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Windows Server Subscription FAQ

More information can be found on www.MScloudlicensing.com 

What is it?

As part of the CSP program, Microsoft is offering Windows and SQL Server subscriptions through Azure.  It is offered as either a 1 year or 3 year subscription.

Is this available through SPLA?

No

Is there monthly billing like SPLA?

There is no monthly billing option.  It is only offered in 1 or 3 year subscription

Is SPLA going away?

No.  It is becoming more challenging from a licensing perspective.

Is RDS available?

No.  It is not available through CSP at this time.

So a SPLA provider can sign up through a CSP provider to offer Windows Subscriptions instead of reporting SPLA for Windows?

That is correct.

More information to come!  Check out our new website http://www.mscloudlicensing.com for more details and analysis.  Have a question?  Email info@splalicensing.com

Thanks for reading,

SPLA Man

 

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Posted by on September 14, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Windows and SQL Server Subscription

Microsoft announced (July 2018) that Server Subscriptions will be available through the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider Program (CSP). According to the July 2018 Product Terms the products available include:

SQL Server Enterprise Core

SQL Server Standard Core

Windows Server Standard

Windows Server CAL

Windows Server External Connector

Windows Right Management CAL

Windows Server AD Rights Management External Connector

Notice Windows Datacenter is not an option currently. The benefit of Windows Datacenter is the unlimited virtualization rights or maybe CSP is marketed to smaller organizations could be the reasoning why Datacenter is not included.

There are two deployment options available – On-Premise/Dedicated environments or Azure. Although Software Assurance is not included, there are certain SA type benefits that are included such as self-hosted rights, hybrid use rights, and latest version rights.

What is CSP?

CSP is Microsoft’s new channel program that allows partners to manage and provide Online Services to their end customers. There are two models: CSP Direct – Which the reseller has a direct relationship with Microsoft to resell Microsoft Online Services to their end users. CSP Indirect – A partner leverages another solution provider’s authorization to resell Microsoft Online Services. In both models, the Server Subscription Service is available.

Things to remember

Once you deploy in Azure, the Windows Server licenses may not be redeployed on premise for 90 days. Secondly, the base instance is covered but not any other Azure cost such as storage, compute, and I/O associated with its use of the services. (Source: July 2018 Product Terms)

What does this mean for SPLA?

I think it is a clear indication Microsoft wants every organization on CSP as oppose to SPLA. However, in a shared server environment SPLA is still the only option. Microsoft does allow organizations to use a third-party datacenter provider under the new CSP subscription program, but it must be 100% dedicated.

To learn more check out this new forum and document library at www.mscloudlicensing.com

Thanks for reading,

SPLA Man

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

SPLA Licensing Teams Up with Mow Down Cancer…Helping Families One Lawn at a time.

Help a family going through cancer treatments all the while solving a global epidemic.  To find out what that epidemic is…check this out!!!

The mysterious SPLA Man is revealed (as well as his son)

 
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Posted by on June 20, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Microsoft SPLA Audit Support

Article update: We created a new website called MSCloudlicensing to help SPLA and CSP partners understand the different program options and use rights available to them. The site is designed to be a collaborative platform,  which includes a forum to ask and answer licensing questions, document library, and licensing articles.  It’s more in depth than a simple blog. Check it out, it’s free!  www.mscloudlicensing.com 

Document Library: Easy to read whitepapers on licensing and best practices. What really happens in an audit? How are other service providers handling CSP and Azure? AWS licensing? https://mscloudlicensing.com/document-library/

Forum: Experts always review and answer your licensing questions. https://mscloudlicensing.com/forum/

Articles: Most of the splalicensing.com articles you are used to reading and many more on CSP, Azure, AWS, and other cloud providers.
https://mscloudlicensing.com/subscription/

It’s Microsoft’s fiscal year end, which means it’s time for the auditors to dust off their pens and pocket protectors to find out which SPLA partners are under licensed, over licensed (yeah right) or misunderstood (every SPLA customer that has ever signed a SPLA agreement) the license use rights.  If you need assistance, please let us know! Info@splalicensing.com and we can help you navigate the treacherous waters called Microsoft licensing.

Thanks for reading.

