Important Microsoft Licensing Updates and Price Increases

Microsoft August Price Increases

Microsoft have announced some important licensing updates and price increases for August, and  reflects an ongoing ‘carrot and stick’ methodology, to drive adoption of Office 365 and Azure. While many organisations are currently completing their renewals with Microsoft at the end of the MS financial year in June, some organisations with upcoming renewals over the next several months should factor these licensing updates and price increases into their renewal strategy:

  1. Price Increase in User Client Access Licenses (CALs), effective August 1st 2015, there will be a 13% price increase to User CAL. This will reflect a 30% price differential over Device CAL
    The price increase will not immediately affect organisations committed to Core CAL or Enterprise CAL on a Enterprise Agreement (EA), or Enterprise Agreement Subscription (EAS), but will impact customers with renewals on or after August 1st 2015.
    Microsoft have confirmed that Academic and Charity organisations will not be affected by the price increase in User CAL.
  2. Microsoft will remove System Center Client Management Suite (CMS) from the Enterprise CAL Suite,
  3. Microsoft have confirmed that product updates for System Center Client Management Suite will continue, and customers with active SA will continue to receive entitlement rights until December 31st 2016, as an exception in the Product List. Organisations that have committed to ECAL (with active SA), who are using or plan to deploy System Center CMS, will have time to transition, and Microsoft have reiterated that removal of System Center CMS from the ECAL suite does not imply that the solution is ‘End of Life’ for either CMS or the rest of the System Center ecosystem of products. CMS will continue to receive updates and will be available outside the ECAL
  4. After 31st December 2016, Microsoft have stated that System Center CMS will continue to receive updates, and would also continue as a stand-alone offering outside of ECAL
  5. Advance Threat Analytics (ATA) to be added to the Enterprise CAL Suite, an on premise software product licensed for Clients by a Client Management License (CML) on a Per User or Per OSE Model. The General Availability  for ATA will be  available on August 1st 2015
  6. ATA will also be included as part of Enterprise Mobility Suite and Enterprise Cloud Suite (ECS) on a Per User model on August 1st 2015. Existing EMS customers will automatically receive entitlement rights to ATA upon General Availability.
  7. Microsoft have stated that ECAL price was not increased due to inclusion of ATA (ATA will be available as a standalone solution)
  8. The EMS ‘Add On’ for ECAL SA will not include ATA, as the entitlement rights to ATA are included in the ECAL Suite.
  9. Price Increases for Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS), Microsoft have increased the Core CAL Per User and Per Device ‘Add on’ by 27%, 15% for organisations buying a ‘Full’ USL, and 4% for organisations purchasing a From SA USL.
  10. There is no increase for EMS ECAL (Per User) ‘Add On’, (but a 7% increase on the EMS (Per Device) ‘Add On’).
  11. Microsoft have confirmed that Azure Rights Management Service (RMS), will be re-branded as Azure Rights Management Service Premium.
  12. Microsoft have sought to differentiate Information Rights Management (IRM) in Azure RMS Premium from the native IRM in Office365, by offering a new “Document Tracking” feature to allow tracked sharing of sensitive files. Microsoft will not be increasing the price of Azure RMS Premium, and this will continue to be available as a stand-alone service.
  13. Microsoft have  announced that MDOP  will now bundled into the Software Assurance for Windows, a tactical move to maintain Software Assurance (SA) business for organisations to maintain SA on Windows 10.
  14. The Windows SA price has been increased to match the ‘combined’ price of Windows SA and MDOP. This is represented as an 11% increase for Windows SA (Per User) USL due to the perceived value of MDOP
  15. The Enterprise Cloud Suite (ECS) will benefit from the inclusion of ATA, Azure RMS Premium and MDOP.
  16. The Enterprise Cloud Suite (ECS) price will increase by 5% for a ‘Full’ USL and 3% for a ‘From SA’ USL.
  17. Microsoft Enterprise Cloud Suite (ECS) ‘Add On’ will also see price increases, with a 10% increase in (Per Device) Core CAL ‘Add On’, and 7% for the (Per User) Core CAL ‘Add On’ , 3% for the ECAL (Per Device) ‘Add On’, but notably a 11% decrease in ECS Per User ECAL ‘Add On’ to balance ECAL User CAL Price Increase.
  18.  Microsoft have also announced a licensing update to the ‘Bridge CAL’ for Office 365. Commonly providing access to on premise solutions including Windows Server CAL, System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) CAL, System Center EndPoint Protection (SCEP), and Windows Rights Management Services (RMS).
  19. The ‘Bridge CAL’ now includes Advanced Threat Analytics (ATA)
  20. Effective August 1st 2015, ‘Bridge CALs’ are only available on a Per User model. Microsoft state that the majority of ‘Bridge CALs’ are purchased on a Per User model, and this standardization would ensure a consistent ‘Per User’ licensing model for Office 365 .
  21. Microsoft have provided a ‘grace period’ under the Product List for current customers, to allow organisations to continue to purchase Per User ‘Bridge CALs’ based on their device count. This Product List exemption will provide a “per device rights extension” for the current term of the contract.
  22. Effective August 1st 2015, ‘Bridge CALs’ are only available as a Subscription. Microsoft have eliminated all License & Software Assurance (L&SA) and Software Assurance Only (SA) SKUs from the Product List. Microsoft have sought to consolidate the number of Bridge CALs by limiting to a Per User Subscription model, but notably, customers will only receive perpetual rights to the then-current version of the software at renewal. Upon renewal, organisations will no longer receive perpetual rights to the components of the Bridge CAL.
  23. Microsoft will maintain a Platform Discount for organisations that are eligible, but the ‘From SA’ MSU SKU will be price the same as ‘SA Only’ price providing price parity, but without a perpetual use right.
  24. Microsoft have also stated that New MSU will be cheaper than the L&SA ‘Added at Signing’ price (accounting for the 13% User CAL Increase), and an estimated 20% more than the ‘From SA’ MSU SKU.
  25. Effective July 1st – Microsoft combine PUR and Product List into Product Terms, new monthly release cadence. FAQs
  26. Microsoft has revealed that the final releases of Visual Studio 2015, Team Foundation Server 2015 and .NET Framework 4.6 will be available for download on 20 July http://t.co/wbLDxjbtO1

Your Microsoft Renewal

With these price increases in mind, and the business demand for cost savings, cost avoidance and mitigation of commercial risk, and effective vendor management require a systematic approach in your Microsoft renewal.  The requirement to develop an optimum software licensing strategy are increasingly complex. This includes, but is not limited to, vendor price increases and licensing updates, updated licensing models and metrics, proliferation of multiple device types, diverse user profiles, management of software demand, ‘bring your own device’ and work mobility. Considerations like desktop and application virtualization delivery models, complex virtual server environments and adoption of cloud services, have seen critical changes in licensing models from software vendors, and ongoing utilisation of licensing, pricing mechanisms and increased audit activity to drive customer purchasing behaviours increasingly require a pro-active and considered approach.

Accordingly, SoftwareONE have developed a specialist consultancy practice to enable you to take control of your Microsoft Strategy.

MAS SoftwareONE

Organisations often leverage independent consultancy services from within our consultancy practice to optimise their Microsoft Strategy, benefits including but not limited to:

  • Current State Microsoft Deployments and Optimum License Asset Assignment
  • SQL Discovery and Optimum License Asset Assignment
  • Roadmap Discovery and Advisory to assess Microsoft Services and Solution Alignment
  • Current and Planned Utilisation Timeline of Microsoft Technologies
  • Knowledge Transfer on Licensing, and Microsoft Solutions and Services
  • Cloud Readiness and Solution Workshops for Azure and Office 365
  • Optimised Commercial Investment Plan for Microsoft Solutions
  • Commercial Analysis and Benchmarking across Contracts and Global Pricelists
  • Assessment of Commercial Options versus Microsoft Strategic Objectives to advise on opportunities for Negotiation Advantage
  • Opportunities for Cost Savings and Cost Avoidance
  • Advise on recommended Vendor Disclosure and Negotiation Strategy
  • Managed Closure Support (If you elect to use SoftwareONE as a supplier)

If you would like to discuss our consultancy services, please don’t hesitate to get in touch via the form below, or contact me directly.


About

This website is a way to give back to the licensing community and as an information resource for all customers that work with Microsoft software and licensing. I hope you find it of value.

Tony Mackelworth is Head of Microsoft Advisory Services at SoftwareONE

As always, If you would like to reach out for a coffee or a meeting under NDA, Email or connect via Twitter or LinkedIn

Tony lives with his wife in Oxford, England.


Disclaimer

  • This article is not intended to replace the Product Use Rights or Product List or Online Service Terms or other binding contractual documents
  • The Software Use Terms for each Product or Version are available within the Product Use Rights 
  • Further Product-Specific conditions, transition terms, or limitations on use of products, including soft benefits are in the Product List
  • Please be aware that any licensing, or product information could be subject to change.
  • This document confers no rights and is provided for information purposes only.
  • Please be aware, my own emphasis may have been added to quotations and extracts from 3rd party sources.
  • This is not official guidance from Microsoft or its subsidiaries.
  • The following article is based on open information shared with Licensing Solutions Providers (LSPs) and based on  personal inference and understanding.
  • This document is provided “as-is”. Information and views expressed in this document, including URL and other Internet Web site references, may change without notice. This document does not provide you with any legal rights to any intellectual property in any Microsoft product.
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Windows 10 Overview (Updated)

Windows 10 Header

Executive Summary

On January 30th, Microsoft announced a ‘free upgrade’ offer to incentivise adoption of Windows 10 and promote development of a universal ecosystem. Many organisations may be assessing renewal of Windows Enterprise under an active Enterprise Agreement (EA) and are awaiting clarification on both product features of ‘Enterprise Edition’ and drivers for renewal of Software Assurance (SA). This article will cover current announced information with an aim to support commercial decision making when evaluating renewal of Windows on an Enterprise Agreement (EA).

  • Customers running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 , and Windows Phone 8.1 will be able to upgrade to Windows 10 for free for one year after launch.
  • Microsoft have announced “Qualified existing PCs running Windows 7 or greater” and that meet the hardware requirements for Windows 10 will be provided the opportunity to upgrade for free for up to one year after launch.
  • In every case, Microsoft will provide security and non-security fixes will continue for the supported life of Windows 10 on a monthly basis.
  • Consumers can receive latest feature updates and personal devices will stay current with the latest features, which are installed as they arrive via Windows Update.
  • SMBs are advised they may elect to opt-in to the consumer mechanism as well, or choose a level of support to delay innovation updates by up to 90 days so they can first be tested thoroughly in the market, or a “security and patches only” update model for long-term stability.
  • For enterprise customers, Windows Enterprise Edition is not included in ‘free’ 1st year offer http://bit.ly/1BHpvrW and would include Enterprise Features not included in other Editions. The upgrade path to new Editions is addressed in the Windows FAQs
  • Enterprise customers  will able to access enterprise-level support with a choice in how feature updates are adopted and delivered:
  •  CBB (Current Business Branch) Updates with market-tested updates, choosing to delay innovation updates by up to 90 days so they can first be tested thoroughly in the market. These will be accessible via Windows Update.
  •  LTSB (Long Term Servicing Branch) Updates without delivery of new features for the duration of mainstream support (5 years) and extended support (5 years). For organisations with complex change control processes, or mission critical systems, can elect to delay updates, only receiving security updates and critical fixes. These will be available via Windows Server Update Service (WSUS).
  • Software Assurance (SA) is expected to remain the primary commercial vehicle to enable extended software use rights for Windows and ongoing Windows 10 enterprise-specific support and feature updates.
  • Windows 10 will be released in “Summer” 2015  [http://goo.gl/zr8Z9p]

Current Business Branch (CBB)

  • Keep business users up-to-date while having flexibility to deploy updates after they have been tested in the market
  • Update user devices after features are validated in the consumer market but security updates continue as normal
  • IT can access even earlier for testing via Windows Insider Programme
  • Organisations can get access to the latest technology and value sooner
  • Importantly, also having time to plan and test the updates after they have been released to the broad market
  • IT can choose how  users’ devices are to be updated:
  • Windows Update for Business – validated updates delivered to professional systems after a deferral period, thus allowing admins to defer adoption of feature and security updates
  • WSUS (Windows Server Update Services) for control over how updates are deployed in your environment within the deferral time
  • Business that connect their devices to Windows Update for Business to see ‘reduction in management costs’, ‘quicker access to security updates’ and ‘critical fixes’ on an ongoing basis.

