What the changes in Microsoft’s SPLA mean for you

 In Microsoft, Software, Volume Licensing

For the second consecutive year, Microsoft will make price adjustments to its Services Provider License Agreement (SPLA) in January. The SPLA, which enables service providers and independent software vendors (ISVs) to offer hosted Microsoft software and solutions to their end customers, covers a wide range of products, including SQL Server, SharePoint Server, and Office.

Starting Jan. 1, 2015, Microsoft will update specific products and enact some pricing and licensing changes within SPLA. Understanding these changes will help you manage current licensing agreements and better optimize your product lineup.

With the exception of the one-off January adjustments, the pricing for all SPLA services remains static month to month. Customers should report 2014 usage by Jan. 10, 2015 to use existing December pricing; orders invoiced after Jan. 15, 2015 will be subject to the new pricing benchmarks.

Some of the software upgrades rev up the power behind Windows Server 2012 options. These improvements should increase productivity, and provide additional value that matches the current price offering.

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Understanding the price changes

Although Microsoft first announced SPLA’s price adjustments in 2013, the changes have been rolled out over two years. These four products in particular will experience price changes:

  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard
  • Core Infrastructure Server Suite Datacenter (including Windows Server Datacenter and System Center Datacenter)
  • Core Infrastructure Server Suite Standard (including Windows Server Standard and System Center Standard)

The changes to Windows Server 2012 might actually lower costs for hosting virtual environments; the pricing adjustments come with support for more active virtual machines (VMs) per host (1,024 now versus 384), memory per VM (now 1 TB), the maximum number of VMs allowed (4,000), and the maximum virtual disk size per VM (64 TB).

In addition, customers will see more flexible storage with deduplication and SAN-like performance on commodity hardware. The changes also reduce management costs through dynamic network functionality, multi-tenancy, and automation. Other added functionality includes IP mobility, security upgrades, and new quality of service features.

What should customers do now?

These upgrades, along with others, enhance your ability to work in virtualized environments and automate processes. But you should still review and explore your licensing choices, including suite licensing options, to determine the optimum choice of services for your needs. Reach out to your SHI Account Executive today to start the conversation about Microsoft licensing choices and the new pricing changes.

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