Hosting Licensing Q&A

The April 2012 SPUR contains many changes.
Here are the most important ones to take notice of:

1) System Center 2012 replaces all previous System Center products.
The following licenses are available:

  • System Center 2012 Standard processor license must be obtained for a physical server if it will be managed with any or all System Center products. Each processor license comes with the right to manage one virtual operating system environment (OSE).
  • System Center 2012 Datacenter processor license is similar to System Center 2012 Standard, but allows management of an unlimited number of virtual OSEs.
  • System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SAL is a SAL that must be obtained for each client OSE that will be managed with SCCM 2012. Alternatively a SAL is obtained for each user whose OSEs will be managed.
  • System Center 2012 Client Management Suite includes all other System Center 2012 products. This SAL is also available per OSE or per user.

2) The Windows 7 Professional Upgrade has been removed.
This license   was only available as a Device SAL for Service and Rental Devices, not for offering hosted virtual desktops, so the impact of the disappearance of this license isn’t big.

Q:            As of January 2013 only System Center 2012 will be orderable. Older versions such as individual System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) SALs will then disappear from the price list. Does this mean that SPLA customers may then no longer report the old licenses?

A:            No, SPLA customers may continue to report the old products until the end of their agreement as set forth in section 10c of the SPLA agreement:

Removal of Products from the SPUR. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, if Microsoft notifies Customer of the removal of a Product from the SPUR due to an intellectual property infringement claim or in accordance with a court or other governmental order, Customer must immediately cease any use or distribution of the allegedly infringing Product. If a Product is removed from the SPUR for any other reason, Customer may continue to license the removed Product for the term of the agreement.

Q:           Some of the System Center 2012 licenses cost more than their predecessors. May SPLA customers for instance continue to report the SCOM Standard Server Management License (SML) even though they use SCOM 2012?

A:    No. SPLA customers may use prior versions, but if a new version is only offered as a new product, as is the case with System Center 2012 (which moved from individual SMLs to System Center 2012 Standard and Datacenter) and SQL Server 2012 (which moved from per processor to per core licensing), the new product must be reported.

Q:   May users to whom a Small Business Server (SBS) Subscriber Access License (SAL) has been assigned also access “normal” Windows Servers?

A:            The April 2012 Services Provider Use Rights (SPUR) state:

[For Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard] You need a Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise SAL, or a Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard SAL, or a Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard SAL for any user or device that is accessing instances of the server software that are within an SBS domain.

So if you add Windows Standard Servers to an SBS domain, you won’t need Windows Standard SALs in addition to SBS Standard SALs for those users.

Q:           In a SPLA environment, an End User has 50 users with 100 mailboxes. How many Exchange Server SALs must be reported?

A:            Per the April 2012 SPUR, a SAL is required for each user, not for each mailbox, so 50 SALs are sufficient:

You must obtain a SAL for each user.

Q:           Per the April 2012 Services Provider Use Rights (SPUR), the Windows 7 Professional upgrade SAL is no longer available. How can software services providers license a Windows 7-based hosted virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI)?

A:            Use of the Windows 7 Professional upgrade SAL was limited to service and rental devices. These subscriptions could not be used for licensing a hosted VDI. Instead of using Windows 7 in a VDI, Microsoft encourages its Software Services Providers (SSPs) to use Windows Server with Windows Remote Desktop Services. As compared to a VDI, an RDS infrastructure has a much smaller footprint.

Q:           We are a SPLA Software Services Provider (SSP). May we provide a virtual machine (VM) to an end user who will use it for Windows Small Business Server (SBS) with its own licenses for this product?

A:            No, that is not allowed. An end user’s server license may only be deployed in a VM on a shared server if that server license has active Software Assurance (SA) and Microsoft grants License Mobility through SA for that license. License Mobility through SA is granted for most application server products such as Exchange Server and SharePoint Server, but not for server operating systems such as Windows Server and SBS. Instead of using a shared server, consider setting up a dedicated physical server for this end user.

Q:           A Software Services Provider (SSP) who uses SPLA sets up a dedicated physical server for one of its end users. Multiple Microsoft products will be used. Is it allowed to mix SPLA and the end user’s own Volume Licensing (VL) agreement for licensing the software on this server?

A:            Yes, we have been informed by Microsoft that this is allowed if the following requirements are met:

  • It must be a physical server that is dedicated to one specific end user (the SPLA partner’s customer). In this context “dedicated” means that no other end user will use this server.
  • Per product either SPLA or the end user’s VL agreement must be used.
  • The SPLA partner must make sure that its end user confirms that it is properly licensed and accepts accountability for non-compliance.

Let’s look at two examples that leverage such a mix.

