From time to time I get a question from a partner on SPLA licensing. With the Service Provider License Agreement, or SPLA, service providers and ISVs can license Microsoft products on a monthly basis, during a three-year agreement term, to host software services and applications to their customers. SPLA supports a variety of hosting scenarios to help you get highly-customized and robust solutions to a wide set of customers.
With the transition to the cloud this type of licensing is becoming more prevalent and the need for a more thorough understanding of its inner workings will be necessary for all partners that are transitioning their business model, or to those that intend to do so in the near future.
The Problem is that SPLA licensing is rather complex compared to other licensing modalities within Microsoft. So when that question does come up, the chances of me knowing the answer are greatly diminished. I am sure the same is true for you too.
The Mactus Group released a customer focused Whitepaper in March entitled:
Building Your IT on Hosted Microsoft Infrastructure: Demystifying Microsoft licensing rules for organizations that want to tap cloud opportunities with Microsoft IT assets
This excellent resource distills SPLA into 16 pages of pure goodness. If you are a hoster, you should have it handy.
The Whitepaper can be downloaded here.
If you cannot find the answer you are looking for there, I would recommend one of the below resources:
Microsoft Product Use Rights www.microsoft.com/licensing/about-licensing/product-licensing.aspx
Microsoft License Mobility Through Software Assurance www.microsoft.com/licensing/software-assurance/license-mobility.aspx
Microsoft Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/enterprise/products-and-technologies/virtualization/vdi.aspx
License Mobility Partners www.microsoft.com/licensing/software-assurance/license-mobility.aspx#tab=2
License Verification Form for License Mobility Through Software Assurance www.microsoftvolumelicensing.com/Downloader.aspx?DocumentId=4574
Microsoft Service Provider Use Rights www.microsoftvolumelicensing.com/userights/DocumentSearch.aspx?Mode=3&DocumentTypeId=2
Microsoft Services Provider License Agreement (SPLA) www.microsoft.com/licensing/licensing-options/spla-program.aspx
SPLA resources for hosting providers www.microsoft.com/hosting/en/us/licensing/splaresources.aspx