Microsoft makes changes to BizTalk Server licensing model
Earlier this week, Microsoft introduced BizTalk Server 2013 and with it, a new licensing model. Instead of the per-processor licensing model customers had grown accustomed to, BizTalk Server 2013 is now being offered in a new core-based licensing model. This change aligns very closely with the licensing changes applied to SQL Server 2012 last year.
Here are some of the highlights:
- Enterprise, Standard, and Branch Server licenses will be sold in 2-Core Licensing Packs. So, pricing for a single-processor license under the old model is equivalent to four core licenses under the new model. Customers deploying BizTalk Server 2013 on machines with more than four cores in each processor will end up paying more.
- To license a physical server, you must license all the cores on that server. There is a minimum of four core licenses required for each physical processor in the server. Servers fully licensed with Enterprise Edition core licenses with software assurance (SA) allow for an unlimited deployment of virtual machines (VMs) running BizTalk on the server (or server farm). This is especially beneficial in heavily consolidated virtual environments.
- As an alternative to licensing all the physical cores on a server, organizations are able to license individual VMs. To license a VM with core-based licenses, count the number of virtual cores allocated within the VM (minimum of four core licenses per VM). Each VM licensed w/SA can be moved frequently within your server farm.
What does this mean for you?
Two things to keep in mind as you move forward are: 1) how you are currently procuring BizTalk Server licenses, and 2) what impact this licensing change has to any current software assurance investments you have made.
Let’s first tackle the impact based on how you are procuring licenses today.
For Enterprise Enrollment and Enrollment for Application Platform Customers
If you already have purchased BizTalk Server editions under either the Enterprise Enrollment or Enrollment for Application Platform programs, you can continue to leverage the previous per-processor licensing model and true-up pricing through the end of your current enrollment term. For step-up orders — that is, situations in which you are migrating from a standard (BizTalk Standard) to a premium edition (BizTalk Enterprise) — you can also leverage the pricing under the previous per-processor licensing model. The caveat is that to take advantage of a step-up order, you must have software assurance coverage in place.
However, any new product orders made after April 1 are subject to the core-based licensing and pricing model. Similarly, at time of renewal all customers will be transitioned to the new model.
For Select/Select Plus/Open Customers
All purchases made after April 1 are subject to the new core licensing model and pricing terms. We need to consider the impact if you have invested in software assurance.
If you have active software assurance on BizTalk Server Branch, Standard, or Enterprise Edition Processor Licenses, upon first software assurance renewal on or after April 1, you will have the following options.
You can renew the greater of four core licenses for each processor license assigned to the server. Or, where the actual number of physical processors exceeds four, you can renew the total number of core licenses based on the physical hardware supporting instances of BizTalk Server software.
In order to accurately gather this inventory data, Microsoft suggests the MAP Tool or any other equivalent software. And of course, we’re here to help. Contact your SHI Account Executive or leave a comment below with any questions.