Azure SQL Database failover rights

Microsoft add new failover rights for Azure SQL Database to the December 2023 Product Terms. Now, when a secondary database replica is used only for disaster recovery, and doesn’t have any workloads running on it or applications connecting to it, you can save on licensing costs by designating the database as a standby replica. Microsoft provide you with the number of vCores licensed in the primary database at no extra charge, but you’re still billed for the compute and storage that the secondary database uses.

Find the announcement here:, the relevant part of the Product Terms here:, and instructions for configuring the standby replica here:

Office/Microsoft 365 EEA offerings

Late in August 2023, Microsoft announced that there would be changes to the offerings available in the European Economic Area and Switzerland to address European competition concerns – you can read that article here: These offerings are now live in the October 2023 Product Terms, so here’s the summary…

A customer in these regions who has not purchased Office 365 E1/E3/E5 or Microsoft 365 E3/E5 before 1 October, 2023 must now buy “EEA (no Teams)” SKUs – which, as the names suggest, don’t include Teams. If the customer does want Teams, then they need to purchase a separate Teams EEA User SL for their users. If they have purchased any of these licences before 1 October then they can add more licences and renew existing Subscriptions.

For Microsoft 365 Business Basic/Standard/Premium, customers in the affected regions will be able to choose the original offerings or new EEA flavours without Teams. The same goes for Microsoft 365 F1/F3 and Office 365 F3.

This site, aimed at partners, has information about pricing, and a useful FAQ document:

Windows Server 2022 licensing changes

Microsoft have made a number of changes to Windows Server 2022 licensing, detailed in the April 2023 Product Terms.

First of all they’ve removed the requirement for a customer to have a minimum of 16 Windows Server Core licences in their estate before they can take advantage of licensing by virtual machine or use the Azure Hybrid Benefit. Secondly, there’s a change to the Azure Hybrid Benefit where Windows Server Core licences no longer have to be kept in groups of 8 when licensing a virtual machine with more than 8 cores – previously a 20-core virtual machine would have needed 24 licences (3×8), now it just needs 20.

Then there are changes to the rights when Windows Server licences are acquired as Software Subscriptions through CSP. If a customer has these licenses then they may use Standard licences with Windows Server Datacenter virtual machines. This right is available to them if they’re running their virtual machines in their own on-premises data centres, or with Authorized Outsourcers.

And finally there are changes when a CSP-Hoster partner sells Windows Server Software Subscription licences as part of a solution which they are hosting and managing for a customer. In this case, there’s no need for Windows Server CALs or External Connector licences, and the right to use Standard licences with Datacenter images also applies as above.

SQL Server 2022 licensing

There’s a new SQL Server 2022 Licensing Guide ( and Datasheet (, and the Product Terms is also updated ( for SQL Server 2022. Here are the key licensing changes to be aware of:

  • Licensing by virtual machine with Core licenses is now an SA/Software Subscription benefit
  • When licensing by virtual machine a customer can run SQL Server in any number of containers in the virtual machine
  • Customers with active SA/Software Subscriptions may now use Azure SQL Managed Instance as their preferred fail-over server option in Azure for disaster recovery

SQL Server 2022 licenses with SA or purchased as Software Subscriptions are also eligible for the Flexible Virtualization Benefit, introduced in October 2022, enabling customers to use their licences with any Authorized Outsourcer’s shared hardware. Find the Flexible Virtualization Benefit Licensing Guide here:

And finally, there’s the new PAYG option where customers can pay for SQL Server on a consumption basis from $0.1 per hour for a Standard Core, and $0.375 for an Enterprise Core for Azure Arc-enabled servers. Find out more about how that all works here:

Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise is now an EOLS

There’s a change to the status of Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise when it’s purchased through an Enterprise Agreement. It’s now designated as an Enterprise Online Service which means that it doesn’t need to be purchased enterprise-wide and 500 licences can be acquired to start an Enterprise Online Services-only enrolment.

Find the relevant page of the Product Terms site here:

External user licensing requirements for Teams

Microsoft update the Product Terms site for May 1, 2021 by confirming that User SLs are not required for any user to join a Teams meeting or a Teams Live event. User SLs are also not required for external users to participate in Teams channels as a Guest with an Azure AD External Identity: