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Customer wants to buy MSFT Lic from me

How can I set up the ability to resell MSFT licenses?


Customer is asking for:

SQL Server 2016 Enterprise




For the Microsoft Server software you and I were discussing, I find the licensing a little confusing (to say the least).  Here is what I have today that I'd like to upgrade to MS Server 2019 Standard.  I would also like to understand how any tweaks to our setup may change pricing (meaning if I reduce vCPU or something along those lines).   Finally, if we are close to any sort of special package pricing limits (think VMWare VSphere Essentials which limits to 3 hosts) we could look at consolidating our setup.  I have no idea if Microsoft does anything like that, but just tossing it out there.  


Domain Controllers - 3 virtual servers each with 2 vCPU. 

File Server - 1 virtual server with 4 vCPU

Application Server - 1 virtual server with 4 vCPU

SQL Server - 1 virtual server with 4 vCPU


I believe MS 2019 Server is now licensed per physical cores and not the vCPU, so if that is the case, these will be running on 2s Intel Xeon Silver 4110 processors which have 8 cores.  For now, that is the scope of what we are looking to move from 2012 R2 to 2019.  We will also need 30 CALs for our 27 employees.  If we should be looking at higher numbers of CALs for some reason let me know. 


Thank you in advance! 


Re: Customer wants to buy MSFT Lic from me



This is easy! I suggest that you talk to a distributor of Microsoft licenses.


Ingram Micro and Techdata are two suggestions but depending on your geography there might also be others.



Regards, Per


Re: Customer wants to buy MSFT Lic from me

See this URL for a list of distributors in your region:



The specific scenario here is indeed a bit complicated - required licenses depend a bit on the technical design of the environment (And technical design is something the distributor will probably not handle).

The customer seems to have two hosts/servers where VMs are running, if they plan to move VMs from one host to the other, e.g. allowing that sometimes all 6 VMs are running on a single Host, they need to license each host in advance for running 6 Windows instances. E.g. for a Hyper-V Cluster or VMWare clustered this is common practice. Question is if they want to deploy a solution that is resilient to hw failures.


Since every Windows Server Standard license (license = every set of required core licenses for this server) allows to run one physical + 2 virtual instances, they need 3x the number of licenses for each host - or they go for WS Datacenter licenses, which allow an unlimited number of Vms per licensed host.


The official, binding rules on how many core-licenses per host they need (in short: 16 core-licenses per server/host) are officially documented in the product terms: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/licensing/product-licensing/products - on this site a good idea is to take  a look at the Volume licening briefs to get a better overall understanding on how to license virtual environments and why - as mentioned above - customer has to consider the maximum number of VMs potentially running on any of these hosts : https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/Licensing/learn-more/volume-licensing-briefs?activetab=volume-licensing-briefs-tab:primaryr5 

To the customers question: He can not reduce the Windows license cost by reducing cores in the VMs, and 16 cores per server is the minimum amount of licenses you need. He can decrease costs by configuring the enrivonment in a way that e.g. never more then 4 VMs are running on each host os (via VM-Host affinity rules), which could lower the number of WS Standard licenses.


For the SQL Server license they should make sure that they get a license with Software Assurance (SA) - without SA they have no license mobility right and thus they could not move the SQL VM from one host to the other - so they would not allow to have a resilient design. 

Also they have the option to choose between licensing SQL as Server license + CALs - or as Core-based license. It depends on the total number of users what is more cost effective. For core-based they need to license at least 4 cores (also, see above mentioned Product Terms for official rulings) . So configuring the VM with only 2 vCores does not change the price of the license.


For the Windows Server CAL they can also consider to get licenses that include WS CALs, like EM+S E3 or Microsoft 365 E3 - this would be a good option if they have other needs not mentioned here like mobile device management