Long Term Servicing Branch (LTSB)

  • Long Term Servicing Branch (LTSB) provides long term support for mission critical systems. Now confirmed as available for Windows Enterprise Edition Only
  • Microsoft will declare a long term servicing branch (LTSB) wherein, customers will only receive security updates and critical fixes for duration of mainstream and extended support.
  •  LTSB provide security updates and critical fixes without delivery of new features for the duration of mainstream support (5 years) and extended support (5 years). For organisations with complex change control processes, or mission critical systems, can elect to delay updates, only receiving security updates and critical fixes. These will also available via Windows Server Update Service (WSUS).
  • Customers will also be able to move from upgrade from Long Term Servicing branch to new release via In Place Upgrade and even skip one release
  • Long Term Servicing Branches will be released periodically, including new features but less often than CBB releases.
  • Microsoft is committed to providing customers with reasonable notice before a Long Term Servicing branch is declared, in order to help with deployment planning.
  • Capability to move from back-and-forth Long Term Servicing branch (LTSB) to a Current Branch for Business (CBB) to stay up-to-date with latest feature updates; and alternatively, move back to LTSB
  • Microsoft plan to deliver their first Windows 10 LTSB in the same time frame as Windows 10 General Availability, but have not yet confirmed for the release date announced as 29th July 2015 

Windows 10 Update Options


Windows 10 Deployment Options

Whether electing to adopt Current Branch for Business (CBB) and Long Term Servicing Branch (LTS), decision choices required. Microsoft recommend to start profiling both user devices for these deployment options prior to announced General Availability (GA) expected in Q3 2015 [Ref: http://goo.gl/zr8Z9p]

Microsoft have announced the following deployment models available for Windows 10:

  • Managed In-Place Upgrade to avoid complex ‘wipe and reload’ deployment model.
  • Wipe and Load via Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK), Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT), and SCCM
  • Runtime Configuration that allows customisation of new devices without Imaging, i.e. Wi-Fi, VPN, and Email Profiles; Installation of Apps, Language Packs, Security Updates and certificates; and enforcement of Security Policies, MDM auto enrollment including Intune and 3rd Party MDM

Windows 10 Deployment


Windows Features and Editions

Microsoft have used Windows 10 as a strategic opportunity to provide a universal and consistent operating system across device form factors, and a consistent security platform, in what Microsoft consider as ‘fundamental’ features to respond to modern security threats. Microsoft are expected to deliver enterprise-specific features within Windows 10 ‘Enterprise’ Edition, but importantly, Microsoft will seek to enable business with Windows 10 integrated and connecting with Azure and Office 365 services.

Increasingly, Windows and Office are becoming a ‘traffic light’ that are ‘switched on’ with enterprise-grade features via subscription based cloud services. The announcement of LTSB and CBB update and support services are likely to underpin the business case for Software Assurance (SA) for enterprise customers. Windows Pro would likely be adopted by SMBs, who would be incentivised to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro for ‘free’ within the first year after General Availability (GA). SMBs are advised they may elect to opt-in to the consumer mechanism as well, or choose a level of support to delay innovation updates by up to 90 days so they can first be tested thoroughly in the market, or a “security and patches only” update model for long-term stability.

In March 2014, Microsoft updated their channel policies with the implication that SA is only available when purchased with Windows Enterprise. After July 2014, organisations were unable to purchase Software Assurance (SA) and retrospectively assign to Windows OEM or retail purchases within 90 days, In addition, organisations are unable to purchase Windows Enterprise stand alone without SA under the Enterprise Agreement or MPSA volume licensing programmes.

[Ref: Windows Enterprise Upgrade Licensing FAQs, February 10, 2014]

Microsoft have not yet confirmed all the features of Windows Enterprise, but it should likely include the following features (to be confirmed):

  • Start Control | Application and layout control management via Group Policy
  • Windows To Go Creator | Allows the creation of Windows Enterprise on a bootable USB. Use of Windows To Go is enabled with active Software Assurance (SA)
  • DirectAccess |Allows remote users to  access  corporate network resources without launch of a separate VPN
  • BranchCache | Local user cache of files, websites and content  from central servers, to avoid repeated content downloads across the WAN
  • VDI Enhancements | Support for RemoteFX technology with Windows Server 2012 R2 to provide users a high definition RemoteApp and desktop experience, adjust screen resolution and orientation on demand, and Quick Reconnect to desktop quickly across LAN or WAN for different VDI scenarios.
  • AppLocker |Enables IT to specify what software is allowed to run on user devices through Group Policy
  • Windows App Store for Business | Support for enterprise side-loading of corporate LoB Apps in a private business store portal. Microsoft also promise a curated line up of business applications for Windows 10, Volume Licensing purchasing, with support for license reclaim.
  • Device Guard | Provides organisations with the ability to lock down devices, providing advanced malware protection against new and unknown malware variants as well as Advanced Persistent Threats (APT). This forms part of Microsoft’s strategy to deliver better security against malware and zero day attacks for Windows 10 with trusted apps—which are apps that are signed by specific software vendors, the Windows Store, or even your own organization. You’re in control of what sources Device Guard considers trustworthy and it comes with tools that can make it easy to sign Universal or even Win32 apps that may not have been originally signed by the software vendor. [Ref: https://goo.gl/1Rfvw3]
  • MDOP Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack  suite of technologies available as a subscription for Software Assurance customers. Now essentially ‘bundled’ for Enterprise EA/EAS or even MPSA customers who purchase Software Assurance for Windows Enterprise.

Windows 10 Feature Overview

Microsoft’s strategy is to establish Windows 10 as a universal and consistent platform across the PC, smart phone, tablet and a new Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem. Upon review of announced features, this would support displacement of  competitors in key aspects of end user computing, across Communications (Skype for consumers will be included with Windows 10) MDM, Security,VPN, Identity, IRM and Access Management. The requirement to ensure consistent offering and user experience across consumer, industry,  and corporate devices will drive consistent fundamental features across Windows Editions (to be confirmed updated below) :

  • App Security | A security feature that protects application functions running in system memory that can block vulnerability exploits
  • Trusted Boot | A component of the start up process that protects against rootkit attacks by protecting the core kernel and system drivers from malware
  • Windows and IE Smart Screen | A cloud connected service that will detect and block malicious sites and applications
  • NGC | Microsoft recently announced Windows 10 will support Next Generation Credentials (NGC) for Two Factor Authentication access https://t.co/xmvaedEit1
  • Enterprise Data Protection | Corporate Data Separation and Containment with persistent file level encryption and ‘basic’ information rights management. EDP is integrated, without segregated containers, folders or partitions with Windows 10 as ‘broker’ to gate user or app access at data level based on policies. Microsoft Enterprise Data Protection will identify, separate and protect corporate data without the need (in most cases) for ‘App Wrapping’. This will be enabled and integrated with Azure AD and  Rights Management Services. All Windows Devices will also benefit by support for full ‘Device Wipe
  • Microsoft continue to invest in the legacy support capabilities, termed ‘Enterprise Investments for IE 11’ reflected in prior ‘Enterprise Mode’ for IE 11 to support legacy web Apps that relied in IE8 behaviours
  • BitLocker | Full disk encryption, now enabled with SSO (Single Sign On) and protection from cold boot attacks. The need for a PIN has been removed. While BitLocker in Windows 7 was a driver for Enterprise Edition, BitLocker was strategically moved to Windows Pro, with MBAM remaining as part of MDOP
  • Windows Defender| Anti-Virus provided by Microsoft. If 3rd Party Anti-Virus is disabled by Anti-Malware or end of a subscription, Microsoft will remind the user for three days before switching on Windows Defender (ensuring security and displacing a competitor). Windows Defender is isolated to protect the configuration state from malware.

Microsoft have not yet recently confirmed all editions of Windows 10, my previous view was based on available options in Windows Imaging and Configuration Designer  (Windows ICD) this would include four flavours of Windows 10. Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows Mobile Enterprise targeted at large enterprise customers, while Windows Professional aimed at SMB. (There was also a Windows Home Edition and Windows Mobile firmly placed at Consumers). Microsoft have stepped up their game against Google with Windows Education to win with the next generation of millennials.

Windows Editions (Commercial)

Windows 10 Core and Industry offerings could represent an important strategic bet for Microsoft to entrench the Windows OS across the Internet of Things (IoT) connecting into Cloud Services.

  • Consistent UX, Universal App Platform and Enterprise Tools for managing and deploying across PCs,  Kiosks, Mobile Terminals, PoS, ATMs, Digital Signs, Thin Clients, Industry Tablets, Industry Robotics, Industry Medical Devices
  • APIs published for Developers for Networking Industry Standards and GPIO, I2C, SPI Support
  • ‘Granular’ control of User Experience (UX) on IoT devices for Line of Business (LoB) Applications including control of App Launching, ‘Write Filter’ to create read-only devices, supporting dedicated experience on User Role(s), and access to background access for running tasks, and APIs to control common system settings like Power Settings, Bluetooth.
  • Peripheral Support for Retail Including: MSR, Receipt Printer, Cash Drawer, Payment Terminal 3rd Party Support with UAP Drivers for Enterprise Customers to use a range of PoS devices, with continued legacy support for Unified PoS (.Net, OPoS, JavaPoS) for Win32 Apps 
  • For Example: PayPal Here for Surface http://goo.gl/TkIAv4
  • Supported by Microsoft Azure IoT Services (Event Hubs, Stream Analytics,, Machine Learning Studio, Notification Hubs, HD Insight) and PowerBI Pro

Windows SA Per User

Prior to General Availability of the Enterprise Cloud Suite and Windows SA Per User licensing Windows Client OS on any device under a per-user model was not an option. Microsoft have sought to align the commercial licensing vehicle to support a subscription model for Windows.

Microsoft now provide four new licensing options, a ‘full’ Windows SA Per User Subscription, a ‘full’ Windows VDA Per User Subscription and an Windows SA Per User ‘Add On’ Subscription and Windows SA Per User Migration 

Windows Per User

With the Windows SA Per User Subscription, organisations can license Windows Software Assurance on a per user basis. When the license is assigned primary user, the associated primary device must be licensed with a ‘qualifying OS’.

The Windows SA Per User ‘Add On’, provides the benefit of Windows Software Assurance per User, or Windows VDA per User, at a price point that recognizes existing ongoing investment. When the license is assigned to a primary user of a primary device that is already covered with active Software Assurance, the Windows Software Assurance per User Add-on grants the licensed user with all of the benefits of Windows Software Assurance per User. When you license the primary user of a primary device that is already covered with Windows VDA, the Windows Software Assurance per User Add-on grants the licensed user with all of the benefits of Windows VDA per User.

These Windows VDA Per User Subscription allows an organisation license Windows on a per user basis, and may be assigned to any user. Each licensed user has access to Windows Enterprise without the need to track the operating system license(s) on the user’s device(s), except for devices where the software is installed locally. This provides a user-centric licensing model, providing flexible options for organisations to deploy and access Windows across devices, and does provide improved license management for Windows.

The Windows SA Per User Migration  maintains the SA Only price point that is available to customers who own perpetual licenses with Software Assurance in an Enterprise Agreement (EA) or Select Agreement. Customers with active SA will receive special pricing for transition continuity, recognizing their equity investment in previous fully paid perpetual licenses. This is now available for existing renewal customers.

[Ref: Microsoft Price List Guide, December 2014]

Per Device vs. User Comparison

Enterprise Agreement Requirements

The Windows SA Per User Subscription for customers with an Enterprise Agreement (EA) should acquire Windows SA Per User for all “Qualified Users”

  • The “Qualified User” is defined in the Enterprise Agreement enrollment as “”‘Qualified User” means a person (e.g., employee, consultant, contingent staff) who: (1) is a user of a Qualified Device, or (2) accesses any server software requiring an Enterprise Product Client Access Licenseor any Enterprise Online Service. It does not include a person who accesses server software or an Online Service solely under a License identified in the Qualified User exemptions in the Product List.” [Ref: Enterprise Agreement Enrollment 2014]
  • “To understand what “user of a Qualified Device” means, “Qualified Device” means any device that is used by or for the benefit of Enrolled Affiliate’s Enterprise and is: (1) a personal desktop computer, portable computer, workstation, or similar device capable of running Windows Professional locally (in a physical or virtual operating system environment), or (2) a device used to access a virtual desktop infrastructure (“VDI”).
  • Qualified Devices do not include any device that is: (1) designated as a server and not used as a personal computer, (2) an Industry Device, or (3) not managed (as defined in the Product List at the start of the applicable initial or renewal term of the Enrollment) as part of Enrolled Affiliate’s Enterprise. At its option, the Enrolled Affiliate may designate any device excluded above (e.g., Industry Device) that is used by or for the benefit of the Enrolled Affiliate’s Enterprise as a Qualified Device for all or a subset of Enterprise Products or Online Services the Enrolled Affiliate has selected.”

[Ref: Enterprise Agreement Enrollment 2014]

  • The Microsoft define a ‘Primary User’ must be assigned to a License Device
  • The “Primary User” is defined as  “the user who uses a Windows Software Assurance, Windows Embedded Industry Software Assurance, or Windows VDA Licensed Device more than 50% of the time in any 90 day period.

[Ref: Product Use Rights, January 2015, Page 75]

Product Licensing Requirements

  • The Licensed Device must be ‘already licensed’ for a ‘Qualified Operating System‘ of Windows as defined in the Product List
  • The Windows SA Per User Subscription does not require Software Assurance for an assigned to the Licensed Device
  • Microsoft clarify that Windows can be locally installed in a Physical OSE on Windows Pro and Enterprise devices and additionally on “integrated” screens with a size of 10.1″ diagonally or less
  • The Windows SA Per User Add On does require Active Software Assurance or active VDA Subscription Per Device License for the Licensed Device
  • The Windows SA Per User Add On can only be purchased for the maximum number of available SA or Windows VDA Subscription
  • The ongoing software use rights acquired through the purchase of Add-on User Subscription Licenses will expire with the the expiration of the SA coverage for the Qualifying License(s), or at the end of the subscription term for the Add-On USLs.
  • The VDA Subscription License is recommended  for User Profiles without a primary work device, or not considered a “Primary User” under the Product Use Rights 

Decision Tree Windows SA

[Ref: Product List –  January 2015, Page 33–35][Ref: Product List –  January 2015, Page 34]

This diagram below provides an overall view of the licensing options for Windows Per User. (As always, please refer directly to binding documentation for confirmation), but this diagram attempts to capture different device profiles and respected software use rights:

Windows Per User Graphic


Final Summary

  • Microsoft have provided options for business to adopt new innovations, while balancing the need for notification and testing. Organisation can now choose a level of support to delay innovation updates by up to 90 days so they can first be tested thoroughly in the market, or a “security and patches only” update model for long-term stability.
  • The Windows 10 time limited upgrade offer will drive rapid adoption of Windows 10 in the short term, by removing initial cost of upgrade for the first year. Organisation should be aware that they may require an ongoing level of support, or ongoing access to new feature updates within CBB/LTSB releases that would require ongoing commitment to Software Assurance (SA).
  • Microsoft  will continue to leverage Software Assurance (SA) as a strategic tool to drive customer behaviors toward subscription purchasing, reflected in the CBB and LTSB update services and channel restrictions limiting procurement of Windows Enterprise with Software Assurance (SA) for EA and MPSA customers
  • Software Assurance (SA) is expected to remain the primary commercial vehicle to enable extended software use rights for Windows, and ongoing enterprise support and feature updates.
  • If an organisation is currently deploying Windows 8.1 , Microsoft recommend an in-place upgrade to Windows 10. For any devices running Windows 7, tablets are recommended to upgrade to Windows 8.1, while non-touch devices are upgraded to Windows 10.
  • The Windows SA USL licensing model secures the OEM business model by maintaining a licensing dependency on underlying device profile and ‘qualifying OS’.
  • Microsoft are incentivising adoption via the ‘free; upgrade offer, but provide some assurance that consumers will receive ongoing patches and security updates and that in every case, Microsoft will provide “security and non-security fixes” to continue for “the supported life of Windows 10″ on a monthly basis. The cost of ‘free’ upgrade for the first year must be balanced by the ‘traffic light’ approach to Windows 10, connecting consumers to cloud services like Cortana, OneDrive, Office365, Skype, Outlook.com, Xbox Live, Xbox Music and Office Online, and Windows Store. It is worth reviewing the Windows FAQs prior to committing to upgrade by 29th July 2016
  • Windows 10 will be enabled for enterprise by advanced MDM features within System Center and Intune. Microsoft see a strategic advantage in a ‘single pane of glass’ admin console for both solutions, across user and device profiles, while ensuring support for competitor MDM solutions.
  • Windows 10 are making a strategic move into identity, with support for MSA, Active Directory and Azure AD. Microsoft will aim to drive adoption of Azure AD by offering Single Sign On (SSO) and identity and app data sync across devices.
  • Microsoft importantly are offering a hybrid approach to identity, recommending profiling of users and devices to assess utilisation of AD Group Policy and SCCM for some devices, while another group of devices will leverage Azure AD and Microsoft Intune, enabled by support for NGC and two factor authentication in Windows 10.
  • Organisations that want to enable IT users on personal devices, will be able to set up trusted device and conditional access policies, combined with ‘device registration’ to allow access to workplace services, enabled by Microsoft Intune and Azure AD.  ‘Azure AD Join’ enables users to join personal devices to Azure AD, accessing single sign on and management capabilities outside the core network.
  • Microsoft is making a critical strategic bet to drive rapid adoption, and a bold objective to have a universal OS and Universal Application platform across a wide range of device profiles, looking to capitalize on the rise of IoT, consumer and professional hybrid devices (via  new features line continuum and tablet mode) as well as win back core consumer and tech enthusiast support for the traditional desktop experience.
  • Organisations should be aware that the procurement decision on Windows will be connected to critical decisions around Updates, Management, Security,  Enterprise Mobility, including Identity, Access, IRM and MDM and whether solutions are on premise or integrated or connecting with cloud service offerings on Azure and Office 365, that will create further vendor “lock in”.
  • For wider review of Windows 10 and announcements, It’s also worth following

About

This website is a way to give back to the licensing community and as an information resource for all customers that work with Microsoft software and licensing. I hope you find it of value.

Tony Mackelworth is Microsoft Advisory Services – Practice Lead at SoftwareONE

As always, If you would like to reach out for a coffee or a meeting under NDA, Email or connect via Twitter or LinkedIn

Tony lives with his wife in Oxford, England.


Disclaimer

  • The objective of this article is to review the publicly available documentation available on Windows 10
  • This will look at the publicly announced information as of March 2015.
  • This article is not intended to replace the Product Use Rights or Product List or Online Service Terms or other binding contractual documents
  • The Software Use Terms for each Product or Version are available within the Product Use Rights
  • Further Product-Specific conditions, transition terms, or limitations on use of products, including soft benefits are in the Product List
  • Please be aware that any licensing, or product information could be subject to change.
  • This document confers no rights and is provided for information purposes only.
  • Please be aware, my own emphasis may have been added to quotations and extracts from 3rd party sources.
  • This is not official guidance from Microsoft or its subsidiaries.
  • The following article is based on open information shared with Licensing Solutions Providers (LSPs) and based on  personal inference and understanding.
  • This document is provided “as-is”. Information and views expressed in this document, including URL and other Internet Web site references, may change without notice. This document does not provide you with any legal rights to any intellectual property in any Microsoft product.
  • Please be aware that nothing in this document constitutes specific technical advice. Some of the material in this document may have been prepared some time ago and therefore may have been superseded. Specialist advice from the vendor should be taken in relation to specific circumstances.
  • The contents of this document are for general information purposes only. Whilst the author(s) endeavour to ensure that the information on this document is correct, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and the primary author or it’s contributing Authors do not accept any liability for error or omission.
  • The contributing authors and owner of this document shall not be liable for any damage (including, without limitation, damage for loss of business or loss of profits) arising in contract, tort or otherwise from the use of, or inability to use, this website or any material contained in it, or from any action or decision taken as a result of using this website or any such material.
  • This Disclaimer is not intended to and does not create any contractual or other legal rights.

Microsoft UK Public Sector Cloud Transformation Agreement

Microsoft on G Cloud

The objective of this article is to review the publicly available documentation available on Public Sector Cloud Transformation Agreement (CTA)

This will look at the publicly announced information as of March 1st 2015.

  • This article is not intended to replace the Product Use Rights or Product List or Online Service Terms or other binding contractual documents
  • The Software Use Terms for each Product or Version are available within the Product Use Rights
  • Further Product-Specific conditions, transition terms, or limitations on use of products, including soft benefits are in the Product List
  • Please be aware that any licensing information could be subject to change. This document confers no rights and is provided for information purposes only.
  • Please be aware, my own emphasis may have been added to quotations and extracts from 3rd party sources.
  • This is not official guidance from Microsoft or its subsidiaries.
  • The following article is based on the open telecon briefing with Licensing Solutions Providers (LSPs) and based on only personal understanding.
  • As always, If you would like to book a consultation, available under NDA, please drop me a note via email

Microsoft UK Public Sector Cloud Transformation Agreement

Microsoft have informed Licensing Solution Providers (LSPs) over telecon that PSA12 will expire naturally on April 30th 2015 .

As Microsoft continue to adopt pricing and licensing models to incentivise adoption of cloud based subscription services, Microsoft have agreed a ‘cloud-first’ offer with the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) on behalf of Public Sector organisations in the UK and confirmed expiration of the PSA12 framework on April 30th 2015. The Microsoft Cloud Transformation Agreement (CTA) will be effective May 1st 2015, and is a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Crown Commercial Service.

What was PSA12?

  • PSA12 was a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Government Procurement Service (GPS),  and was an amended continuation of PSA09 contractual concessions and discounts in effect until June 30th 2012.
    •This included update to the eligibility criteria and with reference to a ‘Contracting Authority’
    •The Contract Pack (N39) was retired and replaced with standard Microsoft Contracts with Public Sector concessions in accompanying Amendments
    1st July 2012 – 30th April 2015:
    •PSA12 took effect on July 1st 2012, replacing the PS09 discounting structure with a PSA12 Price List
    •An annual inflation increase was applied to the PSA12 Price List in April of each subsequent year of the framework based on the ONS CPI published in the preceding September
  • From July 1 2012, PSA12 was amended to include Social Enterprise and Charitable Organisations in the Eligibility Criteria
  • Microsoft also made changes to its Academic eligibility criteria for only qualifying Academic organisations and Charities with over 10% donations will be eligible to purchase via Academic Volume Agreement(s), this 3rd sector re-segmentation ‘pulled’ some organisations out of Academic and into PSA12

What Should I do?

This change will not immediately impact organisations with an active Enterprise Agreement (EA) or Enterprise Agreement Subscription (EAS) under PSA12 framework, but organisations should work with a trusted advisor to assess both optimum technology and licensing strategy for Microsoft solutions and services going forward.

The CTA (Cloud Transformation Agreement) will provide a timeline for adoption of Cloud Services, and offer commercial licensing mechanisms and pricing to incentivise adoption of Microsoft Cloud Services like Office365 and the Azure Platform. Microsoft are careful to communicate that Public Sector Customers will be provided sufficient time to assess, and where applicable migrate to public, hybrid and private cloud solutions from Microsoft, incentivised by strategic commercial vehicles like the Enterprise Cloud Suite to adopt Office365 and Azure Services.

It is recommended, working with experienced advisor(s), that organisations should access the following information to make an informed decision over the coming months:

  • Knowledge Transfer on Microsoft Solutions and Services and Microsoft Strategy Update
  • Critical Knowledge Transfer on Microsoft Licensing (Workshop)
  • Confirmation of current License Entitlement and Maintenance Entitlement
  • Cloud Service Solution Alignment, and Technical Validation
  • Assessment of Current and Planned Utilisation of Microsoft Software and Services
  • Predictive Software Lifecycle Management and End of Life (EoL) Planning and Migration Services for Products exiting Extended Support i.e. Windows Server 2003
  • Optimised Microsoft Roadmap and Commercial Investment Plan, Migration Planning, for Microsoft Solutions and Services
  • Assessment of Commercial Options versus Microsoft Strategic Objectives
  • Comparative Commercial Analysis across Contracts and Price Lists
  • Leverage any available Co-Investment Funds or Deployment Planning Services (DPS)
  • Managed Closure Support and Closure Plan with Microsoft Global Account Manager and Operations Team.
  • Work with a Supplier authorised under an applicable Government Framework like G-Cloud 
  • Carefully assess whether to enter an Enterprise Agreement Subscription (EAS) during the CTA ‘Transition Window’

SoftwareONE, as an authorised Licensing Solution Provider (LSP), are an authorised supplier on the G-Cloud framework [Ref: SoftwareONE G-Cloud Press Release] and work with Public Sector organisations to provide independent consultancy services to advise on an optimum technology and licensing strategy for Microsoft solutions and services.


