that when he signs a new agreement, he could no longer report SQL 2008 by processor, even though he is still running SQL 2008.  He must license by core.  Is he correct?
  • Bill lost his copy of the latest edition of the SPUR.  No big deal, the new one isn’t relevant because he is bound by the SPUR that’s active the month his agreement is active.  Is this true?
  • Fred received an audit notification.  He threw it in the trash and went on his way.  Good idea?  (hint…it sounds like “snow” but without the “s” sound)
  • Bridgett refuses to report her next SPLA usage report.  She yells at her reseller because they will not process her last month’s report.  The reseller tells her time and time again it is on credit hold, she needs to pay her bill.  If she reports the next month’s usage, she knows her reseller won’t report it because of credit issues.  Microsoft calls her telling her she needs to report her usage.   She reports the usage, just can’t pay her bill.  Her beef isn’t with Microsoft, it’s between her and her reseller.  Who is at fault? I will tell you the answer to this question.  Pay the bill 🙂

Thanks for reading,


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