Tag Archives: spla
Many CSP Direct partners who also have an SPLA agreement have asked if their SPLA usage reporting will go towards the 300k requirement to remain CSP Direct authorized. Unfortunately, they are two separate programs, and one does not affect the other.
The other question we get asked is: Can CSP replace SPLA for Windows, RDS, and SQL? The answer again is no. You are not allowed to host CSP products from your datacenter. You can; however, license CSP products on-premise for your customers or in Azure.
Whenever you license CSP for on-premise deployments, the software will follow the Product Terms, which (A) Prohibits hosting, and (B) Requires CALs. When you deploy in Azure, you can host to third-parties, and there’s no CAL requirement.
What is a service provider to do? If you already invested in a platform, services, and billing systems to enable CSP Direct sales and still feel nervous about achieving the 300k requirement, here’s a quick list of things you may want to consider.
- Microsoft recently discontinued the Open licensing program. In doing so, they added perpetual licensing to the CSP program. Do not think of CSP as a cloud-only solution, rather an opportunity to maybe expand your sales to include on-premise licensing sales. On-premise CSP sales will go towards your 300k number.
- If you are only CSP Direct authorized to have the QMTH addendum, make a cost comparison of running the same solution in Azure versus investing in sales and other activities to reach the 300k mark. Is it worth it, or can you forgo the CSP authorization and use Azure?
- Lower your cost for certain CSP products. You do not make money from the sale of CSP licensing anyway. Stop thinking your Exchange Online price increase is going to grow your bottom line. Lower your cost to win customers and raise it later. You can add services such as migration and cloud support to increase margins. The 300k will not be based on your margin; it is based on Microsoft’s revenue billed.
Those are only suggestions, and a lot of this requires a change in business strategy, not just licensing. Many service providers have asked about the future of SPLA. I recently wrote an article regarding the future of the SPLA program. You can download it here https://mscloudlicensing.com/product/whitepaper/ Some of the proceeds will go towards our charity, Mow Down Cancer, Inc.
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No. How about that for a short answer?
We have been asked multiple times on this topic. It is not impossible, but not really viable either. Let me explain.
If you are CSP Direct authorized (or CSP Reseller), you could resell your end customer Windows and/or SQL Server subscriptions through CSP and host it in a dedicated infrastructure. I do not think it is really worth the time and effort just to host Windows and SQL. The cost in licensing is not that substantial from SPLA. If Microsoft allowed a service provider to host it on shared infrastructure than that would be a different story. You cannot purchase Windows through CSP and host it. Remember, Server Subscriptions for on premise deployments follow the Product Terms, which of course prohibits hosting.
If you are an ISV and want to host your application from your own datacenter, I would consider CSP Servers. Under the current Product Terms, Microsoft will allow Self-Hosted rights. I think this reduces your compliance risk since SPLA is tricky to license to begin with.
Isn’t licensing fun? We provide consulting services around these offerings. If you have questions, feel free to email us at email@example.com
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Let us know! Email firstname.lastname@example.org We are conducting a study to understand the hosting world better.
Here’s my top 5
- Cost. Yes I can buy a Windows Server Subscription through CSP and save consumption costs by deploying through Azure, but my datacenter costs are consistent and can offer a fixed price point to my customers.
- Confusing. I thought SPLA was confusing, CSP is just a complex. Want CSP Windows Server on prem? You cannot host if you do! Want CSP Incentives? You are better off reading the SPUR, it’s an easier read! Want the new CSP perpetual license? That’s fine, but don’t plan on hosting or having your customer transfer that license into your datacenter. No Software Assurance equals no License Mobility
- Dedicated Infrastructure. With Listed Provider rules, I can offer dedicated hosts and compete with larger hosting companies.
- Local Support. My customers want their data local and with someone they know.
- You can do both. We can offer E3 plans or Windows 10 to my end users through CSP, but use SPLA for infrastructure solutions for my financial customer or ISV solutions.
What do you think? Bad list? Good list? Anything additional?
Stay tuned for reasons to do CSP over SPLA in my next post. Here’s a hint…compliance.
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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 email@example.com
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Will Azure be part of the SPLA program?
I wouldn’t think so and wouldn’t know how they could incorporate the two. Azure is Microsoft hosted and SPLA is partnered. Microsoft will want to keep SPLA and Azure separate.
Is Azure Stack part of SPLA?
Azure Stack by itself is not part of SPLA. What’s part of SPLA is the Windows licenses. As a service provider, you could deploy Azure Stack, pay the base consumption rate, and use Windows licensing with SPLA. In fact, I think it’s less expensive to do it this way.
If my customer wants to use their own Windows license on Azure Stack, do they also require CAL’s?
Yes. You need to pay attention to the Product Terms to ensure compliance. As an example, volume licensing prohibits hosting. You cannot install your own Windows licenses through volume licensing and host using Azure Stack.
