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Licensing innovations for the cloud

Companies worldwide are embracing cloud computing as a key step they can take toward improving business agility, economics, and user experiences. Because of its power to fundamentally change how businesses operate and compete, the cloud is a game changer for the enterprise.

Cloud computing brings major implications for licensing and Microsoft’s strategy is to provide customers the flexibility and choice to adopt private cloud, public cloud or a combination to suite their business needs. Our infrastructure licensing has evolved to provide easier choices for scaling up in the data center or hosted environments. It also offers expanded choices for adopting the public cloud.

Common cloud licensing scenarios

The following three scenarios illustrate how your organization can scale out, scale up, and adopt the public cloud.

Scenario 1:
Scale up your private cloud

Raj's company has just acquired a 5,000 person competitor and he must quickly set up a new business intelligence application for them using existing hardware.

Raj's company has just acquired a 5,000 person competitor and he must quickly set up a new business intelligence application for them using existing hardware.
  • Unlimited virtualization: With changes introduced in 2012, Raj can scale by adding virtual machines to his existing infrastructure without any additional licensing or compliance requirements. The unlimited virtualization capability is consistent across major private cloud products, including Windows Server Datacenter, Microsoft System Center Datacenter, and Microsoft SQL Server Enterprise database software.
  • SKU simplification: The number of SKUs available to Raj to scale out his private cloud infrastructure has been dramatically simplified for Windows Server Datacenter, System Center Datacenter, and SQL Server Enterprise. This makes it easier for Raj to choose the right products to meet his needs and to manage downstream licenses.

Flexible and cost-effective licensing through the Enterprise Agreement

For customers with more than 250 users or devices, the best way to take advantage of these trends and licensing choices is through the Enterprise Agreement, which offers flexibility, manageability, and the best value.

Scenario 2:
Scale out your private cloud

Inka's company is taking on 1,000 contractors during the holiday season and she needs to add these new users to a database reporting application using third-party hosting.

Inka's company is taking on 1,000 contractors during the holiday season and she needs to add these new users to a database reporting application using third-party hosting.
  • License mobility: Inka's company, and other companies that have outgrown their on-premises infrastructure, can now move application workloads to and from third-party hosts without any additional licensing costs via Software Assurance. Organizations can deploy these workloads in dedicated or shared environments, and Inka can now choose to use her own System Center for management.

Flexible and cost-effective licensing through the Enterprise Agreement

For customers with more than 250 users or devices, the best way to take advantage of these trends and licensing choices is through the Enterprise Agreement, which offers flexibility, manageability, and the best value.

Scenario 3:
Scale out in the public cloud

Sofia's company wants to launch a new consumer website using cloud services, but she doesn't know what the demands will be and how to stay within budget guidelines.

Sofia's company wants to launch a new consumer   website using cloud services, but she doesn't know what the demands will be and how to stay within budget guidelines.
  • Microsoft Azure through the Enterprise Agreement: Sofia can easily license the Microsoft Azure technology platform the same way as other additional online services through the Enterprise Agreement.
  • Stand-alone Microsoft Azure enrollment: Sofia can separate purchasing and licensing for Microsoft Azure via an enrollment.
  • Overage protection pilot: Sofia can test out predictable annual budgeting for volatile growth scenarios.

Flexible and cost-effective licensing through the Enterprise Agreement

For customers with more than 250 users or devices, the best way to take advantage of these trends and licensing choices is through the Enterprise Agreement, which offers flexibility, manageability, and the best value.