How do I license…

This is the gist of questions I see frequently from partners; “How do I license Microsoft XYZ?” Although I live with our products, I rarely have what I would call an authoritative answer off the top of my head; I usually have to look it up myself. Let me help you cut out the middleman (me) and tell you my process.

Here’s a typical question:

Q: (from Brian)

I am looking to set up a reverse proxy server on our network for mobile devices to use Lync.  The documentation from Microsoft states I should use Microsoft Forefront Threat Management Gateway (TMG).  Not sure what all I need in the way of licensing for that.

Here are the steps I take:

  1. Go to the product home page. This can usually be found by using “”. For Brian’s question it was “”
  2. If the question is purely licensing, I will head to the tab at the top of the page “How to Buy”. Under that tab, there are often sections on Pricing and Licensing (what I’m looking for), Volume Licensing (product independent VL rules), and Finding a Partner (you). For Brian’s question, I went to Pricing and Licensing and found Windows Server, System Center, and Forefront Licensing PDF with the desired details on pages 48 & 49.
  3. If the licensing document is not clear enough, I recommend that you reach out to the licensing desk of your favorite distribution partner – they have LOTS of experience in successfully navigating our licensing rules.
  4. If you still aren’t confident in the answer, get a 2nd opinion by contacting the Microsoft Licensing team directly at a phone number found on the Contact us web page. For the US, the number is 1-800-426-9400.
  5. Sometimes the question is more targeted toward configuration, in which case either a datasheet or the Technet architecture documentation are needed. For Brian’s question, the datasheet included the following at the end of the last page:

System Requirements

Forefront TMG 2010 requires a server with a 64-bit processor and, at minimum, the following: 2 processor cores, 2 GB of RAM, 2.5 GB available hard drive space, one compatible Network Interface Card, and a local hard disk partition formatted in NTFS. Supports Windows Server® 2008 SP2 or Windows Server 2008 R2.

   While the architecture was found under the Support & Services tab after digging the the Technical Resources, I found Planning and Design.

I would love to see your feedback on licensing resources that you depend on.


SDeming Face  Steve


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