Does Office 365 qualify for the SAL for SA product in SPLA?
The only Office 365 product that is eligible for SAL for SA is Skype.
Is SPLA pricing going up?
Yes and will not be decreasing anytime soon.
Since AWS offers dedicated hardware, could I transfer my customer’s license to their datacenter without Software Assurance?
Yes. If its dedicated hardware Software Assurance is not required.
What about Azure?
No, you would need Software Assurance.
Will Microsoft finally allow MSDN to be licensed in my datacenter?
Probably not. Although if you use Azure, MSDN is eligible to be transferred.
If I sell CSP through 2-Tier distributor, can I sign the QMTH addendum?
No. You must be CSP 1 – Tier to qualify for QMTH.
Can I outsource support for certain software through CSP?
Yes. You an resell the solutions you can support and leverage another partner for support for other products.
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Here’s the latest news of the month for all MSP’s and SPLA providers. Enjoy!
This month is a month we will remember for the rest of our lives. That’s right, today SQL 2017 is available to run on…a non-Microsoft system?
From the licensing guide: “SQL Server 2017 now supports deployment on RedHat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), Ubuntu, and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES). The SQL Server 2017 SKUs are platform agnostic, so customers can run the software on either Windows or Linux.” (check it out here)
What this means for those anti-Microsoft lovers is a customer who demands SQL can now install SQL 2017 on a Linux machine and not report Windows. The machine cannot run any Windows guest VM’s for it not to be reported. Pay attention to that last sentence as we get asked a lot about licensing individual VM’s instead of the actual host. In Windows licensing, you license the physical host, not the VM’s. If there are 100 Linux VM’s and only 1 Windows VM, you must license the host with Windows Datacenter to be in compliant.
Azure Stack Availability
The long await is over – Azure Stack is now shipping through the OEM channel (Dell, Lenovo, HPE) You can read more about this announce here From a licensing perspective, I think it is less expensive to license Windows through SPLA than pay as you use model. It’s more of a predictable cost in my opinion. This is one way Microsoft is attempting to extend Azure (public cloud) into your private cloud and have the best of both worlds.
Satya Nadella “Hit Refresh” book is available at a time when we are all in a strange way, hitting refresh. The cloud transformation is only getting more complex – hybrid, dedicated, Google, AWS, Azure, every company is transforming to try and get the slightest edge over their competitors. I look forward to reading it and every dollar goes to Microsoft charities. Regardless of what you think of Microsoft, Satya seems like one of the good guys. You can check out more about the book here
More to come –
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- If a customer has 4 x SQL Server Standard (8 cores), does that mean I will also need to have 4 x SQL-SAL?
There’s no server + CAL model in SPLA. You license either per core or per user depending on the product. Remember, SAL is not licensed per server, but for each user that has access to that server. Your question indicates you might believe a SAL is licensed per server which is not true.
2. Is MSDN available through SPLA? Is it through Azure?
MSDN is not available in SPLA, but you can license the individual components through SPLA. If an end-user would like to bring their MSDN license over to your datacenter, you must dedicate the solution for your customer. Yes, Amazon must play by the same rules. Oddly enough, Azure (which is shared) does allow MSDN to be transferred over to their datacenter.
3. I received an audit notification. Should I respond?
Yes. But don’t work on their time, work on yours.
4. If I signed the SCA addendum, do I need to sign the new QMTH addendum?
Unless you are planning on hosting Windows 10 you do not need to sign the new addendum.
5. If I buy from a CSP indirect partner, do I qualify for QMTH?
No. Your company must be CSP 1 tier authorized in order to qualify.
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Here are a few hot topics this week around CSP. Enjoy!
What would happen if I sell myself Office Pro Plus through my own CSP authorization? Can I do that?
No. You cannot sell yourself Office 365 Pro Plus licenses. You can purchase it through any volume licensing program or through another CSP provider. Might be a good way to check out the competition support processes though!
If you are CSP authorized in Australia, but have customers in UK, can you resell Office 365 through CSP?
No. You can only resell in the region in which you are authorized.
If my end customer purchased Office 365 Pro Plus through Volume Licensing, can I host it from my datacenter if I am QMTH authorized?
Yes. The end customer can purchase from any licensing program as long as it is Office 365 Pro Plus version. As the service provider, you must be QMTH authorized.
If I purchase CSP licenses indirectly from my distributor, do I qualify for QMTH?
No. You must CSP Direct authorized in order to that. You cannot purchase from a distributor and offer VDI or Office Pro Plus.
If I sell Azure through CSP, how do I know which region my data is located?
With Azure, you get to pick the region.
If I sell Office 365 through CSP, which region is my service hosted from?
The address on the invoice determines the location of the services.
***Watch out for the new Microsoft Cloud Agreement (MCA) coming in September. You can download the old version here
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