SPLA Man

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

New VCPP Update for Service Providers

Article update: We created a new website called MSCloudlicensing to help SPLA and CSP partners understand the different program options and use rights available to them. The site is designed to be a collaborative platform,  which includes a forum to ask and answer licensing questions, document library, and licensing articles.  It’s more in depth than a simple blog. Check it out, it’s free!  www.mscloudlicensing.com 

VCPP Update:

Thought we would provide an update to the VCPP program for VMWare.  The five point bundle in VCPP has been discontinued April 15, 2018.  There is a 6 month grace period for current partners.  Important dates:

April 15 2018 –  End of availability for new providers

September 19, 2018 – End of general support for 5.5

October 31, 2018 – completely removed

How are you limiting new customers for 5.5 bundle?

Starting April usage reporting, the bundle will not be available for any new service providers.  It’s also in the product use guide for VCPP.  If you were already using it, have the signed contract, you can continue to use it for 6 months.

Hope this provide insight.   Questions?  Ask your VCCP reseller – SPLA man only knows SPLA and CSP 🙂

 

 

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

How’s your CSP business?

(1I guess the better question to ask Is the CSP program right for your business?   When Microsoft announced the QMTH program last year, I remember thinking – finally!  Microsoft is allowing hosting partners the ability to resell Windows 10 in a multitenant environment!  Let the flood gates open!  Well, the flood gates opened.  Fast forward to today and Microsoft is a bit of a pickle.  Authorizing a “partner”  for CSP Direct is one thing, making sure they are successful is another.

Has Microsoft helped or hurt your hosting practice?  On one hand, the ability to offer Windows 10 is great but on the other hand, is it worth the headache of CSP?  Are you sure you want to get in the licensing business or the reseller business?  From the conversations I have had with hosting providers, CSP has been a difficult sell.   There’s a lot of investment resources, support, and licensing to be able to educate your customers on a low margin transaction.  Signing up for CSP Direct to become QMTH authorized is probably not going to help long turn.  Maybe CSP Indirect is the way to go?

CSP Indirect allows you to partner with another reseller who can offer the licenses on your behalf.  I like to think of it as white labeling their authorization to your customers.  The reseller provides the support but you control the billing.  There are also resellers who get creative – they provide the licenses, you provide the support.  That may be the best route since managed services brings in a higher margin than software sales.  The drawback of CSP Indirect is you are no longer eligible for QMTH.

What’s ironic is Microsoft finally solved the VDI question hosting providers have been asking for over a decade but now unleashed an entire new problem in CSP.  Maybe some day this will all make sense.  In the meantime, thanks for reading.

SPLA Man

 
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Posted by on April 9, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

SQL Developer Edition: Be very…very…careful

Article update: We created a new website called MSCloudlicensing to help SPLA and CSP partners understand the different program options and use rights available to them. The site is designed to be a collaborative platform,  which includes a forum to ask and answer licensing questions, document library, and licensing articles.  It’s more in depth than a simple blog. Check it out, it’s free!  www.mscloudlicensing.com 

 

Here’s a brief rundown with SQL Developer edition and what to be aware of if you decide to deploy it.

  • It’s free – you can download it for zero costs
  • It’s a compliance nightmare – When you deploy MAP tool in an audit, the scan typically will reveal a SQL Enterprise installation not SQL Developer edition.  Most features of Developer are found in Enterprise which brings on more confusion.  If you are audited, you must prove this license is for non-production environments.  Which brings us to the next bullet point.
  • What is a non production environment?  Any time you host Microsoft software it is defined as “production.”  Whether or not you charge for this access is irrelevant.  (Microsoft doesn’t care if you make money off of it).  If you do internal development, that’s non production.  If you host a dev environment for the benefit of your customer, now that is software as a service and would be considered production.
  •  Microsoft made SQL Development free in 2016.  For those that need prior versions, you would need to access them through Visual Studio subscriptions.   Again, for non-production environments.  Otherwise, you can report Visual Studio through SPLA; per user, per month.
  • To play it safe, isolate the hardware for any customer’s that want to transfer their free version of SQL Dev to your datacenter environment.

One might ask if it’s free, what’s the penalty if I am found out of compliant?  If you were deploying SQL Dev for production use and Microsoft finds out, you would have to true up using SQL Enterprise.  In other words, if you installed SQL Dev in 2014, get audited in 2017, Microsoft could force you to true up SQL Enterprise dating back to when you first installed Developer edition.  That’s not a very cheap solution!

Is this confusing?  Yes.  You have to make a decision of whether or not this is production or non-production environment.  Do not install SQL Developer because it’s free.  It may cost you in the long run.

Thank you for reading,

SPLA Man

 

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