When you want to deploy your business in a Microsoft software-based environment, Alibaba Cloud can provide you with a Microsoft license based on your requirements.

You can use one of the following methods to use Microsoft licenses in Alibaba Cloud:
  • Use Microsoft licenses provided by Alibaba Cloud

    Purchase Microsoft licenses from Alibaba Cloud. These licenses are included in Alibaba Cloud public images for Windows Server or Alibaba Cloud Marketplace images with pre-installed SQL Server databases.

  • Bring your own license

    If you have previously purchased a Microsoft license, apply for License Mobility through Microsoft Software Assurance to bring your own license (BYOL) to Alibaba Cloud.

Use Microsoft licenses provided by Alibaba Cloud

Alibaba Cloud is licensed to provide Microsoft licenses through the Services Provider License Agreement (SPLA). Alibaba Cloud ECS and ApsaraDB for RDS provide software licensed by Microsoft, such as Windows Server images and ApsaraDB RDS for SQL Server databases. Client Access Licenses (CALs) are not required for Alibaba Cloud ECS instances running Windows Server images. By default, each Windows Server instance has two remote connections that are only for administrative purpose. If you need more connections or want to use the remote connections for non-administrative purposes, an extra Remote Desktop Services CAL (RDS CAL) is required.

You can select an appropriate Windows Server image or database type when you create an ECS instance. For more information, see Create an instance by using the provided wizard. The following table lists the versions of Windows Server images and SQL Server databases provided by Alibaba Cloud.

Windows Server SQL Server database
  • Windows Server version 1709 Datacenter edition 64 bit (Chinese edition)
  • Windows Server version 1709 Datacenter edition 64 bit (English edition)
  • Windows Server 2016 Datacenter edition 64 bit (Chinese edition)
  • Windows Server 2016 Datacenter edition 64 bit (English edition)
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter edition 64 bit (Chinese edition)
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter edition 64 bit (English edition)
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise edition 64 bit (Chinese edition)
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise edition 64 bit (English edition)
  • Windows Server 2008 Standard edition SP2 32 bit (Chinese edition)
  • Windows Server 2016 SQL Server 2014 Enterprise edition
  • Windows Server 2016 SQL Server 2014 Standard edition
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 SQL Server 2012 SP3 Enterprise edition
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 SQL Server 2012 SP3 Standard edition

Bring your own license

You can continue to use Microsoft licenses that you previously purchased by bringing your own licenses to Alibaba Cloud. Check whether your Microsoft license provides Software Assurance. For more information, visit the official Microsoft website. You can perform one of the following operations depending on whether your Microsoft license provides Software Assurance:

  • If your Microsoft license does not provide Software Assurance
    You can purchase ECS bare metal instances or dedicated hosts. The resources offered by these services are exclusive to the purchaser, so you can bring your own licenses even though these licenses do not provide Software Assurance. For more information, see ECS Bare Metal Instances and What is Dedicated Host (DDH)?.
    Notice To meet compliance requirements, your license must be obtained before October 1, 2019, and the operating system versions must be released before October 1, 2019.

    All Microsoft software covered by the Microsoft Product Terms can be deployed on ECS bare metal instances or dedicated hosts. Examples include:

    • Microsoft Windows Server
    • Microsoft Exchange Server
    • Microsoft SharePoint Server
    • Microsoft SQL Server
    • Microsoft System Center
    • Microsoft Dynamics
    • MSDN
    • Microsoft Remote Desktop Services (user CALs)
  • If your Microsoft license provides Software Assurance

    You can migrate your Microsoft license to Alibaba Cloud and continue to use it through the Software Assurance and Microsoft Volume Licensing programs. For software covered by the license terms of valid Microsoft products, you can apply for License Mobility through Software Assurance before you migrate services to ECS. For more information, see Overview of the Cloud Migration tool.

    The following list describes eligible Microsoft applications and services:

    • Microsoft Exchange Server
    • Microsoft SharePoint Server
    • Microsoft SQL Server
    • Microsoft System Center
    • Microsoft Dynamics
    • Microsoft BizTalk Server
    • Microsoft Remote Desktop Services (user CALs)
    • Skype for Business Server

Statement of rights and responsibilities

Microsoft offers a comprehensive set of applications and services that are performance-oriented, secure, and stable. Select the solution that fits your requirements, and always comply with Microsoft licensing policy. This document is for your reference only and should not be construed as legal advice. For questions about the authorization and reserved rights of Microsoft applications and services, consult your legal team, a law firm, Microsoft, or Microsoft partners.