With increased pressure to maintain and increase top line earnings organizations are looking at all options to reduce cost. One of those options is moving from dedicated data centers to shared hosting services. There are no shortage of options to choose from when it comes to shared hosting services, which is great for organizations wishing to outsource their data center needs.
What is often overlooked in the process is software licensing. Software licensing models are often very different when it comes to shared hosting services. Microsoft is no exception and the software licensing rules that apply to on premise software are not the same in a shared hosted environment.
Microsoft offers volume licensing customers the option to move certain on premise software licenses to a Microsoft Authorized Mobility Partner. This option is one of the benefits of active Software Assurance (SA) and requires the customer maintain active SA to continue leveraging the benefit known as License Mobility through Microsoft Software Assurance.
It is also very important to point out that some Microsoft software licenses will have different product use rights when moved to a Microsoft Authorized Mobility Partner. Customers with heavy investments in private SQL Server clouds may find their costs significantly increasing when they move their SQL Server to a shared hosting service at a Microsoft Authorized Mobility Partner.
Please note there is a formal verification process Microsoft requires to leverage License Mobility through Microsoft Software Assurance.
I strongly recommend software licensing is front end center when considering migrating your organization to a shared hosting service.