Reduce costs for cloud scenario’s by using Microsoft Subscriber Access License for Software Assurance (SAL-SA)

While software licensing is not the most sexiest thing, a good understanding of licensing is very import. Either to be sure not paying to much for licenses or to prevent an extra charge by a software vendor when an audit shows the customer is not compliant. In a series of blogposts I will try to give some information on licensing for Microsoft products in scenarios like:

  • moving workloads to the cloud
  • protecting workloads for a disaster by having a second instance running in a second location

While doing research on Microsoft licensing I learned a couple of things:

  1. Licensing is very complex. Fully understanding licensing is very time consuming
  2. Customers without Software Assurance (costs 25% of license cost per year) hardly have any benefits besides using the software tied to the original server it was installed on. Microsoft is really pushing customers to SA.
  3. There are just a very few people who really understand licensing
  4. Microsoft is stimulating customers to move to the cloud by raising on-premise license costs while reducing those of the cloud

One type of license which stimulates using Microsoft sofware from the cloud is called SAL-SA which stands for Subscriber Access License for Software Assurance (SAL for SA). This license can be purchased by service providers participating in Microsoft SPLA (Service Provider License Agreement). All SPLA licenses have Software Assurance.

A Subscriber Access License is a combination of a Client Access License (CAL) and a server license. So in an on-premise scenario a customer purchases CALs and server licenses (depending on the product, some situations only cores are licensed). In a hosting/cloud scenario the customer rents/subscribes to Microsoft software and pays for a SAL.

SAL for SA are priced very attractive. This protects the investment made by the customer in Software Assurance for on-premise software. The service provider reports each month the software usage and gets billed from Microsoft.

SALs for SA are available for both virtually dedicated and multitenant instances.
SAL for SA is available for a limited number of Microsoft products:

    • Exchange Enterprise SAL for SA
    • Exchange Standard SAL for SA
    • SharePoint Standard SAL for SA
    • SharePoint Enterprise SAL for SA
    • Lync Standard SAL for SA
    • Lync Enterprise SAL for SA
    • Lync Plus SAL for SA

Details can be found in the SPUR or  Service Provider Use Rights.

Information for this blog was taken from a  blogpost titled Disaster Recovery Rights for SPLA

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About Marcel van den Berg
I am a technical consultant with a strong focus on server virtualization, desktop virtualization, cloud computing and business continuity/disaster recovery.

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