Licensing the Cloud with Microsoft.

To subscribe to the Cloud directly is easy, is a simple transaction based on consumption, however the co-existence of old traditional Volume licensing, or Service Provider licensing programs with the new Cloud subscriptions is not that easy. In fact to make sure that new benefits for the Cloud enablement like the Software Assurance Mobility Rights are properly used requires attention to the licenses allocated to the servers on Windows Azure, for example. Understanding the real rights and possibilities is another variable to contemplate when measuring compliance.

Hosted providers do not offer much guidance with respect of what their clients can allocate on licensing into the Cloud environments, and is often a conflict of responsibilities when the vendor audits the hosted provider or the end-user client.

In the Microsoft Product Use Rights for example we can observe the limitations of the licenses covered by SA with respect to their Cloud options with the Mobility Rights: (see table below)

Understanding the right coverage of the license is important in order to maintain not only compliance but also to predict Cloud budgets.

Clients with an Azure consumption negotiated on their Enterprise Agreement can use any of the services and increase without difficulty, and as they evolve using the Cloud services will be important to understand the ROI of the existing licenses versus the newly consume and fully subscribed licenses. In a way Cloud has enable transitions of existing licensing investments however at the same time is creating a conflict:

Is the Cloud subscription directly on Microsoft Azure a better option than the SA Mobility Rights?

As prices vary, the Cloud footprint extends and upgrade cycles arrive, the SA renewal will be confronted by the commitment to Azure subscriptions in a way that customers will choose one or the other.

For Microsoft clients using other third-party hosted providers the question is:

Have I allocated the compliant rights of use on the Cloud? and if I consume SPLA, is my hosted provider compliant? Am I compliant? Or am I at risk due to hosted provider error?

I can confidently say that Software Asset Management has become more relevant in the Cloud era.

(SAM Mobility Rights table as per PUR July 2014)

PRODUCT LICENSINGMODEL PRODUCT OR PRODUCT TYPE LICENSE PERMITTED NUMBER OF OSES PERLICENSE/PERMITTED NUMBER OF

CORES PER LICENSE

Server/CAL External Connector Licenses Each External Connector license with active Software Assurance coverage 1 OSE per license
Server/CAL SQL Server Each Server license with active Software Assurance coverage 1 OSE per license
Per-Processor All eligible Products Each Processor license with active Software Assurance coverage 1 OSE with up to 4 virtual processors per license
Per-Core All eligible Products Each Core license with active Software Assurance coverage One virtual core (subject to the Product Use Rights including the requirement of a minimum of 4 cores per OSE)
Management Servers System Center ServerManagement Licenses

(versions prior to System

Center 2012)

Each Server Management license with active Software Assurance coverage 1 Managed OSE per license
Management Servers System Center Server Management Suites Each SMSE or SMSDlicense with active Software Assurance coverage 4 Managed OSEs per License
Management Servers System Center 2012 R2 Standard Each System Center 2012R2 Standard Server Management license with active Software Assurance coverage 2 Managed OSEs per license
Management Servers System Center 2012 R2 Datacenter Each System Center 2012R2 Datacenter Server Management license with active Software Assurance coverage 8 Managed OSEs per license
Management Servers Visual Studio Deployment 2013 Standard Each Visual StudioDeployment 2013

Standard Server

Management license with active Software Assurance coverage

2 Managed OSEs per license
Management Servers Visual Studio Deployment 2013 Datacenter Each Visual StudioDeployment 2013

Datacenter Server Management license with active Software Assurance coverage

8 Managed OSEs per license
Specialty Servers HPC Pack Enterprise Each Server license with active Software Assurance coverage 1 OSE per license

 

Get ready for a Licensing Audit and get the vendor to fund it

Certified companies for SAM services like AMTRA are able to prepare companies and help them to pro-actively report their licensing status to vendors.

In the case of Microsoft, the SAM team partners with clients to get compliance ready in a friendly engagement that distance itself from the traditional audit approach that takes so many IT leaders by surprise.

Some vendors divide the exercise of hunting for compliance issues in two categories:

  • Soft Audit: just requesting general information on existing installations
  • Audit: full analysis and reconciliation of the client using the empowerment of the agreed terms and conditions (that normally no one takes in consideration until the vendor shows up)

However Microsoft has changed the pace of these engagements by allowing clients to proactively report, and experience shows that the “friendly” gathering and reconciliation of the data helps organizations to fix issues and arrive to better agreements when they willingly and proactively approach the vendor, it is called “Baseline”.

For this reason the Baseline SAM services for Microsoft could also be done using a pool of funds to help clients to fulfill these task, plus they also help clients to Assess and deploy SAM Services. Only a few companies are able to provide these services, and as mentioned AMTRA Solutions is one of them, servicing clients globally.

What is left after the exercise is a full understanding of the licensing compliance status. Now these by itself is useful for the vendor however the organizations can have these done as a starting point for a more Dynamic SAM process and assessments to truly avoid any noncompliance issue in the future.

It is key to understand and strategize SAM Baseline services as a way to get the Vendor involved and a SAM partner to help reducing typical compliance and costs risks.

For more information on SAM Baseline let’s discuss: @mslicensing @amtrasolutions

Calling for a change on OEM OS licensing… because I like other devices.

Windows 8 (8.1) is a single experience for all devices. It works for some people, not really for me, I like different experiences in life. Despite my personal taste on OS use, the premise behind Microsoft’s OS campaign is that one single OS can deliver the same experience on a phone, pc or tablet.

Microsoft has done a very good job at owning the OS market for many years on the pc side. Today’s evolution of devices claims a more open market. We have “phablets”, tablets and phones doing more tasks we used to do on a pc than ever before. We chose devices qualifying them for more than we used to… the graphics, size, entertainment purposes beyond work, cameras, level of connectivity etc…

As we evolve on our use of multiple devices I imagine that having a “single experience” across all devices must be a very good premise to capture market as Microsoft marketing strategy, however going back to basics, like many years ago, we should get the device we like because of the functionality we seek.

In some cases Android devices have the perfect attributes for certain jobs, still for work purposes I would prefer to combine a Windows OS on the same device as my Android OS. Taking virtualization to the device even the mobile device and tablet will help us to use them in different scenarios in life.

As the revenue war is driven more towards Office 365 these days. Productivity tools should be available on any OS. And I know that what I am asking here is hard.., but it will be so much interesting, flexible, and user-friendly if we could obtain the OS separate from the device, or add to it a partition.

I heard rumors that this is coming to the mobile world. I wonder how OEM OS licensing rights will change to enable a new reality… Diversity.

 

O365 for Enterprise

O365 is born for the masses but there is a strong push to have every Enterprise Agreement including the bridge CAL or O365 subscriptions to enable the use of Microsoft Cloud in the Enterprise level clients.

Things that should be offered:

  • A clear VLK and MAK allowed deployment practices. So customers using SCCM or any other management and operations tool can push software instead of using O365 methods.
  • Extending the SMB O365 subscriptions to include on premise CAL use rights. Allowing those EAs on the 250 to 300 device count or user count range to benefit from a lower O365 cost starting point.
  • EAs could totally transform to subscription however after decades of investment allowing clients to own the licenses instead of making a decision to use a subscription that ends services if discontinued. It will be nice for long-term Microsoft Enterprise clients to see this in the T&Cs.
  • And maybe last wish, have an O365 option that includes windows server CALs.

There is a still a long way to go for O365 to be positioned in the Enterprise, not only “sold” to the Enterprise but “used” and consume, more flexible licensing and deployment practices will help.

 

 

Office 365 on EA, the transition…

Office 365 is offered to Microsoft customers with an Enterprise Agreement (EA) as a subscription add-on, now offering the ability to use a “bridge CAL” to transition the use of Microsoft Cloud.

The complexities of changes on the licensing Customer Price Sheet, amendments and exceptions is going to be a very significant subject for existing EAs. Customers need to carefully understand the service delivery of Cloud, security liability and data recovery protection, to build the terms and conditions appropriately.

One example could be the initiative to license Office Pro Plus for Office 365 on an EA. Today there is no information to validate the use of VLKs (Volume Licensing Keys) for product activation on Citrix or Remote Desktop Services environments. The rights of use are there but not how to deliver it.

Another careful consideration to add to terms and conditions is the Kiosk License, to also include shared mailbox features, to allow continuing practices by users while re-educating them to use SharePoint if necessary.

For the Enterprise it is necessary a careful consideration of terms, definition and delivery practices. It may be a good moment to adventure yourself into discussions with Microsoft to accommodate your EA needs to your use of the Cloud and build with Microsoft the necessary processes to effectively go Cloud.

Ultimately I am hoping Microsoft licensing will understand and accommodate real technical delivery soon in the Office 365 service delivery details to mitigate concerns.

 

Office 365 and RDS second round

Office 365 and RDS second round
In a previous post : https://josefhanslara.wordpress.com/2012/09/27/office-365-cannot-be-used-as-remote-desktop-services-terminal-services/
I commented on Office Pro Plus from Office 365 not having rights for RDS deployments
the licensing documentation still says that, however the way around it is selling the O365 Office Pro Plus on Volume Licensing
Problems: you need to have active SA and Office purchased. This is difficult if you have to decide buying the licenses if you don’t have SA. It sounds like double purchasing
Another solution: It is worth to talk to your Microsoft contact to inquire on an exception available for this kind of RDS scenario to grant you the rights.
Still waiting to see this in action, I will comment again, I am sure.

Office 365, a new way to get CALs

English: M in blue square (similar to seen on )

Sometimes I am amazed about the changes on licensing that are coming thanks to the Cloud. It is obvious that Microsoft is putting its socks on to enable the transition to Cloud licensing faster and with agility.

Here is another example

Office 365 entitles you to us as CALs in your on premise infrastructure for the equivalent licenses you are using in the Cloud

This is an example for Lync, note that you can also see similar for SharePoint, Forefront, and Exchange etc.

Lync Server 2010 Enterprise

The license terms that apply to your use of this product are the Universal License Terms, the General License Terms for this Licensing Model, and the following:     

Self-Hosting of Applications Allowed: No   Additional Software: Yes

License Mobility Within Server Farms: Yes

Included Technologies: .NET Framework and/or Powershell Software (See Universal License Terms)

BASE CALs

You need:

•           Lync Server 2010 Standard CAL, or

•           Core CAL Suite3, or

•           Core CAL Bridge for Windows Intune3, or

•           Enterprise CAL Suite1, or

•           Enterprise CAL Bridge for Windows Intune2, or

•           Lync Plan 1 USL, or

•           Lync Plan 1G USL, or

•           Lync Plan 2 USL, or       

•           Office 365 Plan E1-E4 User SL, or

•           Office 365 Plan A3-A4 User SL,

 

ADDITIVE CALs

Additional Functionality:

•           Audio, Video and Web Conferencing

•           Desktop Sharing Required Additive CAL:

•           Lync Server 2010 Enterprise CAL, or

•           Enterprise CAL Suite1, or

•           Enterprise CAL Bridge for Windows Intune2, or

•           Lync Plan 2 User SL , or

•           Office 365 Plan E1-E4 User SL, or

•           Office 365 Plan A3-A4 User SL, or

•           Live Meeting Standard User SL, or

•           Live Meeting Professional User SL

1 with active Software Assurance coverage on December 1, 2010, or later

2 with active Software Assurance coverage on March 1, 2011, or later

 Additional Functionality:

•           Voice Telephony

•           Call Management            Required Additive CAL:

•           Lync Server 2010 Plus CAL, or

•           Lync Online Plan 3 User SL, or

•           Office 365 Plan E4 User SL

Some licenses will need the following:

Active Software Assurance coverage on December 1, 2010, or later

Active Software Assurance coverage on March 1, 2011, or later

Active Software Assurance coverage on August 1, 2011, or later

 

This is in my opinion a helpful way to transition from Volume Licensing to Cloud Licensing in this case with Office 365, helping the “mobility rights” not only from Software Assurance to the Cloud but from the Cloud back to the traditional infrastructure.

Source of information: Microsoft Product Use Rights