Commercial Options at Renewal for On Premise Software

EA Renewals (expiring prior to April 30th)

  • Customers with active EA or EAS Renewal prior to April 30th will still be able to sign an on-premise Enterprise Agreement Subscription (EAS) or Enterprise Agreement (EA) for on premise software under PSA12 for three years.
    • Commercial pricing incentive offers for Enterprise Cloud Suite (ECS) and Server Cloud Enrollment (SCE)

EA Renewals (after April 30th)

  • Customers with active EA or EAS Renewal after April 30th will be able to sign an on-premise Enterprise Agreement Subscription (EAS) for on premise software on comparable pricing terms
  • Microsoft will also provide “transition window” with commercial G-Cloud pricing incentive for Office365, Intune, Windows Per User, Enterprise Cloud Suite “Add Ons”
    • Commercial pricing incentive offer for Enterprise Cloud Suite (ECS) and Server Cloud Enrollment (SCE)
    • Customers can no longer sign an Enterprise Agreement (EA) after April 30th and can only sign under the comparable EAS only (see above)
    • Microsoft will provide customers with an opportunity to renew on-premise software for one renewal term, providing ‘time to transition to cloud services’
    • The new CTA arrangement, will provide an initial ‘transition window’ and ‘extended transition window’ until 30th June 2017.
    • Organisations with renewals in the following 2018 financial year may likely be able to access ‘early commit’ (subject to approval).
    • This agreement timeline provides a window of ‘discount certainty’ for on premise software, while providing commercial incentive to adopt private, hybrid and public cloud solutions and services from Microsoft.

Government Select Plus Customers

  • Select Plus for Government will be available after April 30th 2015
    • We understand that Government customers procure under Select Plus Government “Level D”
    • Select Plus Government Level D pricing will cost more than current Select Plus Government PSA12
    • The Select Plus for Government will not expire on July 1st 2015
  • Microsoft Product and Services Agreement (MPSA) has been extended with Government and Academic Purchasing Accounts Types from March 1st [Ref: MPSA Licensing Guide: ]
  • Customers that do not have an active Enterprise Agreement (EA) for on premise software can sign a perpetual EA enrollment until June 30th 2015
    • Commercial pricing incentive offer for Enterprise Cloud Suite (ECS) and Server Cloud Enrollment (SCE)
    • Customers may elect to purchase an EA for the desktop environment, and SCE for SQL, Windows Server and System Center
      • If the customer does not accept ‘Enterprise Wide’ term of this SCE agreement, this could be approached as “Additional Product” on EA
      • Customers may alternatively sign a renewal via a 3 year Enterprise Agreement Subscription (EAS) on PSA12 for three years
      • Commercial pricing incentive for Enterprise Cloud Suite (ECS) and Server Cloud Enrollment (SCE)
      • Sign a new Select Plus Government to renew existing with Software Assurance under PSA12
  • Microsoft Product and Services Agreement (MPSA) has been extended with Government and Academic Purchasing Accounts Types from March 1st [Ref: MPSA Licensing Guide: ]
  • The normal sales motion will offer organisations to sign an on-premise Enterprise Agreement Subscription (EAS) for on premise software on comparable pricing terms
    • Microsoft will also provide “transition window” with commercial G-Cloud pricing incentive for Office365, Intune, Windows Per User, Enterprise Cloud Suite “Add Ons”
    • Commercial pricing incentive offer for Enterprise Cloud Suite (ECS) and Server Cloud Enrollment (SCE)
    • Microsoft will provide customers with an opportunity to renew on-premise software for one renewal term, providing ‘time to transition to cloud services’
    • The new CTA arrangement, will provide an initial ‘transition window’ and ‘extended transition window’ until 30th June 2017.

Select Government Renewals (expiring prior to April 30th)

  • Microsoft recommend that customers with commitment to perpetual licenses with active SA, are able to renew a perpetual EA under PSA12 for three years
    • This provides the best pricing available for perpetual licensing model under PSA12
    • Commercial pricing incentive offer for Enterprise Cloud Suite (ECS) and Server Cloud Enrollment (SCE)

Select Government renewals (after April 30th)

For organisations that do not actively purchase software under an active Enterprise Agreement (EA) or Enterprise Agreement Subscription (EAS):

  • Customers will be able to purchase under an Enterprise Agreement Subscription (EAS) on comparable pricing fixed discount terms until June 30th 2015
    • Commercial pricing offer incentive for Enterprise Cloud Suite (ECS) and Server Cloud Enrollment (SCE)
  • Customers who elect not to commit to an Enterprise Agreement Subscription (EAS) prior to June 30th 2015, will then be able to purchase on Select Plus Government “Level D” after April 30th
    • Select Plus Government Level D pricing will cost more than current Select Plus Government PSA12
    • Commercial pricing incentive offer for Enterprise Cloud Suite (ECS) and Server Cloud Enrollment (SCE) and what Microsoft term “Customer Considerations”
  • Microsoft Product and Services Agreement (MPSA) has been extended with Government and Academic Purchasing Accounts Types from March 1st [Ref: MPSA Licensing Guide: ] [Ref: Microsoft Announcement: ]
  • Customers that do not have an active Enterprise Agreement (EA) for on premise software can sign a perpetual EA enrollment until June 30th 2015

Next Steps

Sign Up to the SoftwareONE Public Sector Advisory Webinar on To Be Scheduled - Please Email or drop your details in the form below if you would like to be sent an invitation or arrange an onsite meeting with our Principal Consultants.


About

This website is a way to give back to the licensing community and as an information resource for all customers that work with Microsoft software and licensing. I hope you find it of value.

Tony Mackelworth is Head of Microsoft Advisory Services at SoftwareONE

As always, If you would like to reach out for a coffee or a meeting under NDA, Email or connect via Twitter or LinkedIn

Tony lives with his wife in Oxford, England.


Disclaimer

This document is provided “as-is”. Information and views expressed in this document, including URL and other Internet Web site references, may change without notice. This document does not provide you with any legal rights to any intellectual property in any Microsoft product.

Please be aware that nothing in this document constitutes specific technical advice. Some of the material in this document may have been prepared some time ago and therefore may have been superseded. Specialist advice from the vendor should be taken in relation to specific circumstances.

The contents of this document are for general information purposes only. Whilst the author(s) endeavour to ensure that the information on this document is correct, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and the primary author or it’s contributing Authors do not accept any liability for error or omission.

The contributing authors and owner of this document shall not be liable for any damage (including, without limitation, damage for loss of business or loss of profits) arising in contract, tort or otherwise from the use of, or inability to use, this website or any material contained in it, or from any action or decision taken as a result of using this website or any such material.

This Disclaimer is not intended to and does not create any contractual or other legal rights.

Enterprise Cloud Suite Licensing Guide

The objective of this article is to review the publicly available documentation available on Enterprise Cloud Suite

This will look at the publicly available information upon general availability on December 1st 2014

  • This article is not intended to replace the Product Use Rights or Product List or other binding contractual documents
  • The Use Rights or Terms of Service for each Product or Version are available within the Product Use Rights
  • Further product-specific conditions or limitations on use of products are in the Product List
  • Please be aware that any licensing information could be subject to change. This document confers no rights and is provided for information purposes only.
  • Please be aware, my own emphasis may have been added to quotations and extracts from 3rd party sources.
  • As always, If you would like to book a consultation, available under NDA, please drop me a note via email

Executive Summary

  • The Enterprise Cloud Suite combines three strategic elements for Microsoft to drive adoption of Office 365, Enterprise Mobility Suite, Windows Desktop OS under a consistent Per User subscription model for the desktop
  • Windows offers a compelling Per User licensing model, but organisations should continue to track device profiles and associated underlying Windows device licenses
  • The Enterprise Cloud Suite will enable remote home working and BYOD scenarios for organisation who opt to deliver a consistent Windows experience  via a VM-based VDI (dedicated image) or VM-based VDI (shared image) delivery model to a range of device profiles.
  • The Enterprise Cloud Suite will be offered at a  advantageous price to incentivise adoption, driving ‘strategic bets’ for Windows 10, Office 365 and Enterprise Mobility Suite.
  • The Enterprise Cloud Suite is available on the Enterprise Agreement (EA) and Enterprise Agreement Subscription (EAS). Customers should understand the impact of revised True Up reporting within November 2014 contracts.

Enterprise Cloud Suite Overview

Microsoft made Enterprise Cloud Suite generally available to  Enterprise Agreement customers December 1st 2014

The updated EA purchasing vehicle  combines three strategic elements for Microsoft to drive adoption of Office 365, Enterprise Mobility Suite, Windows Desktop OS under a consistent User Subscription Licensing Model.

The ‘Cloud Desktop Platform’ packages strategic objectives for Productivity and Cloud Services with Management across Devices

Cloud Desktop

  • Microsoft Intune provides a unified Mobile Device Management (MDM) and Mobile Application Management (MAM) across PCs and devices. This now includes management of Office Mobile Apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) for iOS devices and restrict actions such as copy, cut, and paste outside of the managed app ecosystem.
  • Azure Active Directory Premium (AADP) provides User Identity and Federation via Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) to enable pass through authentication with SSO experience from on premise AD to cloud service providers like Office365 and Salesforce.com. Acting as a identity broker for SaaS Apps with support for Multi Factor Authentication (MFA).
  • Later this will include Microsoft Identity Manager (MIM) in H1 2015 as an on-prem Identity and Access Management (IAM)
  • Azure Rights Management Services enabling Information Rights Management (IRM) for  Office365 Services and On Premise SharePoint, Exchange and Windows Server File Services.

EMS

  • Microsoft Office365 Enterprise E3 is a flagship SaaS subscription offering of Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and the Lync Online, Yammer and Office365 Pro Plus

Office365

Windows Enterprise and SA

This represents a move from Microsoft to provide a consistent Per User licensing vehicle to enable a future ‘Cloud Desktop’ service offering. While Windows will be integrated with cloud services running on the Azure Platform; Whether the Windows service will be reflected in a consistent subscription based commercial model for Windows 10 remains to be seen.

Cloud Desktop


Windows SA Per User

Prior to General Availability of the Enterprise Cloud Suite and Windows SA Per User licensing Windows Client OS on any device under a per-user model was not an option.

Microsoft now provide four licensing options, a ‘full’ Windows SA Per User Subscription, a ‘full’ Windows VDA Per User Subscription and an Windows SA Per User ‘Add On’ Subscription and Windows SA Per User Migration 

Windows Per User

With the Windows SA Per User Subscription, organisations can license Windows Software Assurance on a per user basis. When the license is assigned primary user, the associated primary device must be licensed with a ‘qualifying OS’.

The Windows SA Per User ‘Add On’, provides the benefit of Windows Software Assurance per User, or Windows VDA per User, at a price point that recognizes existing ongoing investment. When the license is assigned to a primary user of a primary device that is already covered with active Software Assurance, the Windows Software Assurance per User Add-on grants the licensed user with all of the benefits of Windows Software Assurance per User. When you license the primary user of a primary device that is already covered with Windows VDA, the Windows Software Assurance per User Add-on grants the licensed user with all of the benefits of Windows VDA per User.

These Windows VDA Per User Subscription allows an organisation license Windows on a per user basis, and may be assigned to any user. Each licensed user has access to Windows Enterprise without the need to track the operating system license(s) on the user’s device(s), except for devices where the software is installed locally. This provides a user-centric licensing model, providing flexible options for organisations to deploy and access Windows across devices, and does provide improved license management for Windows.

The Windows SA Per User Migration  maintains the SA Only price point that is available to customers who own perpetual licenses with Software Assurance in an Enterprise Agreement (EA) or Select Agreement. Customers with active SA will receive special pricing for transition continuity, recognizing their equity investment in previous fully paid perpetual licenses. This is now available for existing renewal customers.

[Ref: Microsoft Price List Guide, December 2014]

Per Device vs. User Comparison

Enterprise Agreement Requirements

The Windows SA Per User Subscription for customers with an Enterprise Agreement (EA) should acquire Windows SA Per User for all “Qualified Users”

  • The “Qualified User” is defined in the Enterprise Agreement enrollment as “”‘Qualified User” means a person (e.g., employee, consultant, contingent staff) who: (1) is a user of a Qualified Device, or (2) accesses any server software requiring an Enterprise Product Client Access License or any Enterprise Online Service. It does not include a person who accesses server software or an Online Service solely under a License identified in the Qualified User exemptions in the Product List.” [Ref: Enterprise Agreement Enrollment 2014]
  • “To understand what “user of a Qualified Device” means, “Qualified Device” means any device that is used by or for the benefit of Enrolled Affiliate’s Enterprise and is: (1) a personal desktop computer, portable computer, workstation, or similar device capable of running Windows Professional locally (in a physical or virtual operating system environment), or (2) a device used to access a virtual desktop infrastructure (“VDI”).
  • Qualified Devices do not include any device that is: (1) designated as a server and not used as a personal computer, (2) an Industry Device, or (3) not managed (as defined in the Product List at the start of the applicable initial or renewal term of the Enrollment) as part of Enrolled Affiliate’s Enterprise. At its option, the Enrolled Affiliate may designate any device excluded above (e.g., Industry Device) that is used by or for the benefit of the Enrolled Affiliate’s Enterprise as a Qualified Device for all or a subset of Enterprise Products or Online Services the Enrolled Affiliate has selected.”

[Ref: Enterprise Agreement Enrollment 2014]

  • The Microsoft define a ‘Primary User’ must be assigned to a License Device
  • The “Primary User” is defined as  “the user who uses a Windows Software Assurance, Windows Embedded Industry Software Assurance, or Windows VDA Licensed Device more than 50% of the time in any 90 day period.

[Ref: Product Use Rights, January 2015, Page 75]

Product Licensing Requirements

  • The Licensed Device must be ‘already licensed’ for a ‘Qualified Operating System‘ of Windows as defined in the Product List
  • The Windows SA Per User Subscription does not require Software Assurance for an assigned to the Licensed Device
  • Microsoft clarify that Windows can be locally installed in a Physical OSE on Windows Pro and Enterprise devices and additionally on “integrated” screens with a size of 10.1″ diagonally or less
  • The Windows SA Per User Add On does require Active Software Assurance or active VDA Subscription Per Device License for the Licensed Device
  • The Windows SA Per User Add On can only be purchased for the maximum number of available SA or Windows VDA Subscription
  • The ongoing software use rights acquired through the purchase of Add-on User Subscription Licenses will expire with the the expiration of the SA coverage for the Qualifying License(s), or at the end of the subscription term for the Add-On USLs.
  • The VDA Subscription License is recommended  for User Profiles without a primary work device, or not considered a “Primary User” under the Product Use Rights 

Decision Tree Windows SA

[Ref: Product List –  January 2015, Page 33–35][Ref: Product List –  January 2015, Page 34]

This diagram below provides an overall view of the licensing options for Windows Per User. (As always, please refer directly to binding documentation for confirmation), but this diagram attempts to capture different device profiles and respected software use rights:

Windows Per User Graphic

Complexity of the Per Device Model

Please be aware that the Per User model is not completely abstracted from the device profile, or the requirement underlying licenses assigned to those devices.

  • It does comparatively offer less complexity when managing home workers accessing VDI from a personal device and the associated risk of unlicensed access to a virtual desktop or walking their personal devices onto the organisation premises, something restricted under the “Roaming Use Right”.
  • Adopting the Windows Per User Subscription Model without also adopting Office365 Pro Plus on a Per User Subscription Model could lead to commercial risk from non compliance.
  • For example, if a user is assigned with a Windows SA Per User Subscription, but continues to access Office Pro Plus 2013 off-premise, relying on the ‘Roaming Use Right’ available as part of Software Assurance, this would not impact the ‘Qualified Device’ count. However, should the user walk that personal device onto organisation premises, it may inadvertently ‘pull through’ a requirement to license an extended number of devices under the ‘Qualified Device’ definition.
  • Microsoft state “Roaming Use” can be used on ‘Qualifying Third Party Device’ defined by Microsoft as “a device that is not controlled, directly or indirectly, by you or your affiliates”. Organisations should be aware of the definition of “management of qualified devices” as defined in the Product List to include domain join, on premise authentication to use applications, or install of agents to enforce anti-virus, anti-malware, enforcement of group policies, or receives data about, and, configures, or gives instruction the OS on a device, or access to Windows in a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) outside of the off-premise “Roaming Use Right”. [Ref: Product Use Rights, January 2015, Page 9] [Ref: Product List, January 2015, Page 84]

The complexity of managing  home working VDI and uncontrolled BYOD scenarios drives the business case for a consistent Per User licensing model. Microsoft will continue to incentivise procurement under the Per User licensing model available for solutions and services within the Office365 and Azure portfolio to drive adoption of a ‘cloud desktop’ under a subscription or relational procurement model.

Windows Per Device Graphic


The Enterprise Cloud Suite

Microsoft now provide three licensing options on the price list to purchase the Enterprise Cloud Suite  a ‘full’ Cloud Desktop Per User, a Cloud Desktop Add On and an Cloud Desktop From SA 

  • The Enterprise Cloud Suite User Subscription License (USL) or Cloud Desktop Per User includes Office 365 Plan E3, the Enterprise Mobility Suite  (EMS) and Windows Enterprise SA per User.
  • The Enterprise Cloud Suite Add-on or Cloud Desktop Add On can be added on to a Platform EA (which includes Office Pro Plus, Windows Enterprise and either the ECAL or Core CAL).
  • The Enterprise Cloud Suite From SA User Subscription License (USL)  or Cloud Desktop From SA provides the same functionality as the full priced Enterprise Cloud Suite USL, but at a beneficial price point for customers who own perpetual licenses with Software Assurance in an Enterprise Agreement (EA).  Customers with active SA will receive an better price point incentivise transition continuity, and recognize existing equity investment in previous fully paid perpetual licenses.  This is now available for existing renewal customers
  • Customers that see Lync Voice as a part of their future roadmap, may purchase the Lync Voice Add-On. While the Lync Voice Add-On is available from December 2014, Microsoft are careful to stipulate that no provisioning will take place upon procurement of the license.

Lync Voice Add On


The Impact of 2014 Contracts

In November 2014, Microsoft updated contract packs for the Enterprise Agreement (EA), Enterprise Agreement Subscription (EAS) and Server Cloud Enrollment (SCE).

Enterprise Agreement with Add Ons

  • Microsoft have aligned the Enterprise Plan E1, Enterprise Plan E3, Enterprise Plan E4, Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS), and Enterprise Cloud Suite (ECS) Add-Ons as “Enterprise Online Services”.
  • This will enable organisations to enroll a subset of users into a Per User licensing model or transition users over the contract term without committing Enterprise-Wide at outset of contract.
  • Microsoft continue to offer a ‘Platform’ SKU to incentivise ‘front loading’ a contract.
  • The Lync Voice Add-On is currently aligned as an ‘Additional Product’ enabling ‘price lock’ and not categorizing Lync Voice as an ‘Enterprise Online Service’.

Enterprise Online Services Only EA

  • Organisations that sign an Enterprise Agremeent (EA) or Enterprise Agreement Subscription (EAS) for ‘Enterprise Online Services Only EA‘ must meet the minimum order requirements of the respective enrollment of 250 Enterprise Online Services USLs, including Enterprise Plan E1, Enterprise Plan E3, Enterprise Plan E4, Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS), and Enterprise Cloud Suite (ECS), From SA and Full USLs  and Microsoft Intune Full USLs but no enterprise-wide commitment is required.
  • Enterprise Online Services can be reduced to a minimum of 250 USLs at Anniversary
  • Notably, All ‘Additional Products’ are eligible to be added to the contract

True Up Policy

A principle impact to organisations will be in the approach to the annual True Up. Updated wording in the contracts could significantly impact customers that have seasonal or other annual deployment fluctuations to impact the total cost of ownership (TCO) of a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement

This new approach, effective for customers signing the revised contracts is defined as follows for the Enterprise Agreement enrollment:

“True-up Requirements. Enrolled Affiliate must submit an annual true-up order that accounts for any changes since the initial order or last order. If there are no changes, then an update statement must be submitted instead of a true-up order.

(i) Enterprise Products. For Enterprise Products, Enrolled Affiliate must determine the number of Qualified Devices and Qualified Users (if ordering user-based Licenses) at the time the true-up order is placed and must order additional Licenses for all Qualified Devices and Qualified Users that are not already covered by existing Licenses, including any Enterprise Online Services.

(ii) Additional Products. For Additional Products that have been previously ordered under this Enrollment, Enrolled Affiliate must determine the maximum number of Additional Products used since the latter of the initial order, the last true-up order or the prior anniversary date and submit a true-up order that accounts for any increase.”

For the counting of Enterprise Products, the wording in the enrollment does have an apparent conflict, that accounts for “any changes” over the term or since the last anniversary, but later also under the term Enterprise Products “at the time the true-up order is placed”.

Taken in a wider context for customers renewing other enrollments, this tactical editing of the November 2014 also extends to the Server Cloud Enrollment :-

“(ii) True-up order. Enrolled Affiliate must determine the maximum number of Products used since the latter of the initial order the last true-up order, or the Enrollment’s prior anniversary and submit a true-up order that accounts for any increase.” [Ref: Server Cloud Enrollment 2014]

This approach has been reflected in other guidance, including deployment of the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit (MAP):

“The Microsoft Assessment Planning (MAP) Toolkit features an IT-based Software Usage Tracker functionality that provides usage reports for the following server products: Windows Server, Exchange Server, SQL Server, SharePoint Server, and System Center Configuration Manager. This automated software asset management–related functionality is designed to be used by Microsoft Volume Licensing customers. The Software Usage Tracker provides you with a view of your actual server usage, which can be valuable for comparing with your purchased CALs, or for True-up and agreement renewal discussions.” [Ref: EA Program Guide]

This change in written terminology may incentivise Microsoft to request metering of use over the contract term, or final year of a contract, to ascertain ‘maximum use’ therein driving revenues from final year True Up and subsequent renewal; underwriting the business case to move workloads to Azure

The application of this term may be applied inconsistently by Microsoft, I would recommend an agreed approach to True Up with your respective Licensing Solution Provider (LSP).


Final Thoughts

The Enterprise Cloud Suite, as a commercial licensing vehicle provides a consistent Per User licensing metric across the desktop environment and “pulls through” Windows onto a subscription procurement model. This combined suite provides an incentivised price point to drive adoption and enable the strategy for a ‘Cloud Desktop’ delivering user-centric services from Azure.  This is reflected by the recent announcements for Windows 10 that will extend Windows as a ‘universal’ platform across device profiles for Office365 and Azure services.

The licensing model ensures securement OEM licensing business model by limiting abstraction from the device profile, or the requirement for underlying Windows licenses assigned to those devices . Microsoft  continue to leverage volume licensing as a strategic tool to drive customer behaviors toward subscription services and this will continue in 2015.

Organisations should review their current and planned utilisation of Microsoft Solutions and Services to evaluate alignment with the strategic objectives of their Microsoft Account Team. Microsoft will align personnel and resources to support customers that move toward Azure and Office365 but are enabled by the 2014 contract structure to secure short term revenue generation through True Up or via Audit.

Microsoft Advisory Services

SoftwareONE provide independent consultancy services from within our Microsoft Advisory Services to optimise our clients Microsoft Strategy, including but not limited to the following benefits:

  • Knowledge Transfer on Microsoft Solutions and Services, and Licensing, from Principal Consultants from our Microsoft Advisory Practice and Technical Solutions Division
  • Confirmation of current License Entitlement and Maintenance Entitlement
  • Optimised Commercial Investment plan for Microsoft Solutions and Services
  • Commercial Analysis across Contracts and Global Pricelists
  • Assessment of Commercial Options versus Microsoft Strategic Objectives to ascertain opportunities for Negotiation Advantage
  • Managed closure support with Microsoft Global Account Manager

About

This website is a way to give back to the licensing community and as an information resource for all customers that work with Microsoft software and licensing. I hope you find it of value.

Tony Mackelworth is Microsoft Advisory Services – Practice Lead at SoftwareONE

As always, If you would like to reach out for a coffee or a meeting under NDA, Email or connect via Twitter or LinkedIn

Tony lives with his wife in Oxford, England.


Disclaimer

This document is provided “as-is”. Information and views expressed in this document, including URL and other Internet Web site references, may change without notice. This document does not provide you with any legal rights to any intellectual property in any Microsoft product.

Please be aware that nothing in this document constitutes specific technical advice. Some of the material in this document may have been prepared some time ago and therefore may have been superseded. Specialist advice from the vendor should be taken in relation to specific circumstances.

The contents of this document are for general information purposes only. Whilst the author(s) endeavour to ensure that the information on this document is correct, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and the primary author or it’s contributing Authors do not accept any liability for error or omission.

The contributing authors and owner of this document shall not be liable for any damage (including, without limitation, damage for loss of business or loss of profits) arising in contract, tort or otherwise from the use of, or inability to use, this website or any material contained in it, or from any action or decision taken as a result of using this website or any such material.

This Disclaimer is not intended to and does not create any contractual or other legal rights.

SQL 2014 Licensing Update

The objective of this article is to review the publicly available documentation available on SQL Server.

  • This will look at the publicly available information upon general availability for SQL 2014 on April 1st 2014
  • This article is not intended to replace the Product Use Rights or Product List or other binding contractual documents
  • The Use Rights or Terms of Service for each Product or Version are available within the Product Use Rights
  • Further product-specific conditions or limitations on use of products are in the Product List
  • Please be aware that any licensing information could be subject to change. This document confers no rights and is provided for information purposes only.
  • Please be aware, my own emphasis may have been added to quotations and extracts from 3rd party sources.
  • As always, If you would like to book a consultation, available under NDA , please drop me a note via email

 


The Challenge

The objective of this article is to review the publicly available documentation  on SQL Server to support clients whom continue to deploy  prior release(s) of SQL but want to understand the implications of the release of SQL 2014. This will look at a high conceptual level at the impact to disaster recovery and deployment of SQL instances on Virtual Machines (VMs) to establish the key recommendations to implement in your organisation.

 

Key Findings

Understanding Which Software Use Terms Apply

It is recommended that an organisation should be aware of when a particular Product Specific License Terms should be applicable. This can be incredibly useful in understand whether current deployment footprint falls within the SQL 2008 R2, 2012 or 2014 licensing schema.

  • Product Use Rights for the originally licensed version and edition apply even when adopting downgrade or cross-edition deployment rights.
  • Upon upgrade from a prior version, the Product Use Rights for the version running apply, subject to exception from the Product List.
  • The Product Use Rights in effect on the effective date of an Enterprise Enrollment will apply to the use of the then-current versions until upgrade to a new version.
  • Upon upgrade, the Product Use Rights in effect upon General Availability (GA) will apply.
  • In both cases, If Microsoft elect to update a subsequent release of the Product Use Rights, the software use terms will not apply unless they are elected to by the customer.
  • For customers that elect to leverage downgrade rights, the Product Use Rights for the version licensed, not the version running will apply.
  • Microsoft do caveat that should a legacy product have components not are not part of the version licensed, any Product Use Rights specific to those components will apply.

 

A Question of Support

Standard Edition technical specifications continue to improve with the release of SQL 2014, raising the physical memory maximum of 128 GB, representing double the previous maximum utilisation (see table below for a full comparison)The increased memory capacity, combined with a public mainstream support roadmap for SQL 2014 until July 9th 2019, and an estimated release cycle of 2 years would support confidence in continued investment in the edition and Software Assurance (SA). Customers that continue to run legacy versions 2008 R2 and 2008, should be aware of the termination of mainstream support on July 9th 2014 and termination of extended support on July 9th 2019.

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The Critical Value of SA

Microsoft continue to drive the business case for Software Assurance (SA) through the incremental evolution in the licensing schema for virtualization rights.

  • The principal business driver for Software Assurance (SA) is not ‘New Version Rights’ but enablement of dynamic reassignment of licenses within a datacentre, to the Azure platform or an approved hosting partner.
  • The SQL ‘Failover Rule’ is now included within Software Assurance (SA);
    • Under prior precedent, a primary licensed server would include an extended use right to run a secondary passive SQL instance in a separate OSE, and also provide temporary support during a failover event (commonly interpreted as 30 days) in a secondary unlicensed server.
    • Upon release of SQL 2014, the extended use right to operate a passive instance was incorporated into Software Assurance (SA) and Microsoft confirmed a requirement for license reassignment at point of failover.
    • Upon expiration of Software Assurance (SA), the passive instances would become licensable.
    • The requirement for Software Assurance (SA) extends to all SQL CALs when adopting a Server/CAL license model

 

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A Limitation on Multiplexing

Multiplexing is defined as a Universal License Term and will apply to all products licensed through Volume Licensing . Under the hierarchy of the Product Use Rights, a Universal License Term will apply unless explicitly retracted or amended under General License Terms and Product Specific License Terms within the document.

  • For  SQL 2012 Business Intelligence Edition, as licensed under  the Server+CAL licensing model, users and devices that indirectly access SQL Server data through another application or hardware device required CALs, and exposed some customers to a large or unknown number of external users
  • Microsoft reigned in the multiplexing rule for SQL 2014  BI Edition to exclude users or devices that access SQL solely through batching process.

 

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Disaster Recovery – Check the Fine Print

Many organisations elect to leverage the extended use right of ‘Disaster Recovery Rights’ within Software Assurance (SA) but don’t critically evaluate the technical reality of the DR solution as compared to binding terms of the Product Use Rights 

Under the April 2014 Product Use Rights, the OSE on the disaster recovery server can run only during the following exception periods:

  • For brief periods of disaster recovery testing within one week every 90 days
  • During a disaster, while the production server being recovered is down
  • Around the time of a disaster, for a brief period, to assist in the transfer between the primary production server and the disaster recovery server

A notable exception within the April 2014 Product Use Rights – this excludes patch management.

 

Final Thoughts

Business Intelligence Edition 

The ‘Multiplexing Rule’ should reasonably protect and maintain a proportional and scalable commercial licensing model to ensure financial protection for Microsoft, and the Universal License Terms ensures this isn’t limited by hardware or software that pool connections, reroute information, or reduce the number of devices or users that directly access, or use a server product. Accordingly, interpretation and application of this rule for external users as well as internal users should be independently and respectively assessed based on the technical reality of the server infrastructure and processes; the update in policy to access solely via batch processes like ETL for Business Intelligence (BI) Edition is a welcomed revision.

 

Software Assurance

On April 1st 2012 upon General Availability (GA) of SQL 2012, Microsoft removed support for license mobility in the SQL Enterprise 2012 Edition ‘license’ and incorporated this extended use right within Software Assurance (SA). The prior omission of ‘license mobility within server farms’ was amended by inclusion of this within Software Assurance (SA) across all 2012 Editions. This incremental reassignment of business critical extended use rights from a perpetual license to within a maintenance model was continued under SQL 2014 with the curtailing of the ‘Failover Rule’. As most organisations have database sprawl across physical and high availability virtual server environments, the onus on optimum and correct assignment of license and maintenance assets is critical to support cost avoidance and limit commercial risk.

 

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Recommendations

  • Organisations should review the effective date of all enrollments, and review all binding documentation to critically evaluate the software use terms to apply.
  • License mobility is a strong driver for Software Assurance if your organisation intends to deploy SQL in a virtual environment.
  • Software Assurance enables asset mobility to authorised 3rd party server environments, and supports cost avoidance of failover and disaster recovery solutions.
  • Stakeholders should critically evaluate the technical reality of server infrastructure to ensure conformity with software use restrictions of extended use rights i.e. passive failover instances and disaster recovery.
  • Optimum and valid assignment of legacy assets can support ongoing cost avoidance (with strict controls and policies to support ongoing compliance).
  • Organisations should consider upgrade from SQL Business Intelligence 2012 to 2014 to limit exposure to the ‘Multiplexing Rule’ Edit: The June Product List 2014 states (Page 26) the “CAL waiver for Batch Jobs described in the April 2014 PUR also applies to the 2012 version of that Product”. 
  • Implement a hardware and software discovery workstream to evaluate the technical reality of current (and planned) server infrastructure for SQL Server to ensure compliance and cost avoidance through optimum assignment of license and maintenance assets.
  • Evaluate deployed software products exiting mainstream and extended support – a comprehensive products exiting mainstream and extended support on July 9th 2014 are available here

 


About

This website is a way to give back to the licensing community and as an information resource for all customers that work with Microsoft software and licensing. I hope you find it of value.

Tony Mackelworth is Head of Microsoft Advisory Services at SoftwareONE

If you would like to book an in-depth Licensing Workshop or Microsoft Strategy Workshop please drop me an email and connect with me on Twitter

Tony lives with his wife in Oxford, England.

 


Disclaimer

This document is provided “as-is”. Information and views expressed in this document, including URL and other Internet Web site references, may change without notice. This document does not provide you with any legal rights to any intellectual property in any Microsoft product.

Please be aware that nothing in this document constitutes specific technical advice. Some of the material in this document may have been prepared some time ago and therefore may have been superseded. Specialist advice from the vendor should be taken in relation to specific circumstances.

The contents of this document are for general information purposes only. Whilst the author(s) endeavour to ensure that the information on this document is correct, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and the primary author or it’s contributing Authors do not accept any liability for error or omission.

The contributing authors and owner of this document shall not be liable for any damage (including, without limitation, damage for loss of business or loss of profits) arising in contract, tort or otherwise from the use of, or inability to use, this website or any material contained in it, or from any action or decision taken as a result of using this website or any such material.

This Disclaimer is not intended to and does not create any contractual or other legal rights.


Azure Licensing Guide

The objective of this article is to review the publicly available documentation available on Azure.

  • This article is not intended to replace the Product Use Rights or Product List or Online Service Use Rights other binding contractual documents
  • Please be aware that any licensing information could be subject to change. This document confers no rights and is provided for information purposes only.
  • Please be aware, my own emphasis may have been added to quotations and extracts from 3rd party sources.
  • As always, If you would like to book a consultation, available under NDA , please drop me a note via email you can also follow via twitter

Pricing the Cloud

After experimenting and testing various cloud services on a portal Pay-As-You-Go consumption model,  many users will ask the simple question:  “How much will this cost?” and expect a simple answer that is correct.

While this shouldn’t be difficult to answer, for many, the answer they receive is often inaccurate or incomplete; cloud service providers will often adopt different units of measurement and restricted-access pricing models making balanced comparison seem impossible.

This is compounded by the ‘barrier of entry’ to view restricted global price lists, price waterfalls connected to volume procurement contracts that are commonly only available to a limited number of accredited global organisations.

Access to an accurate cloud pricing analysis platform, requires an independent advisory practice (with expertise across commercial, governance and technical disciplines) interoperable with global accreditation as a ‘cloud broker’ for all principal service providers. Arguably, only this level of accreditation, global presence and independent consultancy across disciplines, (which is principally vendor agnostic) can support a framework for comparative pricing analysis of cloud services.

The objective for a clear cloud strategy roadmap, requires by necessity, a comparative approach across cloud service providers. Analysis should capture both commercial opportunity and associated risk of scalability and predictability for any ‘in scope’  cloud service providers. This should capture all commercial models and metrics, factoring in available procurement contracts and purchasing regions aligned to the customer  business roadmap. This should extend across operational silos of commercial review, governance and compliance and technical disciplines.

A full comparative approach to cloud strategy analysis, while not in scope of this article, can be explored with SoftwareONE Advisory Services.


An Exploration of First Azure Commercial Models

This article will first review the commercial models for Azure prior to the November 1st 2013 changes for customers purchasing Azure within the Enterprise Agreement (EA) purchasing model:

Microsoft first developed the enterprise commercial model for Azure  within the existing framework of the Enterprise Agreement (EA). This  contractual amendment enabled purchase of scale cloud platform services in accordance with the service level agreement (SLA).

The service was accessible for one year or under a co-terminus subscription aligned to the software volume agreement; access to this incentivised price-point typically required an up-front monetary commitment, billed annually, with any overage calculated monthly and billed quarterly.

A customer could adopt to choose a forecast commitment amount ‘at signing’ to obtain better price on those units. This up-front monetary forecast, allocated monthly over the term, would support utilisation of resources of Platform Services for up-to 125% of forecast before the price point switched to ‘overage’. A customer could add to their existing ‘credited’ commitment on the first day of the subsequent month. However, any unused portion of the upfront commitment would not carry over from expiration. This was a ‘use it or lose it’  consumption model. image[Original Information Source: Microsoft Operations: Changes In EA – FY14 Azure Licensing Changes]

If the committed resources promised were not available to a customer, Microsoft promised an entitlement to refund of 150% of the monetary value of the unavailable services at ‘commitment rates’, up to the total monetary value of the monthly forecasted amount based on the agreed commitment rates. If the unavailability of resources also qualified the customer for a ‘service credit’ under the Service Level Agreement, the customer would only receive the single remedy with the highest monetary value. [Ref: EAEnrAmend(Dir)(WW)(ENG)(Feb2011)]

For Windows Azure Compute, any resource commitment was calculated on the number of concurrent instances (and not the total number of compute hours represented by those instances). If the balance of upfront commitment was less than the monetary value of the forecast amount, the resource commitment would be reduced such that the remaining upfront commitment equals the monetary value of the monthly forecast amount.

Microsoft’s early embarkation into utility computing lacked the flexibility associated with elastic utility based cloud computing services. The overage consumption rate was applicable to all usage in excess of the upfront commitment and/or indeed, all usage if the customer opted to not make the upfront commitment to Microsoft.  All usage that exceeded the resource commitment would only be available for consumption on an ‘as available’ basis.

Microsoft would provide 30 days written notice prior to the addition of any new platform services, and 90 days written notice prior to revocation of any existing feature of functionality (unless expedited by security, data privacy or system performance considerations). Suspension to customer access to platform services would occur if a direct or indirect threat was identified to the function or integrity of the Azure platform or other customers use of the platform. This was extended to include breach of terms within the overarching binding contractual documents (Master, Enrolment or Amendment(s)) or excess resource requirements over the pre-agreed credit limit.