  • For a hosted Exchange Server infrastructure, the SPLA partner licenses Windows Server through Windows Server SALs and its end user uses its own Exchange Server license and CALs. These Exchange licenses don’t need to have SA because Exchange Server will run on a dedicated physical server, not on a VM.
  • For a hosted SharePoint Server infrastructure, the SPLA partner licenses Windows Server through processor licenses and SQL Server through core licenses. The end user uses its own VL agreement for obtaining SharePoint Server, SharePoint Server for Internet Sites and SharePoint CALs.

VMware VSPP Licensing

Q:           When must VSPP Licensing be used?

A:            The VMware Service Provider Program is created for IT partners providing “Hosted IT Services” to unaffiliated third party companies, “Hosting Customers.”

Any partner that provides subscription or web services to Hosting Customers may be considered a Service Provider in this program. This program currently includes various types of partners who market themselves as Application Service Providers, Internet Service Providers, Co-location, Hosters, Cloud Providers, public Cloud Computing providers, DaaS Providers, Disaster Recovery, and Managed Service Providers.

“Hosted IT Services” means an internet based subscription computing service that allows Hosting Customers to access:

  1. the computing or processing power of systems operated by the Service Provider (such as utility or grid computing), and/or
  2.  various software applications that are installed and operated on the systems of the Service Provider, however any service that the partner provides to the Hosting Customer utilizing VMware technology is considered a Hosted IT Service.

This program does not encompass the reselling of VMware software to third parties. Hosted IT Services include, but are not limited to: Web Services, File, Mail, Database, Application, Transaction, Disaster Recovery, Co-location, and other Managed Services. For the VSPP program, Hosting Customers are unaffiliated third-parties that the Partner provides services to, not affiliates, departments, divisions or business groups within the Partner themselves.

Veeam Propartner Service Provider Licensing

Veeam offers a monthly rental of product(s) with no volume or time commitment to Veeam.

Products included in this scheme:

  • Veeam Backup and Replication
  • Veeam Monitor
  • Veeam Reporter
  • nWorks SPI HP Operations Manager
  • nWorks MP Microsoft Ops Manager
  • Veeam Business View (Free)
  • Veeam Monitor Free Edition (Free)
  • Veeam FastSCP (Free)


  • Rental thru the aggregators is available to Gold and Silver Veeam Service Provider Partners. Refer to the Service Provider Program Guide posted on the Veeam Partner Portal to see the current requirements & criteria for Gold and Silver tiers.
  • Rental Licensing will only be available thru specialized resellers, Aggregators, NOT thru Veeam’s standard distribution channel.

Licensing Unit:

  • Veeam Backup and Replication is licensed per VM. All other products are licensed by the socket.

SKU Content:

  • SKUs contain the ordered Veeam product, Premium Maintenance, and rights to use the product in a hosted environment (see EULA, MSP section. Available on the Veeam Partner Portal).


  • Join Veeam PSP and attain Silver or Gold Status.
  • License Key acquisition – Contact your Aggregator – First Distribution, and order no‐cost stocking SKU’s for appropriate products.
  • Usage Reporting – Report monthly usage to First Distribution by the 5th of each month for the previous month’s usage.

CommVault MSP Licensing

Click here to read more about CommVault’s SPLA Programme.

Symantec ExSP Licensing

The Symantec Enterprise Service Provider (ExSP) Program is designed to enable service providers to easily license our products to provide outsourced and managed services to their customers. Under the program, Symantec products are licensed to the Service Provider on a monthly subscription basis, with all payments quarterly in arrears.

Through the ExSP Program, Symantec helps our service provider partners reduce upfront investment costs by providing a licensing model that aligns with the way our service provider partners do business with their end-user customers.

The ExSP Program provides our partners greater flexibility to pay for what they deploy, on a quarterly basis, in arrears (“Pay-as-you-go”).

Unlike the standard internal use or Strategic Service Provider use licenses that are sold to end-users and service Providers on a perpetual basis, ExSP licenses grant service providers the right to use our products to provide a service to its end-users on a limited term basis.

Key Global Program Features

  • Flexible, Convenient Licensing – Licensing designed to match the way ExSP partners do business with their customers
    • Access to the latest software versions available under maintenance/support
    • Each license provides 1 month of commercial use rights and Essential maintenance/support
    • No upfront license or support fees
    • Quarterly payments (in arrears) based on quarterly usage reports provided by service provider
  • Volume Discounts – ExSP Partners are rewarded for increased levels of spending
  • Price List- ExSP Price list will be posted monthly. If there is a price change during the reporting quarter, service providers use the price list that coincides with the first month of the reporting quarter in which services were first provided for that product.
    • Example:
    • If products are deployed into service in January, the January pricelist would be used to report for January, February, and March. Then when the quarter starts over in April, the April price list would be used for April, May and June.
    • If products are deployed into service in February, the February pricelist would be used to report for February, and March. Then when the quarter starts over in April, the April price list would be used for April, May and June.

For any questions regarding any Hosted Licensing Scenarios, please contact: