Licensing Microsoft. SPLA + OEM

Hello is it allowed to buy windows 2012 datacenter OS OEM and USE SPLA for the Exchange licenses?
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Cris HannaSr IT Support EngineerCommented:
The only answer that holds any true value would have to come fro a call To MS licensing.  Any other response here is personal interpretation
Jackie ManCommented:
Agreed and the info below might be useful for your better understanding.

....We rent out dedicated servers and resell the SPLA licensing for them."

FYI, if these servers are dedicated to one customer (the physical device and all of the VMs running on it), there is another option. You could offer Exchange as a managed service offering, in which case, the customer can use their own volume licenses and CALs for Windows and Exchange. In other words, it is licensed just as though the customer were running Exchange on their own premises, except that you're running and managing the server for them. You would be charging them for use of your hardware, power, and the monitoring and management of the servers, but the licensing is entirely in the hands of the customer.

There are two reasons the customer would go this route rather than the SPLA.

1. If they get a good volume discount, the long-term cost will be lower than through the SPLA.

2. You're doing the installation, management, and monitoring of the servers. Not everyone can keep an Exchange server purring nicely, and that's one of the reasons customers let someone else do it. Particularly if they are a smaller or midmarket customer, they don't have the luxury of having a dedicated Exchange engineer on staff, while many hosters do enough Exchange to make them expert at it. I'm assuming you fit that bill, or you wouldn't be running Exchange under the SPLA either.

You might prefer this as well, since the reporting requirements for the SPLA can become tedious, and this solution removes that burden.

The only hoop you need to jump through here is to fill out a hosting verification form, basically a form in which the customer lists which licenses they have sent to you so you could install it on your hardware. This is necessary so that the customer has a record of licenses that it owns, but that don't show up on any inventory of its own network, and so that you have a record of licenses that are running on your network but that you don't own. I think MS gets a copy too.

I won't belabor this thread with further details. If you can't find the form, I can probably dig up a copy.

There's a third option, Licensing Mobility Through Software Assurance, in which you combine the SPLA with customer licenses but it's more complex and may cost the customer more in MS licensing. On the other hand, you don't have to dedicate the server to one customer. You can host VMs for multiple customers on one physical box.

I can point you to a white paper that I know covers that, plus some other stuff on hosting options.


In short, my impression is only a reseller approach from MS to promote the use of Exchange on a paid-as-you go basic for hosting companies which have joined the the MS Partner scheme and MS Hosting Community.

For details, have a look to the document below.


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Agree with @CrisHanna_MVP, licensing is complicated. Always get confirmation from Microsoft of any advice you get online to make sure it is correct as it's you that would have to pay fines for being incorrectly licensed, not the person who posted the advice online.

I believe you are allowed to use a mixture of SPLA licenses & non-SPLA licenses, primarily because most companies already have existing machines/licenses before signing up for SPLA that they don't want to have to relicense.

Take care on the OEM stuff though as this license is only valid for new build machines sold with the OS on. If you are buying the OEM OS it's only valid if it came with the server from a vendor/reseller.
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