Summary

  • Customers commit to an annual monetary amount and receive discounted commitment rates for usage against this pre-paid credit.
  • Services utilised in excess of the annual monetary amount were charged at overage rates
  • Utilisation of annual monetary commitment subject to the customer only being guaranteed 125% of their monthly breakdown of the monetary commitment. Usage in excess of this amount was on an “as available” basis
  • Both commitment and overage rates include the customer’s EA level discount
  • The service was accessible for 1 year or co-terminus with the volume agreement
  • Price protection against price increases were enshrined in the Customer Pricing Sheet (CPS)
  • Customers concerned about price decreases were recommended to order via the 1 year option.
  • Overage billed quarterly, with an annual option only available on an exception basis, requiring business desk approval and approval from the operations centre’s credit and collections team.
  • The actual detailed SKUs were ‘lead status’.
  • The CPS included all rates for all Windows Azure SKUs within the  “Future Monthly Subscription” Pricing section.
  • As this was a pre-paid credit model, Microsoft required an initial upfront commitment over three years for co-terminus option (which can be prorated if a mid-term) or the 1 year equivalent on the 1 year subscription.
  • Any unused monetary commitment was lost at the end of the commitment term under a ‘use it or lose it’ model.

New 1 Year Subscription

  • This subscription ran for 12 full months beginning with the next full calendar month after the subscription is processed.  For example, if the Azure amendment and CPS were processed in February the CPS should be set up to reflect 12 full months beginning March 1.
  • Customers received the full 12 months to use their aggregated monthly commitment. Any unused funds at the end of the subscription term were not carried forward to a future subscription or refunded.

Existing 3 Year Agreement – Co-Terminus Option

  • This subscription ran from the 1st of the month following when the amendment and CPS are processed to the end of the Enrollment term.
  • Any unused monetary commitment was lost at the end of the commitment term
  • Any subscription ‘added at signing’ for the duration of the Enrollment term was also considered a co-terminus subscription.

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Azure changes in the Enterprise Agreement

Pricing Simplification

On November 1st 2013, Microsoft first announced a refreshed approach to their commercial models for Enterprise Agreement customers. The premise was to simplify their approach to pricing, aligning it to the Microsoft EA price band ‘waterfall’ (Level A-D) and removal of the previous combined approach of tiered percentage (%) discounts for the up-front monetary commitment.

Prior to November 2013, the consumption pricing assigned to the Monetary Commitment was a combined product of the Volume Agreement price band (Level A-D) and Commitment Volume (The Commitment Volume providing an additional discount off consumption rates via the Azure Enterprise Portal). Conversely, the Azure refresh on November 1st 2013 provided a simplified pricing model, with the Customer Pricing Sheet (CPS) providing the ‘actual price’ of Azure services aligned to Microsoft EA pricing waterfall.

Overage Pricing and Consumption Allowance

On November 1st 2013, Microsoft  removed the penalty pricing for overage consumption above the consumption allowance and consolidated to a single subscription option, with an ability to adjust services at agreement anniversary. Microsoft adopted to reign in  the ‘use it or lose it’ perception of the service.

Ordering was simplified by removing the complex, and ever expanding  ‘future pricing table’ embedded within the Customer Pricing Sheet (CPS). This continues to be an optional inclusion, and incorporated subject to customer request or following a non-programmatic price discount.

  • Higher usage rates were in place for consumption of Windows Azure services in excess of Monetary Commitment
  • On November 1st 2013, the ‘overage penalty’ was removed for both direct and indirect agreements, and the Commitment SKU Price was matched to the pricing of the Overage SKU.

This reflected a drive to incentivise adoption of greater Windows Azure resources without the perceived risk associated with the overage penalty model and align consumption of Azure to the EA purchasing model.

This was extended in Microsoft’s approach to the ‘consumption allowance’ for direct contract customers. Wherein, the threshold was extended to 50% overage of the annual Monetary Commitment to resources. Any additional usage over the monetary commitment, but below the consumption allowance, is invoiced annually in arrears; any additional usage over the monetary commitment, and in excess of the consumption allowance, is invoiced quarterly in arrears.

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[Original Information Source: Microsoft Operations: Changes In EA – FY14 Azure Licensing Changes]

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[Picture Reference: http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/pricing/enterprise-agreement/] – Last checked 02/03/2014


Subscriptions Option and Service Reduction

Customers who previously signed a 36 month or  co-terminus subscription to Azure  would commit to the Monetary Commitment value (£) for the term of the enrollment; Microsoft responded to this unbalanced approach to commitment versus risk to allow an annual service reduction. This allowed service reduction programmatically, devolved to the licensing solutions provider (LSP) within channel managed METEAOP process.

Customers who previously elected for the preferred 12 Month subscription model are permitted to ‘top up’ the then existing term, but upon renewal, subscription terms must be realigned to be co-terminus with the agreement enrollment.

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[Original Information Source: Microsoft Operations: Changes In EA – FY14 Azure Licensing Changes]

Existing customers who committed to Azure within the EA procurement model framework will receive the existing commercial service use transition over the then current term; the new commercial model are summarised in the table below.

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Azure Purchasing Programs

  • Organisations can add Azure to an existing (or new) EA by making an upfront monetary commitment.
  • The resource is consumed throughout the year by using any combination of the cloud services available within Windows Azure.
  • If usage exceeds the upfront ‘credit’ amount, the licensee will be billed in arrears for that usage (importantly without penalty) annually for up to an additional 50% of the monetary commitment, and quarterly for any overage for direct contracts.
  • If the annual consumption does not meet the monetary commitment by the next anniversary, any unused monetary commitment is still forfeited. The hope of Microsoft, is that the annual service reduction allowance mitigates the commercial risk associated with earlier commercial models

Microsoft have extended the Enterprise Agreement (EA) model to act as a primary purchasing platform for all service usage, supporting aggregation of internal use requirements and optional support for a hosted/managed service business (only as part of a solution) under a single contract and management portal.

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Product Licensing Overview

A comprehensive review of license asset mobility is strongly recommended for organisations that elect to move workloads to hosted services and public cloud offerings. Understanding when a existing license asset, is eligible for re-assignment to a hosted datacenter is critical to understand an optimum approach and compliance with software use terms. Microsoft introduced License Mobility as defined at the product level for certain server applications. This drives two intended behaviours, driving a relational contract with Microsoft for current on-premise deployments to ensure ongoing asset mobility, and underwrites a case for the portfolio of extended use terms with Software Assurance (SA) outside of the commonly associated soft benefits and new version rights.

The comparison between an ongoing commitment to maintenance in a volume agreement may principally come down to whether this is intended as a ‘full time’ workload or a ‘short term’ workload; with a overall comparison of Windows Azure versus an annualised commitment to Software Assurance (SA) for the relevant application servers.

  • Windows Server is not covered under License Mobility, but Microsoft have extended the software use terms for Volume Licensing customers, to support upload of Windows Server to Windows Azure (if they are bringing it as part of another License Mobility eligible product).
  • Microsoft will continue to charge for the Windows Server VM at the service rate applicable for the instance.
  • Windows Server CALs are not required for accessing Windows Server running in Windows Azure as access rights are included in the “per-minute” charge for the Virtual Machines
  • Customers can also adopt the License Mobility extended use right under Software Assurance (SA) to assign System Center 2012 license(s) to a Windows Server instance running on Windows Azure.
  • System Center Standard license can be assigned to manage 2 VMs
  • System Center Datacenter, can be assigned to manage 8 VMs
  • Customers can adopt two approaches for SQL Server, the first approach is to obtain the relevant SQL image from Windows Azure on a “pay-per-minute” service rate; the second approach is to upload the relevant SQL image under the License Mobility extended use terms available under ‘active’ Software Assurance (SA).
  • Similarly, if the customer is a hosted service provider, and the end-customer is not able to assign eligible license assets under the extended use terms, upon signing of the Service Provider License Agreement (SPLA) the hosted service provider can:
            • Obtain a SQL image from the Windows Azure VM gallery and pay the per-minute rate of SQL Server, or
    • Install or upload a SQL Server Standard image with Subscriber Access License (SAL), reported via your SPLA
    • Please note that in either case, running multiple SQL instances within a single Windows Azure VM from the gallery is not supported as of 10.03.2014
    • In an Active/Passive configuration. Each Windows Azure VM deployed will continue to require assigned licenses for SQL Server. To accomplish this, for each VM a customer must do the following:
    • Install or upload your own SQL Server image using the License Mobility benefits under Software Assurance, or,
    • Obtain a SQL image from the Windows Azure VM gallery and pay the per-minute rate of SQL Server
    • Effective January 1, 2014, Volume Licensing customers who have active Software Assurance on their RDS User CALs are entitled to RDS CAL Extended Rights, which allow use of their RDS User CAL with Software Assurance against a Windows Server running on Windows Azure or other service providers’ shared server environments.
    • This RDS User CAL Software Assurance benefit allows each User to access RDS functionality only on one shared server environment (i.e. Windows Azure or a third party server) in addition to access the respective on premise servers.
    • To avail this benefit, please complete and submit the License Mobility Verification form to either Windows Azure or an Authorized Mobility Partner where the hosted graphical user interface will be running. More details are available in Appendix 2 of the Software Assurance benefit section of the PUR (Product Use Rights).
    • Microsoft care careful to emphasise that Windows 7 or Windows 8 are not available as a multi-tenant Desktop-as-a-Service on Azure or any other Service Provider.

    [Ref: Windows Azure Pricing and Licensing FAQ. Last Accessed: 10.03.2014]

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    • MSDN: At the point in time of  June 1st, 2013, any current MSDN subscriber who activated their subscription may run most of the software licensed under MSDN on Windows Azure VMs, providing greater flexibility for developing and testing  applications.
    • This cloud use right applies to all software included in the MSDN subscription except Windows client and Windows Server.
    • Windows Client OS (Windows 7, Windows 8) is only licensed to run on local devices.
    • MSDN subscribers can run Windows Server on Windows Azure VMs, but since this is not included as part of the cloud use rights, subscribers will be charged at the rate of Windows Server Virtual Machines.
    • This cloud use right be available through Qualified MSDN Cloud Partners as well.
    • More details on this new program will be made available soon. Please consult the Visual Studio and MSDN licensing white paper for additional details on cloud use rights.
    • In addition to this new use right for MSDN subscribers, Microsoft updated the Windows Azure MSDN benefit to provide MSDN subscribers a monthly credit to use toward Windows Azure services and reduced rates for running Windows Server Virtual Machines.

    [Ref: Windows Azure Pricing and Licensing FAQ. Last Accessed: 10.03.2014]

A full comparative approach to cloud strategy analysis, while not in scope of this article, can be explored with SoftwareONE Advisory Services.


2014 Summary

  • Microsoft aim to provide more transparency, customers commit to an annual monetary amount as part of an Enterprise Agreement (EA) purchasing programs and receive an incentivised price point aligned to the EA waterfall (A-D)
  • Microsoft publicly promise to match AWS prices on compute, storage and bandwidth, promoting ‘best pricing available via EA purchasing model’
  • Services utilised in excess of the annual monetary amount are charged at the agreed consumption rates, overage rate was discontinued.
  • Annual up-front monetary commitment can be forfeit if consumption is below assigned credited amount.
  • Service reduction available at Anniversary (Upon request).
  • The service is co-terminus with the chosen volume agreement
  • Pricing in the Customer Price Sheet (CPS) and detailed ‘future pricing table’ available only upon explicit customer request
  • The consumption allowance for direct contract customers,  allows a threshold of 50% overage of the annual Monetary Commitment to resources, billed at the end of the year.  Threshold notices are sent at 50%, 75%, 90% and 100% of threshold.
  • Any additional usage over the monetary commitment, but below the consumption allowance, is invoiced annually in arrears; any additional usage over the monetary commitment, and in excess of the consumption allowance, is invoiced quarterly in arrears.
  • >50% beyond commitment initiates quarterly billing
  • Organisations who pre-commit to set upfront commitment may be eligible for monetary service credit to Windows Azure Account.
  • Organisations can also leverage an accredited partner for support with activation, testing and deployment.

As discussed in this article, it is recommended to work with a expert with access to an accurate cloud pricing analysis platform, this may require an independent advisory practice (with expertise across commercial, governance and technical disciplines) interoperable with global accreditation as a ‘cloud broker’ for all principal service providers. Arguably, only this level of accreditation, global presence and independent consultancy across disciplines, (which is principally vendor agnostic), with visibility of on-premise approaches can support a framework for comparative pricing analysis of cloud services.

A full comparative approach to cloud strategy , taking into account on-premise software strategy  (while not in scope of this article) can be explored with SoftwareONE Advisory Services.


About

This website is a way to give back to the licensing community and as an information resource for all customers that work with Microsoft software and licensing. I hope you find it of value.

Tony Mackelworth is Microsoft Advisory Services – Practice Lead at SoftwareONE

As always, If you would like to reach out for a coffee or a meeting under NDA, Email or connect via Twitter or LinkedIn

Tony lives with his wife in Oxford, England.


MSDN Subscriptions Comparison

If you’re looking for a quick online resource for comparing MSDN Subscriptions check out this table on the Microsoft Website

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Hope you find of value [Last checked 03/03/14]

- Tony Mackelworth


About

This website is a way to give back to the licensing community and as an information resource for all customers that work with Microsoft software and licensing. I hope you find it of value.

Tony Mackelworth is a Senior Licensing Specialist at SoftwareONE

As always, If you would like to reach out for a coffee or a meeting under NDA, Email or connect via Twitter or LinkedIn

Tony lives with his wife in Oxford, England.


Managing and Reporting Microsoft Licensing on SPLA

This may be of value to organisations that host services based on the Microsoft Technology Stack. The  Software Lifecycle Portal  enables hosted service providers to manage and transact licenses on behalf of their customers.

Hope you find it of value – also worth checking out my colleagues blog http://splalicensing.com/

– Tony Mackelworth


About

This website is a way to give back to the licensing community and as an information resource for all customers that work with Microsoft software and licensing. I hope you find it of value.

Tony Mackelworth is a Senior Licensing Specialist at SoftwareONE

As always, If you would like to reach out for a coffee or a meeting under NDA, Email or connect via Twitter or LinkedIn

Tony lives with his wife in Oxford, England.


An Overview of License Re-Assignment During a Failover Event

The objective of this article is to review the publicly available documentation available on SQL Server. This will look at the publicly available information on the ‘failover right’ associated with SQL Server.

  • This article is not intended to replace the Product Use Rights or Product List or other binding contractual documents
  • The Use Rights or Terms of Service for each Product of Version are available within the Product Use Rights and further product-specific conditions or limitations on the acquisition of licenses of licenses or use of products are in the Product List
  • Please be aware that any licensing information could be subject to change. This document confers no rights and is provided for information purposes only.
  • Please be aware, my own emphasis may have been added to quotations and extracts from 3rd party sources.
  • As always, If you would like to book a consultation, available under NDA , please drop me a note via email

An Overview

Many organisations adopt failover technologies to re-assign  workloads from a primary server to a secondary standby server when a production server fails.

Under the SQL 2008 R2  Product-Specific-License Terms for SQL Server, a standby server that is considered ‘passive’ (and not running any active workloads or reports) would generally not require a license to be assigned. This includes back-up and restore related tasks under the passive designation.

This passive failover server rule  would commonly support situations when a primary server suffers a hardware or software failure (or is taken offline for routine maintenance or patch management) and requires the secondary ‘passive’ server to take over completely for ‘temporary’ support.

A secondary server, utilised solely to maintain a copy of the database and will never take over from the primary does also fall under the ‘passive’ designation, however the passive failover server rule will only support a single designated passive server under the allowance for each primary licensed server.


The Product Use Rights

As an extract below, the Product Use Rights (published in July 2010, Page 63 of 136) (the first PUR after 2008 R2 General Availability) explained this exception as follows:

“Fail-over Servers. For any operating system environment in which you run instances of the server software, you may run up to the same number of passive fail-over instances in a separate operating system environment for temporary support.  The number of physical and virtual processors used in that separate operating system environment must not exceed the number of physical and virtual processors used in the corresponding operating system environment in which the active instances are running.  You may run the passive fail-over instances on a server other than the licensed server.”).

As an extract below, the Product Use Rights (published in January 2012, Page 58 of 147) – the last archived PUR before general availability (GA) of SQL 2012 – uses almost identical wording and explains the exception as follows:

“For any OSE in which you run instances of the server software, you may run up to the same number of passive fail-over instances in a separate OSE for temporary support. The number of physical and virtual processors used in that separate OSE must not exceed the number of physical and virtual processors used in the corresponding OSE in which the active instances are running. You may run the passive fail-over instances on a server other than the licensed server.”

Upon the general release of SQL 2012, the Product-Specific License Terms do not appear to explicitly indicate a change in the passive failover server rule. For reference purposes, here is an extract from the latest PUR under the Product-Specific License Terms for SQL Server 2012 Standard Edition. This again uses almost identical wording to previous iterations.

“Fail-Over Rights

For any OSE in which you use Running Instances of the server software, you may use up to the same number of passive fail-over Running Instances in a separate OSE on any Server for temporary support.“

[Ref: Product Use Rights, January 2014, Page 37]

“Fail-over Servers

For any OSE in which you use Running Instances of the server software, you may use up to the same number of passive fail-over Running Instances in a separate OSE on any Server for temporary support. However, if you license based on Physical Cores and the OSE in which you use the passive fail-over Running Instances is on a separate Server, the number of Physical Cores on the separate Server must not exceed the number of Physical Cores on the Licensed Server and the Core Factor for the Physical Processors in that Server must be the same or lower than the Core Factor for the Physical Processors in the Licensed Server. If you license by individual Virtual OSE, the number of Hardware Threads used in that separate OSE must not exceed the number of Hardware Threads used in the OSE in which the active Running Instances are used.”


Microsoft Advisory Guidance

Microsoft provided a guidance document, originally published way back in July 2008,  that provided a good insight into server ‘failover rights’, with an extract here as follows:

“When doing failover support, a server is designated as the passive server. The purpose of the passive server is to absorb the data and information held in another server that fails. A passive server does not need a license, provided that the number of processors in the passive server is equal or less than those of the active server. The passive server can take the duties of the active server for 30 days. Afterward, it must be licensed accordingly

[Ref: SQL Server 2008 Pricing and Licensing, July 2008, Page 2 of 5]

The wording of the Product Use Rights and prior released guidance, (published in July 2008), may therefore support interpretation of  the passive failover server rule as actually two separate but ultimately connected allowances:

  1. A right to have running instances which are classified as passive instances ins a separate OSE.
  2. The passive instances can be used ‘for temporary support’, (with restrictions)

Restrictions

Operational logic of the failover right for SQL:-

  1. There can only ne one unlicensed passive node for every active node, the licenses assigned to the primary must be sufficient to cover the secondary.
  2. Passive servers do not require licenses to be assigned, but are unable to run any production workloads, but backup and restore related tasks are an important exception.
  3. When database mirroring, the secondary server cannot provide reporting functions.
  4. The backup server can take over during a failure or system maintenance, i.e. hardware or software failure, or routine system maintenance.
  5. The duration of the failover event is for ‘temporary support’, this is commonly interpreted as 30 days.
  6. The server cannot be sequestered for short-term transaction load-balancing.
  7. The passive node must takeover completely, no production workloads must remain, (so all databases must move together for database mirroring or log shipping), both active and passive nodes cannot be in an active production capacity.

Non-Binding Guidance on SQL 2012 – Failover Rights

Microsoft Volume Licensing communicated a change of how the operational logic of a failover event is conceptually approached, addressed in non-binding advisory guidance 16 months after general availability, this was via the popular technet blog; under the following statement:

“[…] You do not require SA for SQL Server Fail-over Rights, but once you activate the Passive Fail-Over server in a DR then that Passive Fail-over becomes the active server (during a fail-over event) and it must be fully licensed for SQL Server.  You can accomplish this by assigning new licenses to the (now active) passive server, or by reassigning existing licenses from the primary server to the backup server once the instances of SQL Server on the primary server are inactive and no longer performing SQL Server workloads.”

Wherein, Microsoft admit “What this means is that your SQL Server 2012 licenses without SA may only be reassigned once every 90 days.  This may not fit your fail-over strategy very well.”

The non-binding advisory content of the  TechNet blog indicates that under the software use terms for SQL 2012, during a failover event the primary licensed server would need to have the license reassigned to the passive server at point of failover. The legacy approach, to license only the ‘active’ node of an Active/Passive SQL Server cluster seems to have been curtailed as an extended use right, and would markedly depart from the license precedent of product-specific licensing terms for 2008 and 2008 R2.

The change in precedent was not explicitly referenced in the first non-binding advisory licensing guide document published two months after general availability in June 2012.

“The secondary server used for failover support does not need to be separately licensed for SQL Server as long as it is truly passive. If it is serving data, such as reports to clients running active SQL Server workloads, or performing any “work” such as additional backups being made from secondary servers, then it must be licensed for SQL Server”.

“Primary server licenses include support for one secondary server only, and any additional secondary servers must be licensed for SQL Server. Note: The rights to run a passive instance of SQL Server for temporary support are not transferable to other licensed servers for purposes of providing multiple passive secondary servers to a single primary server.”

“When licensing SQL Server 2012 under the Per Core model, the number of core licenses must be based on the server that requires the higher number of licenses. This way, when the failover server takes over, it is adequately licensed. For a passive instance of SQL Server to be properly licensed, it cannot require more core licenses than the licensed primary system”

[Ref: SQL Server Licensing Guide, June 2012, Page 14 of 25]

To explore this a little further, in the advisory literature I have included the later amended  Licensing Guide, March 1st 2013, Page 15 extract in full:

“Failover Basics

For each properly licensed instance of SQL Server, customers can run a supporting passive instance in a separate OSE for temporary support—that is, to synchronize with the primary server and otherwise maintain the passive database instance in a warm standby state in order to minimize downtime due to hardware or software failure.

A passive SQL Server instance is one that is not serving SQL Server data to clients or running active SQL Server workloads. This passive failover instance can run on a server other than the licensed server.

The secondary server used for failover support does not need to be separately licensed for SQL Server as long as it is truly passive. If it is serving data, such as reports to clients running active SQL Server workloads, or performing any “work” such as additional backups being made from secondary servers, then it must be licensed for SQL Server.

Primary server licenses include support for one secondary server only, and any additional secondary servers must be licensed for SQL Server.

•Note: The rights to run a passive instance of SQL Server for temporary support are not transferable to other licensed servers for purposes of providing multiple passive secondary servers to a single primary server.

•When licensing SQL Server 2012 under the Per Core model, the number of core licenses must be based on the server that requires the higher number of licenses. This way, when the failover server takes over, it is adequately licensed. For a passive instance of SQL Server to be properly licensed, it cannot require more core licenses than the licensed primary system.

•In the event that a passive instance of SQL Server becomes active for any reason, then it must be fully licensed accordingly. This can be accomplished by assigning new licenses to the (now active) secondary server, or by reassigning existing licenses from the primary server (once the primary instances are inactive and no longer performing SQL Server workloads). License Mobility, a Software Assurance (SA) benefit, may allow for more flexibility with license reassignment. For details on reassignment considerations without SA, refer to the Licensing SQL Server for Application Mobility section of this guide.”

[Ref: SQL Server 2012 Licensing Reference Guide, March 1st 2013, Page 15]


Final Thoughts

Any conflict in interpretation, and likely the crux of the matter, could likely be  dependent on  the interpretation of  the “fail-over rights” as a single or two separate allowances:

  1. A right to have running instances which are classified as passive instances ins a separate OSE.
  2. The passive instances can be used ‘for temporary support’, (with restrictions)

The TechNet blog would appear to interpret the passive failover server rule as limited to an allowance under the primary licensed server to run a secondary passive failover server under the ‘passive’ designation, but at point of failover and the secondary passive failover taking over completely, the license on the assigned primary licensed server is required to be re-assigned.

This much later non-binding interpretation of fail-over rights in the TechNet blog could have a real impact for  organisations that adopt a 30 day patching cycle and would underwrite an even stronger case for Software Assurance (SA) for organisations seeking to enable ‘license mobility within server farms’ to allow re-assignment of SQL Licenses ‘as often as needed’ outside of the restrictive ‘90 rule’. This is compounded by the previous restriction of SQL Enterprise Edition license mobility under the 2012 schema as requiring active Software Assurance.

While the TechNet blog would be a subtle, but significant change to how the fail-over rights in the Product Use Rights are interpreted by Microsoft and its subsidiaries. It is  strongly recommended to refer to all binding-documentation, rather than relying solely on non-binding advisory documentation, even Microsoft’s own websites and blogs. While this interpretation is commonly shared by licensing professionals, trainers and Microsoft subsidiaries, always look directly at all relevant binding documentation to ascertain the true impact to your current failover model.


About

This website is a way to give back to the licensing community and as an information resource for all customers that work with Microsoft software and licensing. I hope you find it of value.

Tony Mackelworth is a Senior Licensing Specialist at SoftwareONE

If you would like to book an in-depth Licensing Workshop or Microsoft Strategy Workshop please drop me an email and connect with me on Twitter

Tony lives with his wife in Oxford, England.


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About

This website is a way to give back to the licensing community and as an information resource for all customers that work with Microsoft software and licensing. I hope you find it of value.

Tony Mackelworth is a Senior Licensing Specialist at SoftwareONE

As always, If you would like to reach out for a coffee or a meeting under NDA, Email or connect via Twitter or LinkedIn

Tony lives with his wife in Oxford, England.