There’s an updated (October 2022) “Introduction to Microsoft Core licensing models” Licensing Brief from Microsoft. The main changes are for the new Windows Server per virtual machine licensing option, as well as the change for SQL Server and BizTalk Server where licensing by virtual machine is now a Software Assurance benefit.
Find this updated Licensing Brief here: https://bit.ly/3SWTn0u.
There’s a change to BizTalk Server 2020 licensing where the option to license at a virtual machine level becomes a Software Assurance benefit. Find the updated language in the Product Terms here: http://bit.ly/3AyCCSk.
There’s an updated (October 2022) “Licensing Microsoft server products in virtual environments” Licensing Brief from Microsoft.
There are updates for the new per virtual machine licensing model for Windows Server, the introduction of the Flexible Virtualization Benefit, and the changes for SQL Server 2022 where licensing by virtual machine becomes an SA/Software Subscription benefit.
Find this updated Licensing Brief here: https://bit.ly/3fG3BUw.
The License Mobility through SA overview document has been updated to include reference to the Flexible Virtualization Benefit. Find this customer-facing document here: https://bit.ly/3VBIyDa.
Microsoft introduce a new benefit for customers with Windows Server Datacenter licences with SA purchased through an Enterprise Agreement. It’s an extension to the Azure Hybrid Benefit and waives the fees for the Azure Stack HCI host service and Windows Server guest subscriptions, as long as all physical cores of the Azure Stack HCI cluster are licensed with Windows Server Datacenter Core licences.
You can find the announcement article here: https://bit.ly/3S4ldHf, and this is a good place to find out more, such as how the benefit is activated: https://bit.ly/3yOX54F.
There’s a brand new (October 2022) Licensing Guide for the new Flexible Virtualization Benefit. This allows customers licensed with Software Assurance or Software Subscriptions to use their licences with Authorized Outsourcers’ shared servers. The guide contains an overview of the benefit itself, a definition of Authorized Outsourcers, and details about using the benefit with SQL Server, Windows Server, and the desktop products. There are also FAQ and Resources sections at the end.
Find this new guide here: https://bit.ly/3T1kDe5.
Microsoft announce that there will be two significant licensing changes coming in October 2022.
Firstly, the outsourcing terms will be expanded via the Flexible Virtualization benefit which will allow customers to use their eligible licences with any Authorized Outsourcer’s shared hardware. Eligible licences are licences purchased through a Volume Licensing agreement with active Software Assurance, or Server Subscriptions purchased through CSP, and Authorized Outsourcers are any partners offering hosted solutions – apart from the Listed Providers (Alibaba, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft).
The second change is an additional licensing option for Windows Server for customers with active SA or Server Subscriptions: rather than being restricted to licensing the whole physical server, these customers will be able to choose to license at the virtual machine level – both in their own data centres or with an Authorized Outsourcer.
For more information, see the partner announcement here: https://bit.ly/3wFgQdw, or the customer announcement here: https://bit.ly/3CF8eaT.
The Power BI team announce a new version of Power BI Report Server. This product facilitates the distribution of interactive Power BI reports, traditionally within the boundaries of an organisation’s firewall. It’s not available to be purchased; the rights to install and use it are granted for customers who have active SA on SQL Server Enterprise Core licences, or Server Subscriptions for SQL Server Enterprise Core licences, or who have purchased Power BI Premium P SKUs.
Find the announcement here: https://bit.ly/3sZad3Y.
Microsoft announce some upcoming licensing changes for hosted solutions. These will allow partners to offer more solutions (notably hosted desktop solutions comprised of Windows and Office), and will allow customers more flexibility in where they use their existing licences.
This increased flexibility will come via changes to Software Assurance which will expand to allow customers to use their Windows, Office and Windows Server licences with any Cloud Provider partner on dedicated or multi-tenant hardware.
There’s no word yet on when exactly these changes will be implemented, but in the interim you can read the (very long) blog post here: https://bit.ly/3lkgvqD.
Azure Stack HCI is a virtualisation platform for Windows and Linux virtual machines, and customers have a choice as to how they license the Windows part of the VMs. Firstly, they can bring their own licences, and there’s no Software Assurance required when Azure Stack HCI is running as an on-premises solution dedicated to the customer.
From 1 April 2022 there’s a new option with the launch of special Windows Server Subscriptions specifically to license the guest (VM) operating systems on Azure Stack HCI. As is usual with Windows Server, you license at the physical core level, and a Windows Server Subscription costs $23.30 per physical core per month, with the first 60 days free.
Find the announcement here: https://bit.ly/3LrZXZd, and a useful page comparing the Windows Server licensing options for Azure Stack HCI here: https://bit.ly/3EW9zcz.