SPLA for On-Premises Servers – Microsoft’s best kept secret?

SPLA for On-Premises Servers – Microsoft’s best kept secret?

There is much talk about moving your IT into the cloud so you can enjoy the benefits of OPEX.  But what if keeping your servers on-premises still makes sense.  For example:

  • The server has not yet been financially written off
  • The server is still in great shape, but you need updated software
  • Your network bandwidth is not enough for the services you require access to
  • You have contractual or legislative agreements that dictate deployment options
  • You need for quick physical access to the server
  • Etc etc

In these circumstances the most likely response from a software distributor/reseller will be that you need to purchase software through a traditional volume license agreement.  This may be the right answer, however it does lock you into an upfront software purchase cycle.

But what happens if you need the flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances and enjoy a monthly subscription model that allows you to pay-as-you-go and pay-as-you-grow?

Cloud service providers have, for many years, been able to deliver this within their cloud infrastructure, using the Service Provider License Agreement (SPLA). However it was not possible with customer owned hardware deployed in customer premises.

HOWEVER in October 2013 this changed when Microsoft updated the terms of the SPLA.  This now allows your service provider (System integrator, reseller, managed service partner etc) to offer you a Cloud-like consumption model on your existing hardware, deployed in your premises.  This allows you to maximize existing hardware and network investments, within an OPEX model and provides flexibility to adapt to your changing IT needs.  Also by not having to buy licenses upfront you can repurpose you budget into other high value business areas.

What benefits are there with Microsoft SPLA vs Microsoft Open/Select Licensing?

  • Access all the most recent versions of Microsoft software for a standard monthly price. All are available to download, so there is no need to wait to receive physical copies.
  • Pay at the end of the month only for what you have consumed. This allows for minimal startup costs and better cash-flow management.
  • Licensing kept simple: No need for Server and CAL licensing calculation.
    • The per processor and per core model provides an unlimited number of users, access to the server software.  No separate SAL is required.
    • The Subscriber Access License (SAL) model, allocates a license for each unique user or device that is authorised to access the software.  No separate server license is required

So the next time you want to buy any Microsoft license, ask about SPLA and how you can enjoy the benefits of the OPEX way of subscribing and deploying these licenses on your own hardware on your premises

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