Holidays are right around the corner, chill in the air, and a looming end of security update for Windows 7 and Windows 2008 is right around the corner. What is a MSP going to do? Luckily for you, there’s SPLA Man, or MSP Man, or CSP Man (whatever acronym Microsoft calls me these days), any of which can provide you options. In this article, we’ll review these options and how each one can fit into your business.
Windows Server 2008
If you are hosting software under SPLA, the good news is you already have access to the latest version as part of your agreement. If you are not licensing SPLA and want to provide Windows Servers to your clients, you have a couple options:
- Under the Cloud Solution Provider Program (CSP) you can license Windows Servers through your indirect provider or through your own authorization. This will allow you access to the latest version, pay annually for the subscription, and allow you to install the software on your customers datacenter or in Azure. You will not be allowed to host Windows Server subscription licenses in CSP and host it from your datacenter. Whenever you install CSP Server Subscriptions on premise, it follows the Product Terms (which prohibits hosting). This also means you must buy CALs if installed on premise as well. CALs are available through CSP or through the end customers volume licensing agreement.
- You can have your end customers buy the new version of Windows Server licenses through their own volume licensing agreement. Under this model, you (as a service provider) would need to isolate the hardware for that customer (dedicated hardware). CALs would also be required. You cannot have the end customer buy the licenses and host it in AWS or other “Listed Provider” as mentioned in the Product Terms. Microsoft prohibits anything outside of license mobility to be installed on shared servers from a Listed Provider.
- You can have the end customer buy ESU through their own volume licensing agreement (I believe only the Enterprise Agreement qualifies). This is a fairly expensive option.
Many organizations must upgrade their PCs and end devices running Windows 7 to a newer version. Here are the 3 options available.
- Windows 10 through CSP. You receive the latest version rights which will allow the end customer to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10. Couple things to keep in mind: 1) Windows 7 Pro can upgrade to Windows 10 Pro included with the subscription. 2) Windows 7 Home can upgrade to Windows 10 Home (Home only). CSP is a channel program that allows a service provider to buy licenses from an authorized CSP provider and resell it to their end users. (Same process as SPLA in essence).
- Buy ESU. Similar to servers, ESU is available through the Enterprise Agreement. (Should be avaialble through CSP in December). This is only a viable option if the end customer does not have plans to upgrade to a newer version.
- Buy Windows 10 through a Volume Licensing agreement. There is a rental addendum through VL that allows an organization to rent PCs to end users. More details can be found here
The good news is there are options. The bad news is time is running out. If you have any questions, please let us know firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading,