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Microsoft license and Software Assurance

Last Updated: Oct 26, 2018

Businesses today are increasingly turning to cloud solutions for the deployment and management of infrastructure, particularly for workloads running on Microsoft applications and services. By providing options for using Microsoft services, Alibaba Cloud makes it easy and cost-effective for you to migrate. You can directly select and apply Microsoft licenses included service from Alibaba Cloud, such as Elastic Compute Service (ECS) for Windows Server and SQL Server. Alternatively, if you have already purchased Microsoft software, you can bring your own license (BYOL) to Alibaba Cloud to reduce costs and save time.

Buy Microsoft service from Alibaba Cloud

Alibaba Cloud is able to provide Microsoft licenses through the Services Provider License Agreement (SPLA). Specifically, Alibaba Cloud ECS for Windows Server and SQL Server are available for you to create in the management console or by API at any time. No extra Client Access Licenses (CAL) are required for any of the Microsoft license-included services on Alibaba Cloud. Two Remote Desktop Service (RDS) licenses for one ECS instance running Windows Server are issued to facilitate management after you create the instance.

The following table lists the eligible Windows Server or SQL Server database images out of the ECS public images and those in the Alibaba Cloud marketplace.

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 Version 1709 DataCenter Edition 64 bit Japanese Edition
  • Windows Server 2016 DataCenter Edition 64 bit Chinese Edition
  • Windows Server 2016 DataCenter Edition 64 bit English Edition
  • Windows Server 2016 DataCenter Edition 64 bit Japanese Edition
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 DataCenter Edition 64 bit Chinese Edition
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 DataCenter Edition 64 bit English Edition
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 DataCenter Edition 64 bit Japanese Edition
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition 64 bit Chinese Edition
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition 64 bit English Edition
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition 64 bit Japanese Edition
  • Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition SP2 32 bit Chinese Edition
  • Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition SP2 32 bit Japanese 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

Note: The Windows Server Japanese Edition images are only available on Alibaba Cloud Japanese site.

Bring your own license

You can continue to use Microsoft licenses you previously purchased by bringing your own licenses (BYOL) to Alibaba Cloud. The options are different depending on whether you are with or without Software Assurance.

Without Software Assurance

Use ECS Dedicated Host to bypass the Software Assurance and take full advantage of ECS hardware that is exclusive to you. With an unshared server, you take control of compliance requirements and, furthermore, save on license fees.

You can reuse and deploy all the Microsoft Licensing Terms that cover applications and services in the ECS Dedicated Host, including but not limited to:

  • Microsoft Windows Server
  • Microsoft Exchange Server
  • Microsoft SharePoint Server
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • Microsoft System Center
  • Microsoft Dynamics
  • Microsoft Remote Desktop Services (User CAL only)
  • MSDN

With Software Assurance

If you purchased Software Assurance for your Microsoft software, you can continue to use the same licenses through the benefits of the Software Assurance and Microsoft Volume Licensing programs. To bring your existing Microsoft licenses to Alibaba Cloud, you can apply for License Mobility through Software Assurance before or after you migrate to ECS. Your applications and services must be covered by the Microsoft Licensing Terms.

Eligible Windows 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 CAL only)
  • Microsoft Skype that can running on Business Server

Statement of rights and responsibilities

Microsoft offers a comprehensive set of performance-oriented, secure, and stable applications and services. Make choices according to your own business needs and always comply with Microsoft licensing policy. This article is for your reference only, and should not be relied on for 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.

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