Microsoft Changes Terms for Public Cloud Licensing

Vic Milne 08-Aug-2019 10:38:38

Microsoft are changing their license terms - but what does that mean for you?

You may have heard that Microsoft are changing their terms from October 31st 2019, and that they are going to promote Azure by applying some licensing restrictions to any public cloud other than Azure, by changing their licencing terms. (This is in much the same way as Oracle improved its licensing terms for running Oracle on Oracle Cloud compared to other public clouds in January 2017).

However, upon closer inspection the changes that Microsoft are making are far more subtle than that. It takes quite a lot of digging to find out exactly what those changes are and what they mean to you, the Microsoft customer, so DSP-Explorer have done the legwork for you.

Read on for all you need to know about Microsoft's changing licensing terms.


What do these changes mean?

It has always been the case that you needed mobility rights - excepting certain scenarios - when using dedicated hardware in a hosted providers datacentre.

This move confirms that position and closes those “loopholes” whereby you could bypass the restrictions. In reality DSP-Explorer see this as a good thing as it clears up the kind of ambiguity around migrations that we have seen far too often, most recently regarding the SQL Server 2008 End of Support that came into effect on the 9th of July. If you are still struggling with this then please speak to us (you aren’t alone!)

The changes in Microsoft’s Terms bring with it a push towards managing licences through a subscription term, just as you do with your Cloud environments. 


The Microsoft Solution

Microsoft have a little-known product called Server Subscriptions; these are licences that you can purchase for a term of 1 or 3 years that match up nicely with the terms of reserved instances with your cloud provider.  As a result, you no longer need to be purchasing perpetual licences that then act as shelf-ware when your cloud subscription is retired.  As a Microsoft direct CSP partner, DSP-Explorer can help you to understand if this could be the right course of action for your environments.

If your SQL Server Installation is going to be running for 5+ Years and it makes commercial sense to purchase licences, then why wouldn’t you take the security of upgrades and security patches available through SA?  In which case, the changes to Microsoft’s terms won’t affect the more cautious among us.


Bottom line: don't panic.

As always with these announcements many questions have already been raised within businesses:

  • What cloud should we use - are we on the right one?
  • What licence model, subscription, perpetual, term?
  • What variety of SQL Server, Managed Instance, Azure SQL, Amazon RDS, IaaS?


DSP-Explorer have experienced solution architects and licencing specialists in Azure, Oracle Cloud and Amazon Web Services. Let us help you navigate these options and make sure your business no longer needs to ask those questions.



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