The Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server can be used with Azure resources such as SQL Databases or Managed Instances, or SQL Server running in a virtual machine. This means that customers can bring their own licences with SA (or Server Subscriptions acquired through CSP) to pay for the SQL Server part of the resources. Historically, the Azure Hybrid Benefit has always been activated at the resource level, but a new option means that customers can now manage it for a single Azure Subscription or for a whole Billing Account.
This new feature is enabled in the Azure Management Portal where you specify the number of eligible SQL Server licences you have which are then converted to Normalized Core Licenses (NCLs). Because SQL Server Enterprise and Standard Core licences can be combined in Azure in the ratio of 4:1, this NCL number calculates (in effect) the total number of Standard Core licences you have available. So, 8 Enterprise and 16 Standard Core licences = 8 x 4 + 16 = 48 NCLs. These NCLs are then automatically allocated to SQL resources running in the chosen scope, rather than the Azure Hybrid Benefit having to be manually activated by a human on each resource.
Scope-level management of the Azure Hybrid Benefit can be used with SQL Databases, SQL Managed Instances, SQL Elastic Pools or SQL Server running in an Azure VM, but only resource-level management is available for Azure Dedicated Hosts and Azure Data Factory SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS). Note too that it’s not an option currently available for Web Direct or CSP customers, only those buying through an Enterprise Agreement or direct from Microsoft via the Microsoft Customer Agreement.
Find tutorials, how-go guides and an FAQ at the docs site here: https://bit.ly/3n2IfAO.
Microsoft release some customer purchasing guidance, comparing CSP, the EA, Web Direct, and buying via the Microsoft Customer Agreement direct from Microsoft.
You can read the article here: https://bit.ly/3igCnRR, and/or get a standalone summary guide here: https://bit.ly/3xKVcmF.
In September 2020, Microsoft announced two promotions which entitle Enterprise Agreement and CSP customers to free Audio Conferencing licences. The changes listed on the Product Terms site for 1 February 2021 (http://bit.ly/3prduoo) confirm that these promotions are now extended to 30 June, 2021 from the previous end-date of 31 March, 2021.
Find the original announcement with details of the promotions here: https://bit.ly/33NIFkN.
Microsoft announce an update on the old Azure offer in CSP. Today, there are two offers that a partner can transact to sell the Azure consumption services to their customers: the “old” Azure offer which is the original way that partners transact these services, and the new Azure plan which is billed via the new commerce platform.
When the Azure plan launched, Microsoft were clear that at some point the old Azure offer would be retired, and there’s now information on the timeline for this to happen. Firstly, customers new to Azure will only be able to purchase through the Azure plan from 21 July 2021, then partner incentives for the old Azure offer will be retired sometime in 2022, and in the third phase, on a date to be determined, customers on the old Azure offer will be migrated to the Azure plan.
Find the announcement with a few more details here: http://bit.ly/3iEmhBu.
Microsoft announce the General Availability of perpetual software licences in CSP from 21 January 2021.
Commercial customers can now buy licences for a range of on-premises products through any CSP partner. This was previously only available for selected partners in some geographies, and additionally both the range of products and geographies are extended with this launch – if you’re interested in what’s been added, there’s a useful document here: https://bit.ly/3oehDLx, and the announcement itself is here: http://bit.ly/3iOCunF.
The Product Terms document is also updated with an additional CSP column to show availability of the on-premises products through this channel.
For customers to be eligible to purchase academic edition products they must meet the criteria detailed in the Qualified Educational User Definition document.
This document was updated in December 2020 to specifically include CSP as part of the Microsoft Customer Agreement, and now public libraries and public museums are eligible academic customers in the CSP program.
Find the updated document here: http://bit.ly/3bCGNP8, making sure you choose the right one for your region.
There’s a new (October 2020) Microsoft Licensing Brief to help you to answer questions around Windows 10 Qualifying Operating Systems.
Note though, that it’s not yet updated for the changes that were made to page 42 of the November 2020 Product Terms whereby Windows 10 Home licences are now qualifying licences for academic customers buying through CSP.
Find this document here: https://bit.ly/38xPnPR.
Microsoft announce that customers won’t be able to make new purchases through an Open agreement after 31 December, 2021. So, what does that mean for existing customers?
Licences with no Software Assurance
- Licences purchased through an Open agreement are perpetual and customers can continue to use these licences with no changes. New licences without SA can now be purchased through partners via the Cloud Solution Provider program
Licenses with Software Assurance
- Existing SA benefits continue to be available until the end of existing agreements with no changes, and then SA can be renewed into a new or existing Open Value agreement
Subscriptions for Online Services
- Existing subscriptions for services such as Office 365 can be renewed into a new or existing Open Value agreement or through CSP. If customers have purchased subscriptions in an Open agreement and not activated them, then they can still be activated without the need for any active agreements
- Pre-paid tokens are used to pay for Azure consumption services in the Open and Open Value agreements. A new Open Value non-Company Wide agreement can be signed by customers to purchase more tokens to power their existing Azure deployments without the need for any technical migrations
Read the announcement article for customers here: https://bit.ly/3jlRNDL and, if you’re a partner, find more useful information for you here: https://bit.ly/3jlVx8h.
The Microsoft Customer Agreement now governs a customer’s purchases through the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program, replacing the Microsoft Cloud Agreement, and the April 2020 Product Terms document is updated to reflect this. So, for example, on page 60 it’s stated that rights to install Exchange, SharePoint and Skype for Business Server are included with a Microsoft 365 E3/E5 User SL, but NOT if these licences have been acquired under the Microsoft Cloud Agreement or Microsoft Customer Agreement.
Find the Product Terms documents here: http://bit.ly/MSproductterms.
Microsoft announce that from 1 April, 2020 there will be a new Office 365 E1 trial available in CSP for up to 3,000 users for 6 months. Find the announcement in the article here: https://bit.ly/2UOvUTG and, if you’re a partner, find a useful FAQ here: https://bit.ly/3bWv7WD.