User licensing in Microsoft networks

In the Jungle

Using Office Licenses Correctly

Office 2013 is still licensed by device, where each license must be assigned to a specific device. If you are using Office Professional Plus, you can also run the product on servers with Remote Desktop Services. In this way, you can run Office in a VDI environment, for example. If you assign Office 2013 Professional Plus to a Hyper-V host, this includes the right to install the product on this server's virtual machines. A downgrade right is also included here. With Office 2013 Professional Plus, you can therefore install an older Office version on one virtual machine and the current version of Office on another.

If you license Office 365 Pro Plus, a user can deploy this license on up to five computers. In this case, it is always assigned to users, not devices – as with Office 2013. It does not matter who owns the devices. A user who has an Office 365 Pro Plus license can use one instance on their company computer, another on their private PC, and a third on their private laptop.

Virtualization of Exchange, SharePoint, SQL, and Lync

If you virtualize Microsoft server products, you need to license them and the physical installations, too. For each virtual Exchange server, you will need just as many licenses as for physical servers. This also applies to the CALs. However, Microsoft allows the replication of virtual Exchange server to a limited extent without a license being required. If a server is not loaded in the RAM of the host (i.e., is not activated), then it does not need a license. However, as soon as the server is started and its instance is loaded in the host's RAM, a server license is needed, regardless of whether it is a test machine or a fallback server.

You also need to license these servers when using a Hyper-V replica. Because the servers are activated during synchronization and thus active in the host's RAM. You must either sign a licensing agreement with Microsoft or purchase individual server licenses for the replicated servers. This is also necessary if these servers are not in production use. If you use Software Assurance in the enterprise, Hyper-V replicas are covered but may not be used productively [1].

If you are running SQL Server 2014 with the core licensing model, you need to purchase a license for each core in each processor of each server. At least four licenses are required. If you are virtualizing SQL Server 2014, you also need to license each virtual core of the virtual processors. At least four licenses are required here, too. If you license SQL Server 2014 for all of a host's physical cores via Software Assurance, you can then create an unlimited number of VMs. No further licenses or CALs are then required here. This also applies to running as a Windows Azure VM or via an Azure DB, but more on that later.

Using License Mobility

Once you have assigned CALs and servers in the enterprise, you may make new assignments for up to 90 days after this. However, this is only permitted in what Microsoft designates as a server farm, which is a company's server environment with no more than two data centers. These must be located within four hours of the local time zone and within a geographic boundary defined in the Product Use Rights (PUR). In this context, you can relocate most of the products and their licenses free of charge. You can, for example, also use this license mobility if you want to transfer a server as an image to Windows Azure and use it as a VM in Azure.

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