201602.23
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Changes for Microsoft Fail-Over and Disaster Recovery Rights

With the April 2014 versions of the Product Use Rights (PUR) (for volume licensees) and the Services Provider Use Rights (SPUR) (for services providers under SPLA), Microsoft has implemented significant changes to several usage rights associated with fail-over or disaster-recovery (DR) installations of its server products. As many IT professionals know, Microsoft’s fail-over rights always…

201602.23
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For Hosting Providers Running Microsoft Products, “Dedicated” Means “Dedicated”

As discussed previously, providers of software hosting services may deploy on their servers Microsoft products licensed by their customers under two different scenarios, one of those being where the hosting provider has dedicated a physical server for use by the customer providing the licenses. However, providers thinking of taking advantage of this option need to…

201602.23
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Hosting Providers Have Two Options For Customer-Supplied Licenses

Like any good business, many providers of hosted IT solutions prefer to demonstrate flexibility in offering services to their customers. For example, a company that offers hosted Exchange services may want to allow their customers to use perpetual licenses the customers purchased to support deployments on the service provider’s servers. While Microsoft’s licensing rules permit…

201602.23
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Beware the Mandatory SAM Engagement

For several years now, Microsoft has offered some of its customers the “opportunity” to have third-party licensing consultants (selected by Microsoft) review those customers’ Microsoft product deployments and determine whether those customers have all of the licenses needed to support those deployments. Called Software Asset Management, or “SAM” engagements, the reviews are, in theory, optional,…

201602.23
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Running Windows Server in Clustered VMs Carries Risks

Many businesses running virtual servers with shared physical infrastructures have encountered significant audit exposure arising from the fact that, according to Microsoft, the physical machines in a clustered arrangement may be “running” any number of Windows Server instances at any time. Therefore, Microsoft historically has demanded that a number of server licenses be assigned to…

201602.23
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Client-Licensed Microsoft Software in Hosted Environments

Hosting services customers often want to use licenses that they have acquired to deploy Microsoft software on a service provider’s servers. Those customers need to be wary about such deployments, as applicable license terms may restrict their ability to deploy the products offsite. However, the service provider needs to be doubly cautious. After all, the…

201602.23
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SPLA Road Map Outcomes

In a past entry, I mentioned the SPLA Qualification Road Map as a helpful document for companies to use when trying to determine the appropriate license model for Microsoft products deployed in connection with hosted services. Again, the road map takes the form of a flowchart, with each step consisting of a question that is…

201602.23
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Defending SPLA Audits: Critical First Steps

Many businesses contact Scott & Scott, LLP regarding Services Provider License Agreement (SPLA) audits after providing extensive information to Microsoft’s auditors and receiving compliance demands that would be ruinous for their bottom lines, if paid in full. At that stage, it might be difficult to “un-ring the bell” with respect to the data allegedly underlying…

201602.23
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SPLA Basics: Who Needs a SPLA?

We write extensively at this site about some of the finer points pertaining to licensing software under Microsoft’s Services Provider License Agreement (SPLA). However, some businesses new to the model often ask us much more basic questions, like: What is SPLA, and is it right for me? Like most for-profit software publishers, Microsoft publishes its…

201602.23
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SPLA Audits and Anonymous / Authenticated / Outsourced / Non-Outsourced Windows Server Licenses

Businesses that have endured audits initiated by Microsoft in connection with Services Provider License Agreements (SPLAs) are all too aware that Microsoft’s auditors spare no effort in identifying opportunities to increase the total amount of the compliance purchases demanded to resolve licensing discrepancies. For service providers that have licensed Windows Server operating systems under SPLA…